Heavy Mineral Garnet Sand
Orient Point, Long Island, NY
Tiny pink to reddish garnets are commonly found in sands. On the beach, swaths or layers of dark sands, perhaps with a pink to purplish hue, often include garnets.
Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that occur in many colors ranging from deep red to pink and purple to orange, green and yellow. The pink to reddish varieties are the most common. All species of garnets share a similar crystal structure, but differences in chemical compositions determines the color. Individual grains often are round, an artifact of their original 12-sided, dodecahedron crystal shape; broken grains show conchoidal fracture.
Because of their hardness and density, garnets are considered a “heavy mineral,” and they are commonly found in beach sands along with other heavy minerals including magnetite, ilmenite, zircons and even gold.
Where do garnets originate from? They are a common rock-forming mineral in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock types. As these rocks break down, the hard garnets become components of sand.
The name “garnet” comes from the Latin, granatum from its resemblance to the seeds of a pomegranate.
Big Sur, California
Clay County, Florida
Bretignolles sur Mer, Vendee, Pays de la Loire, France
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Chunky Gal Mountain, North Carolina
Cape Nome, Alaska
Lake Superior, Munising, Michigan
Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Idaho
Orient, New York
Pima County, Arizona
Napatree Point Cons. Area, Rhode Island
Biddeford Pool, Maine
Inari, Lapland, Finland
Armação dos Buzios, Rio de Janerio, Brazil
Chichagof Island, Alaska
Polar Bear Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada