There are many types of sand, or silica, used for glass making. There are seven grades of silica and each is desired for a different type of end product. For example glass used for making items such as lenses is made from sand with a minimum silica content. You can find more about the types of sand desired for different final products here http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/rep_pub/reports/2001/fulltext/455a4.1.pdf
Sand that is suitable for making glass must be high in silica and low in certain metallic elements such as aluminum and copper. The grains themselves must also be about uniform in size.
What the glass will be used for is based on the grade of the silica sand. Taken into consideration are silica levels, metallic content, alkali levels, losses on heating, and particle size distribution.
White sand has a reputation for being the ideal type of siliceous substance used to make glass.
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