About Black Sand

What is Black Sand

Black sand is a heavy, weakly magnetic, glossy, semi-metallic mixture of usually fine sands, found as part of a placer deposit.

Black sands are used by miners and prospectors to indicate the presence of a placer formation. Placer mining activities produce a concentrate that is composed mostly of black sand.

Black sand concentrates often contain additional valuables, other than precious metals: rare earth elements, thorium, titanium, quartz, aluminum, manganese, tungsten, zirconium and others are often fractionated during igneous magma processes into a common mineral-suite that later becomes black sands, after weathering and erosion.

Several gemstones, such as garnet, ruby, sapphire, and diamond are found in placers and in the course of placer mining, and sands of these gems are found in black sands and concentrates. Purple or ruby-colored garnet sand often forms a showy surface dressing on ocean beach placers.