Sands are unconsolidated sediments composed of individual grains ranging in size from 1/16mm to 2mm. Smaller particles would be considered silt; larger ones, gravel.

Sands can be of many different mineral compositions, not just the quartz which is perhaps the most well known. The black sands of Hawaii are largely olivine (the green ones peridot). Many sands are largely calcite, the result of the breakdown of sea shells and corals. The famous White Sands of New Mexico are composed of gypsum. The sands of north east Florida contain valuable concentrations of the titanium minerals ilmenite and rutile.

Many people collect sands as a hobby during their travels. These people are called arenophiles. Sands are quite distinctive, and make for an interesting keepsake.

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