Sand Collecting
This is my sand story.
I have been collecting beach sand since I was a kid. All my little baggies of sand
together in one box for many years. Every time we moved, the sand came with
us. A few years back we decided to move to town from the farm. The husband
said "why don't you do something with this sand". After all, the sand has been
in my box, and has traveled with us for the last 38 years. (It was antique sand.)
Well I did some research and this is what I found.

For some, it's a serious hobby. Those sand collectors may have over 30,000 or
more sands in their collection and there trade lists have 3-5 thousand sands to
trade. When there are that many on a list, how do you choose. Lists will have
info like color, size, textures, locations -country, Co. State and some even have
gps coordinates. The more information you have for the sand, the better. A sand
sample can be described in terms of grain size, color, composition, morphology
(angularity and shape) and surface texture. Some use a variety of different bottle
sizes, in all different bottles, and some use the same bottles size for all their
sand. It really is personal preference. To have all the same, will add to the cost
of your collecting hobby.

So my next step was to find containers for my sand. A standard trade sample is
about 30mls. I found some cute little glass bottles with a metal screw on lid that
holds 10ml of sand. (thinking ahead, cause sand can get heavy when you got a
lot of it.) They are a nice size to display the sand, and standing them upside
down magnify the sand with the puddle of glass on the bottom (Plenty of room
for the label) and I don't fill the bottles to the top, so the sand rolls.

When a sand trader has a long list of sands, some times I will choose the ones
with the coolest (names) locations, but I usually leave it up to the collector I am
trading with. I just let them know that I love colorful sand, and I have not been

My sand collection started with 74 sands, and has grown to over 500 sands,
and maybe 40 on my trade list. I have sand from all over the world. 500 sound
like a lot of sand samples in ones collection, but I can tell you it's not. I trade
overseas for 30ml samples, bottle 10mls and it leaves me to trade 20mls to US
sand traders.

When I started bottling sand, I put the little label in the sand and when you
would roll the sand it would expose the little label. It was a great idea in the
beginning, but then realize this works much better in bigger bottles. So I put the
label on the side bottom of my bottle. When you collect sand you want as much
information as you can possibly get, and label every sample

Search out sand’s unique qualities such as the endless variety of colors, and
textures. Some sands are so beautiful and hard to fine. Some other minerals
formed by igneous or metamorphic processes, which a collector might find in
sand are garnet, mica, hornblende. zircon and magnetite among others. White
Sands (desert) of New Mexico, is gypsum sand.

Most biogenic sands are composed of coral, forams, bivalve shells, gastropods,
marine worm tubes and, if the collector is lucky, the rare three-axial sponge
In beach sand you can see microorganism or microbe, organism
that is so small that it is microscopic, tiny grains of shells, and red
coral, and it go's on and on.

I have beach sand, creek sand, river sand, and there are a few rock club
members that also bring me sand from their collecting trips thru the summer. I
have sand in all different colors. Garnet sand from 4 locations (US), green
Olivine (Peridot) sand from Hawaii, and so many more. When you look at sand
thru a close up lens, you see boulders. Quartz sand close up, you can see some
complete quartz crystals in one grain of sand. ..........Amazing..............and it's the
same with the garnet sand.

Collecting sand shouldn't have been a surprised to me. They are just tiny rocks
and minerals, and I am a rock hound after all.

What is even cooler, none of my 800 sands in my collection are the same in
color or texture. It's not just cool, it's way cool.

My Summers are filled with Gem Shows and rock collecting field trips, and I
always bring along a few baggies and a marker for the sand.
Then I spend the winters cutting rock and bagging sand. Such a life.

I hope this page will inspire
Here are just a few of my sands.
Sand up close, shows each individual grains of sand
Pfeiffer Beach - Calafornia
Papakolea Beach - Hawaii
Mica Beach - Lake Chatuge NC
Garnet Sand - Idaho
Star Sand - Taketomi Japan
Photo credit to Doug Moore for some of the macro shots of my sands
Black Sand - Punaluu (Bay)
Beach Hawaii  
Olivine Sand Peridot
hornblendeb.& basalt
Shaver Lake, Camp
Edison, California
Shell Beach, California
carnelian, agate, quartz, obsindian
Garnet Sand - Doe Creek, Franklin NC
Lido di Enea, Variante,
Lavinio, Lazio Rome Italy
water clear quartz, has some pretty rainbows
Garnet sand
Detrital Zercons, Associated Mines
Plage Cola
Longa, ile de San Antioco
This is one of my favorites. Complete tiny
little shells and red coral (one grain of
sand.) This is a very rare sand to find
Magnetite Sand, Maricopa Co. Arizona
Sand Dunes, between Dubai & Fujairah
United Arab Emirates
A pretty quartz sand- Citrine
Colonial Beach
Fredricksburg, VA
Sand I started with
before sand trading
And don't forget, to collect some sand.
Malachite & Azurite, Prescott, Arizona