Alabaster: types, characteristics, colors and uses


Alabaster stone is an evaporitic sedimentary rock of chalky or calcitic origin. The name probably has oriental origins; the Ancient Greeks called alábastron a vase made of alabaster.
Chalky alabaster is made up of hydrated calcium sulphate while alabaster made up of calcium carbonate is commonly known as onyx.
Today alabaster stone in Italy is still widely used, especially for the creation of luxury furnishings and accessories for prestigious residences, hotels and locations with refined and unique features. Alabaster and its properties are well known to our company and here you will discover above all the main types and uses of this suggestive rock which is available in different colors and which allows you to customize each space and make it surely of major impact.

Alabaster types and colors

Alabaster stone has a very variable color that depends on its origin and on the areas of extraction. In general, alabaster is a unique and exclusive stone in the stone field and it is possible to create the most varies objects and furnishings, from the smallest and most delicate ones to the largest and most scenographic ones. What makes the difference, however, is above all the streaks and nuances that characterize alabaster stone: qualities that first of all catch the eye of the customer who chooses a stone product for their home. Let’s find out below which are the most beautiful alabaster colors and which are ideal for decorating the most different luxury homes.

Black alabaster

Black alabaster stone is softer and less compact than other types and lends itself very well to the creation of small products and accessories. It is mainly used in local crafts to create typical objects such as chessboards.

Egyptian alabaster

Egyptian alabaster is defined as a fully-fledged Onyx and has a warm and enveloping color tending to ocher and orange-yellow. Its veins are harmonious, sometimes whitish, which also turn to gold, creating a kind of chromatic waves that give dynamism to the stone material and that also lend themselves to the creation of medium-large furnishings.

White alabaster

white alabaster

White Alabaster is synonymous with purity and is characterized by a lactate surface with transparent veins. This variety of alabaster stone has nothing to envy to other light stone materials such as classic white marble. The most famous and valuable in Europe is the alabaster of Volterra (limestone type).

Chalky alabaster

Chalky alabaster has a specific composition: it is in fact a crystalline aggregate of gypsum and consequently has mostly light colors. In its meanings we will also find it with yellowish veins. The crumbly and ductile consistency of chalky alabaster stone allows it to be used for the creation of even small decorative objects.

Green alabaster

green alabaster

Green alabaster, a type of limestone onyx, has been equally prized and has been synonymous with great luxury since ancient times. It was used for the creation of jewelry boxes, jars, alabaster chessboards, vases and even jewels. Its color is wonderful, suggestive when crossed by the light and perfect today in rooms furnished with an eclectic or retro taste.

Alabaster onyx

Alabaster onyx refers to the types of calcareous alabaster available. The most used ones are the variants which have scenographic colors such as the Egyptian one, the red tiger’s eye, the blue one and so forth. They are very resistant and have a very glossy surface and, depending on the type, also perfect for being crossed by light, therefore also suitable for backlit installations.

Alabaster of Volterra

alabaster of Volterra
The alabaster of Volterra is one of the finest in Italy and it is extracted in the homonymous city. The Tuscan city of alabaster stone has been known since the times of the Etruscans and the deposits are still very active and rich in raw materials.
Alabaster of Volterra has very variable prices, a bit like all other types of onyx and marble. The cost is determined by several factors: the difficulty of extraction, the uniqueness, the size of the slabs, the purity of the material, etc. Finally, also the processing after the extraction is fundamental to determine the final cost of this unique alabaster stone.

Alabaster: uses

uses of alabaster

Alabaster is a very precious stone material and available in different types, as also seen above. It is a natural product with a translucent finish and in Italy it is mainly extracted in Volterra but also in the Cuneo area, while foreign deposits are mostly found in Africa and Asia. The uses of Alabaster are many and the decorative ones and those related to interior design surely stand out.

Chessboards, lamps, vases and other objects in alabaster

In addition to the aforementioned alabaster stone chessboards, this precious and wonderfully colored and translucent material is used for the creation of artistic, handicraft and furnishing works. For example, its transparent surface can be exploited to create suggestive plays of light and shadows in every room from the kitchen to the bathroom, passing through the living room, study and bedroom.

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