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desert varnish

noun
  1. the dark, lustrous coating or crust, usually of manganese and iron oxides, that forms on rocks, pebbles, etc., when exposed to weathering in the desert.
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Origin of desert varnish

First recorded in 1900–05
Also called desert polish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018