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Beach sand: start your own collection!

Posted by Jody on March 8, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer: Dr. Kristie McLin, Geologist and Smarty Pants

Beach sand: start your own collection!

Did you ever wonder what makes some sands so white, while others are tan, black, or even green, red, or pink? Next time you are at a beach, take a closer look at the sand, and you will be amazed at what you see! Tiny mineral grains, shell and rock fragments, and even glass and gems! Sand is so amazingly different at beaches worldwide that many people make a hobby of collecting the sand at the beaches (and other non-beach locations) that they visit. There is even a website for The International Sand Collectors Society ( that can tell you everything that you need to know to get started!

Muir Beach, California. Take a closer look!

All you need is a waterproof container to keep your sand sample in and a permanent marker to write the location where the sample was collected, but a spoon for digging and a magnifying glass or hand-lens to see the sand grains up close are nice accessories. For the serious collector, there are instructions for sifting, tracking, and cataloging your samples.

Be sure to check out the ISCS Photo Gallery for an amazing look at different sands from around the world! The star sands of Tonga are quite amazing!

Kehoe Beach, California

What will your sand collection look like?

2 Responses to “Beach sand: start your own collection!”

  1. Jody said

    Kristie, Thanks so much for giving me another fun activity for the seashore! I’m heading out to get my magnifying glass today. Can’t wait to try it out at Surfside Beach with Liam and Oona! ~Nana

  2. Lynn said

    I have been collecting sand from all over for years. Goes well with my shells, drift wood and other fun things from the shore 🙂

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