Miriam’s Sandstone bead collection has a beautiful textured finish, reminiscent of the natural elements from which the beads are formed. Sandstone is a sedimentary rock, an exotic makeup of sediment, matrix, and cement that can reveal valuable geologic information. Sediment is basically petrified rock formed by water and oxygen—and composed mainly of sand-sized minerals and grains. Because of its usual cream, caramel, burnt orange and brown hues, the minerals are believed to be from sand, mud, fossils and quartz composites, and may also include feldspar, hematite and mica—even pieces of petrified wood. This exotic stone forms where sand is laid down and buried.
- This is usually a very slow process. As rivers flow toward their outlets from higher elevations, they deposit mud, silt, sand, and gravel particles, and sometimes fossils at the mouths where rivers and larger, more sedentary bodies of water meet.
- Desert dunes and beaches also can leave sandstone beds. For example, the beautiful Red Rocks of the Arizona’s Grand Canyon formed in a desert setting.
- The grains become more tightly knit together, and the sediments are squeezed into a smaller volume. This is the time when cementing material moves into the sediment, carried there by fluids charged with dissolved minerals—clays, hematite, ilmenite, feldspar, amphibole, and mica, as well small rock fragments. All these add color and character to the stone matrix.
- Some Sandstone may also include ilmenite (a weakly magnetic black or steel-gray solid known as titanium), and amphibole (needle-like crystals that can be green, black, colorless, white, yellow, blue, or brown).
- Oxidizing conditions lead to red colors from iron oxides while reducing conditions lead to darker and grayer colors. Depending on the mix of matrix and cement, Sandstone may also show a natural wide range of color from nearly white to nearly black, mixed with gray, brown, red, pink and buff.
- Here is a link to one of the many articles Miriam read on the origin and nature of this amazing and mysterious stone: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-sandstone-1441016.