The Ancient Egyptians were the first known civilization to revere alabaster for its translucency and beauty. The mineral is not a hard stone and lends itself perfectly to intricate carving. Our Alabaster Ball Bookends are made by a family who has been working in alabaster for centuries. As alabaster is a natural product, please be aware that there will always be variations in veining and color. This is to be expected and makes every alabaster product uniquely your own.