Bare feet on a sandy beach say “ahhh”. Beach lovers everywhere know this. Our South Carolina blond and beautiful sand consists mostly of quarts and shells. Quartz, an extremely durable mineral, leaves most other minerals behind on the long journey from the ancient Appalachian Mountains. Close observers may also notice the darker (and warmer) sand in front of the dune line. The dark sand is an iron titanium oxide, known as ilmenite.
An ocean wave washes up a beach with more energy than it’s backwash. Because of this, Ilmenite, which is almost twice a dense as quartz, gets washed up to the top of the beach and then abandoned, forming the black sand.
The Sand Ceremony has become popular, especially for beach and Island weddings. The bride and groom pour different colored sand from two separate vessels into a single wedding vessel, thus serving as a metaphor of joining of two lives into one. Here in South Carolina, quartz sand and ilmenite sand work beautifully, creating a truly native marriage mixture.