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