• Sandstone
  • Mines Producing Sandstone

Sandstone has been admired throughout the centuries because of its attractive appearance as well as its building qualities. It is a natural rock that is formed from sand sized rock grains or minerals drawn directly from the earth's crust.

Feldspar and Quartz are the Primary Minerals That Form Sandstone
The primary minerals that comprise most sandstones are feldspar and quartz. Feldspar is the most common rock forming mineral in the world, making up 60 percent of the earths crust. Sand stone is a sedimentary rock, a rock formation that originates with the depositing of material on the surface of the Earth within bodies of water.The sedimentation that takes place can be clearly seen in the 'figure,' or patterns, formed that gives the rock much of its attractiveness. The course organic and/or mineral particles that settle to form the sediment accumulates over time along with certain minerals precipitating from a solution.

Sandstone Harmonised With its Environment
Besides the attractive patterns formed by sedimentation, sandstone is also renown for its vibrant tones, or colours, its durability and its easy maintenance. Sandstones vary greatly in both colour and texture. This feature depends on the rock's composition and its geographical location. A reason why sandstone is much sought after as a building material is that it easily harmonises with the environment in which it is located.

Although most sandstones come in colours such as gray, white, yellow, tan or brown, vibrant colours such as pink and red are commonly found in areas where iron is also present. This is evident in the changing colours visible in sandstone cliffs. An iron content in sandstone will give it added strength along with its sometimes breathtaking orange/reddish hues.

Sandstone has Great Weathering Features
Sandstone has one of the better weather enduring features than do few other natural stones, a major reason why it is favoured as a building material. This, along with its natural beauty make it a highly prized stone for a feature wall, or stone fence. Sandstone was used in buildings constructed in ancient Egypt and India. It is still sought after today for residential buildings, commercial buildings, stonemasons, architects and landscapers.

Common Uses of Sandstone
Some common uses of sandstone include the following:
Fountains and statues Homewares
Building and landscaping
Grindstones for sharpening of steel instruments and tools as well as for grinding grain Construction of bridges, temples and government buildings

Features That Distinguish Sandstone From Limestone
Sandstone and limestone have many common features in that both are sedimentary rocks, both originated as layers of loose grains that were later compacted and cemented to form rocks, both can contain fossils, both under some circumstances, can be soft and crumbly or alternatively be solid and quite hard. However their differences are equally profound. Limestone is composed of calcuim carbonate and sandstone is mainly composed of silica (silica dioxide). The silica mineral in sandstone is quartz whereas the calcium carbonate mineral in limestone is calcite. When limestone suffers weathering a thin alkaline soil normally forms above it. When sandstone is exposed to weathering the soil above becomes acid which allows peat to form.

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