Sand is a seemingly plain but in fact enormously valuable natural resource. Sand is ubiquitous in the modern world – it is in buildings, roads, glass, and even smart phones. Yet despite its critical importance for the construction industry, infrastructure development, and urbanization projects, the extraction and consumption of sand remain comparatively unregulated in many countries, fostering illegal mining activities and the emergence of sand mafias. At current consumption levels, the world is heading into a silently but gradually mounting sand crisis as the world population continues to grow and sand reserves are slowly depleted. In order to manage sand smartly, stakeholders in the sand supply chain must gain a developed understanding of associated risks, the nature of global sand markets, domestic and international trade patterns, and the importance of regulatory mechanisms.