Most of my life I've been interested in earth sciences, especially geology. As part of this interest, I've always collected geological samples whether these be rocks, fosils, gemstones or whatever.

Recently, I had reason to look at a small sample of local sand under my microscope and was fascinated by the "miniature rocks" visible. Each different grain within the sample can be identified as a different types of rock, probably from a different area in my locality. I decided to look at a sand sample from a completely different area in the North West UK. This was totally different in every respect.

At this stage I looked up the words "sand collector" on the Internet and was amazed to find dozens of people around the world who were also interested in sand. Not only were they interested in the stuff but they exchanged samples with each other. What more could I ask for, geological samples from all over the world. Sounds too good to be true! I'll just have to become a "arenophile" myself.

Unfortunately initially I had no sand to exchange with, apart from a couple of local samples. To rectify this, I've done a few local trips to the Lancashire and Cumbrian coasts, collected reasonable amounts of different sand samples and have now listed all 20 samples here.

To see how the collection is increasing - if at all! - just take a look at the above page to see if I've managed to increase the collection. The date I'm starting this page is the 1st July 2001 and the list of sand samples has an "last update" date on it, so you'll be able to see how fast(!!!!) or slow the collection increases. (since writing the above, my collection has grown to such an extent that I'n no longer updating the list mentioned earlier - it would be a never ending job!).

If anyone ever wants to contact me then just e-mail me.

This is the sand sample that started all this off! Although I live 40 odd miles from the sea, this sample was obtained from a small stream near to my home. Just take a look at all the different types of rock in the sand. Local sandstone predominates but where on earth are all the other grains from and what sort of minerals are they?

13th August 2001

This is being written just six weeks after the above and what a fascinating world I've discovered in more ways than I could have imagined. I've discovered beaches fairly "local" to me which I never thought existed, I've found the most fascinating spots which well deserve further visits in the future not only for the sand (some of the places only had rocks and pebbles!) but also for the sheer beauty of the places. Perhaps the most surprising part of the hobby has been having contact with other sand collectors from around the world. What a friendly, generous bunch of people and I send my thanks to all those who have taken the time to send me samples of their sands, especially as all I have in return are some fairly mundane local sand samples. The picture below illustrates the generosity of some (many thanks Bill Beiringer in California). Thanks to everyone!



Microscopic Science Art

The Virtual Sandbox


Suebob's Sand Collecting Page

Sandcollection Page

Brazilian Sand Page

Fernwood Sand Collecting Home Page

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