Kaolinite

My only “sand” sample of kaolinite, shown in the title box above, is gray.  It is from a kaolin quarry in Gordon, Georgia and came to me courtesy of a mail trade with the Georgia Mineralogy Society.  The kaolinite in central Georgia is Late Cretaceous in age (~70 million years old) and is sedimentary in origin, derived from the weathering of igneous rocks.  This region across Georgia may be better known to fossil collectors seeking terrestrial mammal bones and teeth from the overlying Eocene Formations (Rhinehart, et. al. 2019).

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My First Sand?

It has now been almost a year since I started actively collecting and trading sand.  I collected somewhere near 100 different sands last summer and fall during mineral trips or on day outings around western New York.  And during the winter I have traded some of those for others.  I think my total count exceeded 750 earlier this month when trade packages arrived from Maryland and California.

With that backdrop, imagine my surprise last January when my wife dug out three peanut butter jars from the corner of the garage labeled “Monahans Sandhills, 1995”. They were full of tan quartz-dominated sand!  She had collected the quartz-rich sand when we had lived in Midland, Texas, some 50 miles to the east.  She had earmarked them for our three sons and pretty much forgotten them (the sands, not our sons!).

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