Colors in Sand

April Lind collection

    Many of us think of the color of sand as from the beach we know best. But sand can be found in a rainbow of colors, from white to black to red, pink and green. Specific minerals or biogenic components impart color to sands. Black can be volcanic basalt or obsidian. Green can be olivine or glauconite, pinks and purples can be garnets. Reddish grains can be iron-stained quartz. Clean to white grains can be quartz, marble, or gypsum. “Pink” Bermuda sands are pink from marine foraminifera in the sand.  While seemingly mundane on the beach, when magnified— the mineral colors pop.

Crushed Sodalite
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Iron-stained Quartz
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Quartz Sand
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White Marble
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Glauconite Nodules
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Chlorastrolite Grains
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Azurite and Malachite Nodules
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Garnets and Iron-stained Quartz
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Iron-stained Quartz
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Garnets and Other Minerals
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Garnets and Other Heavy Minerals
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Garnets and Other Heavy Minerals
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Peridot Mine-rock Debris
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Highly-polished Quartz
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Laminated and Purple Shale
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Iron-stained Quartz
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Rounded Grains of Volcanic Sand
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Jarosite, a Sulfate Mineral
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Black Volcanic Sand
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Sand Pit
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Black Volcanic Sand
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Olivine
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Bleached Marine Sediment
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Red Scoria
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Forams and Bryozoans
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Iron-stained Quartz
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Concentrated Ilmenite
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Iron-stained Quartz (likely)
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Concentrated Zircon
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Garnet-rich Heavy Minerals
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Recycled Glass
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Concentrated Staurolite
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Shale
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Gypsum
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Glauconite
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