Somerset Alabaster/Gypsum


Somerset Alabaster/Gypsum (calcium sulphate) 9.5cm 258gm

Location, Watchet, Somerset, UK

Size; 9.5cm x 5.5cm x 4.0cm  Weight; 258gm

Ref No 2051



Somerset Alabaster/Gypsum (calcium sulphate) 

This attractive specimen of fine grained Somerset Alabaster/Gypsum is a delightful salmon pink colour, and has come from Blue Anchor Bay, North Somerset. This piece is an attractive shape as it has been gently worn by the sea and weighs 258gm. Alabaster is a crystalline and also a translucent form of Gypsum, a hydrous sulphate of calcium. It is classified as an evaporite mineral, which is millions of years old. It was formed by the evaporation of lakes, which left the gypsum behind to solidify. The nodular pink gypsum or alabaster comes from the green and grey mudstone at the eastern end of Blue Anchor Bay. Somerset Alabaster/Gypsum coming from this area has traditionally been popular with sculptors. Because of its fine grains the gypsum is easier to polish, and it is also a softer and more workable alternative to marble.

Alabaster gets its name from the Greek word ‘alabaster’s‘. The ancient Greeks and Romans regarded this as an important mineral for carving and making storage and also drinking vessels. When cut in thin sheets, alabaster is sufficiently translucent enough to let the light through. These days the largest workable deposits of Alabaster are in the Ebro Valley in Aragon, Spain.

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