Click to enlargeSahara Sand Roses

Gypsum is a common mineral that is dissolved in the sea water, and crystallizes by the concentration calcium sulfate through evaporation. In the Sahara, gypsum outcrops in the Miocene formations are found along the coast of the Red Sea. At some rare locations, it crystallizes in the form of sand roses, one of the many gypsum crystal habits that explain its popularity among mineral collectors.

Sand roses can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that depends on the characteristics of the sand in which they grow. Since sand roses are found at the surface, most of the people think they originate there. In fact, sand roses are not pebbles shaped by wind, but crystallize at the water table, below the surface, where large, fresh crystals can be found.

No one sand rose is identical to any other. Since pure gypsum is transparent, sand roses are the color of the sand in which they are embedded, usually dark brown. If the sand is coarser, sand rose substance looks like honey. Sand roses are found in a variety of sizes, ranging from small rosettes a centimeter across to large clusters, more than one meter in diameter. Sand rose clusters rarely lie at the surface. Hard digging is necessary to reach the water table and your pain is not over. These natural treasures are worth the effort.

Barite Sand Roses have a rose-like appearance of the rock’s petal-shaped clusters is due to the intergrowth of crystals of barite into a cluster of divergent blades. Barite was precipitated in interconnected voids in the rock, probably from barium-rich marine waters that covered the Permian Garber Sandstone during or shortly after its deposition about 250 million years ago. The rose-like concretions incorporated the iron-stained quartz sand grains and thus acquired the red color of the host Garber Sandstone.

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Click to enlargeGypsum/Selenite Desert RoseRoundish specimen.

Overall Size 3" x 3"

GP-101Regular price: $52.00Sale price: $30.00
Click to enlargeGypsum/Selenite Desert RoseVery nice piece.

Overall Size 4" x 3.5"

GP-103Regular price: $60.00Sale price: $38.00
Click to enlargeBarite Sand RoseOverall Size: 10" X 8" and 3.5" Deep -- Weight 8 lbs

SR-103Regular price: $95.00Sale price: $72.00
Click to enlargeGypsum/Selenite Desert Rose -- SOLDBeautiful specimen.

Overall size 4" x 3"

Click to enlargeGypsum/Selenite Desert Rose -- SOLDLARGE desert rose, lots to look at and admire.

Overall Size 8.5" x 7.5"


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