Alabaster is a name applied to a fine-grained gypsum, a Calcium Sulfate mineral. Gypsum has the formula CaSO4 · 2H2O, and commonly forms in evaporation-dominated environments such as salt flats, seasonal lakes and sabkhas. It is a soft material easily carved, cut or even scratched with a fingernail, but has a regular consistency and color palette that lends itself to carving work. Due to the water molecules in its structure, alabaster does not hold up well to constant handling or the presence of water. Florence, Livorno, Milan and Berlin are important overseas centers of the Alabaster trade.