Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sand dollars: It's Alive

An alive sand dollar

The familiar exoskeleton of a sand dollar is often found cast up on a beach. When it is on the beach it is white, with an obvious five-pointed shape on the back. But a live sand dollar has a different look. Densely packed, tiny, dark purple spines cover live sand dollars and hide the star design.  Sand dollars are amazing creatures that are in fact alive despite seeming like they do not move. This video shows that sand dollars do move, as well as the difference between a live and a dead sand dollar.

I love the beach and spend a lot of time on the beach as well as in the water. The sand dollar is a favorite motif found in my Bay Moon Design jewelry.  


My latest sand dollar design is the sterling silver pair above on the left.  These are gorgeous round shaped earrings with textured sand dollar in the center of a sterling silver frame. The beach sand dollar and ear wires are sterling silver also.

The pair on the right are one of a kind handmade sand dollar earrings that are made with white sand dollar polymer clay beads and aqua blue cultured sea glass. I love the look of the aqua beach glass with these ocean earrings. These earrings are hung on natural brass ear wires.

Another pair of my handmade sand dollar earrings are made from natural brass sheets that has been embossed with a sand dollar pattern. I then hand painted and sanded these boho earrings with blue, yellow, and green patinas to created ocean earrings. I used blue beads to accentuate the royal blue in the metal . The metal has a protective coating to keep the color vivid for years to come! I have hung them on gold brass ear wires to bring out the yellow and brass metal that show through the patina.
All 3 pairs of sand dollar earrings are made with different materials and are different styles. I have also used the sand dollar motif in necklaces and bracelets.

This sand dollar bracelet features a white sand dollar bead, blue beads and handmade brass artisan clasp. This unique aqua bracelet has beautiful blue sea glass like beads. I was inspired to make the bracelet as a reminder of a recent swim in the Atlantic Ocean. I made a clasp that reminds me of the sun. The water and sun made a perfect beach day.

These are some of my favorite sand dollar facts:

The sand dollar's mouth has a jaw with five teethlike sections to grind up tiny plants and animals.

 Sometimes a sand dollar "chews" its food for fifteen minutes before swallowing.

 It can take two days for the food to digest. 

Scientists can age a sand dollar by counting the growth rings on the plates of the exoskeleton. Sand dollars usually live six to 10 years.

Sand dollars are fascinating creatures that provide me with plenty of inspiration.  I have lots of jewelry and handmade greeting cards that are inspired by the ocean in my online BayMoonDesign store.
Which of these sand dollars of mine are your favorites?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I don't spend much time around water, so lots of this was news to me! Cool video of a live sand dollar. All of your sand dollar jewelry is pretty - especially the white polymer sand dollars. So summery!