| Anna Jasper
Next time you’re walking on a stretch of warm sandy beach don’t stare at the sky, check between your toes, you may strike it rich and find a sand dollar! OK, so I’m not talking rich in the traditional sense, but some people love collecting special treasures from the ocean. Like our Founder Lucy, who spent endless hours as a child looking for precious sand dollars on the pure, white sandy beaches near her family home in Saudi Arabia.
Lucy’s love for all things beachy inspired her to bring these gems to the market, and her childhood memories made an obvious choice for the company name. This non-stop mum of 2 says. “Some of my best memories as a kid were collecting treasures of shells and sand dollars from the beach during weekends and holidays! It’s something I do with my kids now, I love watching their excitement when they find something precious.”
So what are they? Sand dollars are actually the skeletons of a particular type of sea urchin. I know what you’re thinking, scary, spiny creatures that live on the sea floor and are most definitely not to be stepped on, but sea urchins come in many shapes and sizes.
Sand dollars are closely related to sea cucumbers and starfish and their unusual appearance has had people fascinated for centuries. With its five-pointed design the dry shell resembles a flower petal - or the shape of a starfish on top of a rock. Their life expectancy is 7 to 10 years and once they die the hard-shell washes onto the beach where the sunlight bleaches it until it is nearly white.
The name “sand dollar” came from centuries ago, when explorers began finding these unusual ‘rocks’ on beaches. As they resembled the large coins used back then they earned their monetary-linked name. Some people even believed that they were a form of currency used by underwater creatures, such as mermaids!
So, the next time you find a bleached white shell on the beach with a faint pattern on top, don’t throw it back into the water, take that little gem home and share the wealth!
Some of Lucy’s favourite pieces that remind her of happy childhood memories.