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sand is way to soft hardness of 7 - 7.5, normal grit is silicon carbide is much harder at 9 to 9.5 on the mohs scale. To get a better price you need to buy at least 25 lbs, 50 is better, if doing a lot of tumbling. Best prices are a 300lb. barrel. I know buying in this quantity is a large chunk of change, but try finding a friend or 2 to split the cost or check your local lapidary club. They may already buy in bulk and resale to members at the discounted price. Silicon carbide is the best tumbling media for rocks.
Sand, which is mostly (if not completely) quartz. Quartz has a hardness of 7. You could tumble Amethyst, Quartz, and all other substances with a hardness of 7 or above for months and see no change at all.
may I suggest Harbor Freight? They have discount grits, it may only be a dollar or to but it could be enough for you?
I make my own grit which works fine but the only downside is that it take longer to polish than regular grit. I use a mixture of flour,sand,salt,and fine crushed rocks.
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