alabasters are specially prized which have a white tint inclined to
yellow, a beautiful semi-transparence, and veins of a milky white
colour: this variety constitutes the Oriental, or antique alabaster.
Next follow the yellowish sorts, having zones of various tints, but not
differing much from the ground colour : to these varieties belong the
veined alabaster, the onyx marble, and the agate marble.
ancients used alabaster and alabastrite for making certain vases for
balm, without handles ; which on that account were called αλάβαστρα, from the privative particle a, and from λαμβάνω, to take ; whence arose the name given to these two stones.
have no proof that they made any other use of alabastrite ; but they
used alabaster in many other ways. In this material we have Italian and
Egyptian scarabaei, and very beautiful sculpture of the Roman epoch.
a sort of dark red vitreous quartz, somewhat similar in colour to
logwood. Some have called it violet-red spinel ; but this is an error,
since it has not even the hardness of the amethyst.
red tourmaline of Ceylon has sometimes the same appearance, but not the
same degree of electricity, and its light is not equally resinous.