Why does the sand and shallow ocean water in San Diego appear to be flecked with gold?

Recently spent time in Coronado just outside of San Diego, CA and we were fascinated by the floating "gold dust" in the shallow waters of the ocean and those same flecks of gold that permeated the sand. What is this stuff – does anybody know? I wanted to bottle it up and bring it home, just because it was so mesmerizing and it made me think of the early settlers who came out to CA for the gold rush!

More than likely is that your "gold dust" is composed of small pieces of mica – a platelike mineral that reflects light very well.

2 Comments

  • Caliban

    I believe that sand at that location is primarily quartz with a small mixture of feldspar. My brother was based down there (US NAVY) and I have been there many times.
    References :

  • Joachin Murrieta

    More than likely is that your "gold dust" is composed of small pieces of mica – a platelike mineral that reflects light very well.
    References :
    I’ve done geological work all along the beach from San Deigo north…Blacks Beach was a reall trip….

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