Collecting Themes

Many sand collectors collect their sand based on one or more specific themes with perhaps the most common theme being the countries of the world – they seek to collect at least one sample from every country. Most do this my trading sand with other collectors, although it is possible that a select few might have the financial resources and the free time to physically collect themselves. Another common theme is collecting sand from all the 50 states of the United States of America.

Just about any theme is suitable for sand collecting. You might only collect sand from the beaches of your own country or from locations within easy travelling distance. Many collectors content themselves with collecting samples while on holiday to such places as the Mediterranean or Caribbean. In fact, the number of themes is almost endless and only restricted by the desires of the collector.

My own collecting theme, is that of the British Isles, particularly Scotland, essentially because that’s where I live and don’t like travelling abroad. I also only collect sand (and similar materials) that I can physically collect myself. As to the types of sand collected, I’m happy with just about anything from anywhere, from beaches, quarries, roadside excavations and even caves and mines, just so long as it can be categorised as sand by passing through a 2.00 mm sieve.

Collecting sand based on geographical themes is not the only way collectors base their collection, some are more interested in the colours of the sand, seeking to gather as wide a range of colours as possible, from the purist white to the deepest black, and every shade in between.

Another popular theme, if it can be called that, is no theme at all. Collectors are happy with sand from anywhere, either traded or collected themselves. Just so long as it’s approximately sand – and even small gravel will count – it can be collected. One collector based his collecting on whether the sample would fit inside the display container or not.

The great thing about sand collecting is that there are no rules, no fixed themes you have to adhere to – you can please yourself what you collect and where you collect it from. If you feel like only collecting sand when the moon if full that’s entirely up to you! No-one is going to point out that any given sample is not strictly sand and even if they do what does it matter!

Copyright ©2020 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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