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sand - sand with grains derived from olivine weathered from basalt and coral from an offshore reef - 250 ml glass display bottle with ground-glass stopper

$ 22.00

Olivine forms at temperatures and pressures found in the earth's mantle and is carried up in the basalt from a mantle hot spot that forms the Hawaiian Islands. 

Beaches are uncommon on the seacliff-ringed Island of Hawaii. Occasional small coves have sand derived primarily from basalt unless there is a coral reef offshore. Sand is derived from whatever material is locally available.

This sand was collected in the 1994 from a tiny cove near South Point, Hawaii, where a local concentration of olivine had weathered out of the basalt and was concentrated by the waves. An offshore reef contributed grains of coral, which make up roughly half of this sand. Olivine is almost twice as dense as quartz, which is the typical source material of the white sand beaches of the continental USA, so it is not as easily swept out to sea by wave action.  

Hawaii's white sand beaches at Waikiki were initially an import, from California. In the 1920s and 1930s sand was barged from Long Beach, though the import of California sand was abandoned in the 1970s and the beach is now maintained with locally dredged sand composed of coral and shell fragments. A locally famous black sand beach occupies a cove southwest of Hilo, where the sand is entirely basalt. At Mahana Bay, where there is an often tourist-visited green sand beach, the greenish sand is composed of grains of olivine that weather out of the basalt of an old cinder cone. 

We had this sand in storage and thought it was entirely olivine. Interesting, since it shows that sand is composed of whatever material is available. The white grains are coral and some shelly material, black are basalt. Green grains are olivine.

These bottles are 250 ml, 5" high, with a ground glass stopper, and make a good display. Note that these have been affected by covid. No germs, but bottles from our regular supplier look like they were made by someone working remotely, grinding the stoppers by hand. Formerly the neck of the bottle and the stopper were machine ground and fit perfectly. Now the fit is loose, so we ship these with a cork, but supply the "rustic" glass stopper along with the cork until we run out of "covid specials" and can get machine-ground bottles again.

When this material is gone, it's gone. It was collected in 1994 - a recent law now prohibits removal of sand from Hawaii's beaches. Supply is limited.

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