Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4Â·2H2O. It is widely mined and is used as a fertilizer, and as the main constituent in many forms of plaster, blackboard chalk and wallboard. A massive fine-grained white or lightly tinted variety of gypsum, called alabaster, has been used for sculpture by many cultures including Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Nottingham alabasters of Medieval England. Mohs scale of mineral hardness, based on scratch Hardness comparison, defines hardness value 2 as gypsum. It forms as an evaporite mineral and as a hydration product of anhydrite.