As well as collecting sand in the traditional manner, there is another way of adding sand to your collection, making your own. Sand is made from a variety of materials with quartz being perhaps the most common, followed by organic remains such as coral and shell fragments. Both these materials are broken down naturally into sand by processes such as weathering and the action of wind and wave. You can make your own sand by simulating these processes ourselves.
I first came upon this idea when searching an exposure along the River South Esk, near Dalkeith. Here I found a couple of cream coloured sandstone boulders that were soft and almost decomposed back into pure sand, they were so soft that it was easy to crush a sample by hand. Two fine samples were collected that day and added to the collection.
Sandstone is one of the most obvious sources for making your own sand and a huge range of colours can be found, from almost pure white to deep red and every shade in between, even black can be found. My favourite is orange ochre and can be found in just about all the location I visit. Simply crushed with a hammer or handy rock and then sieved they can be added to your collection. Other rocks such as chalk can also be dealt with in the same manner. Chalk creates a very nice white sand when crushed.
Purists might disagree with producing sand in this manner but there really is no reason why you should not. It gives you another dimension to your collecting and the gathering of the raw materials, mostly sandstone but also coal and shale can be done at the same time as collecting your sand samples. You might wish to create a separate collection of sand created this way. Remember, there are no rules about sand collecting, only those that you create yourself.
Crushing rocks such as sandstone to create sand is fairly straight forwards. Simply place a small rock sample inside a strong polythene bag and crush with a hammer until most of the specimen is crushed. Then use a 2.00 mm sieve to remove the larger fragments. If you want finer sand, repeat the process again or use a good quality mortar and pestle to grind the sand down further.
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