What Are Some Different Types of Sand?

Different types of sand include olivine sand, volcanic sand, coral sand, garnet sand and Foraminifera sand. Other types of sand include sand from the moon, sand from Mars, frac sand, gypsum sand and ooid sand.

Olivine sand is made of bits of igneous rock. It is usually green in color and is the mineral of the prized green gemstone called peridot. Volcanic sand is made of bits of rock ejected from a volcano. Volcanic sand is often dark colored, though it can contain grains of light-colored pumice. The sand-sized lunar spherules brought back from the moon are also thought to be volcanic in origin or the result of meteor strikes.

Gypsum sand is light colored and almost translucent. Finding large deposits of this sand is unusual because gypsum is water soluble. The dunes of White Sands National Monument in New Mexico are made of gypsum and exist because they are in a dry and windy desert.

Coral sand is made of the crushed skeletons of coral animals. This type of sand is also found with crushed seashells and other materials. As the name implies, ooid sand is formed from tiny, egg-shaped, egg-colored particles that form when calcium carbonate grows around a nucleus, much like a pearl.