Sand dollars are popular souvenirs collected by tourists and beachcombers around the world. The sun-bleached skeletons of these sea urchins resemble old Spanish and American dollar coins, which led early settlers to refer to them as “sand dollars.” In Spanish-speaking countries they are often known as galletas de mar—“sea biscuits” or “sea cookies.”
In Christian symbolism, the unique patterns on a sand dollar represent the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the legend of the sand dollar, the central star represents the star of Bethlehem, the five petals surrounding the star show an Easter lily, and the five holes indicate the wounds of Christ’s crucifixion. The back side of a sand dollar shows a Christmas flower outline. Last but not least, each sand dollar carries five “doves” (the remnants of the urchin’s teeth) inside it. When the sand dollar is broken apart, the doves emerge to spread peace and joy.
Some believe sand dollars to be mythical coins lost by mermaids and washed ashore. Still others consider them to be the currency of the people of the lost city of Atlantis.
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Whichever legend intrigues you most, these new, delicate sand-dollar coins are sure to fascinate and enchant. The silver coin represents sand “dollars” in a very literal sense: issued by the Republic of Palau, it has a face value of one dollar, and its shape and reverse design closely mimic an actual sand dollar. The coins are produced by Coin Invest Trust, which applies its unique Smartminting technology to the artistic mermaid design on its obverse.
The coin ships in a treasure chest collector’s box. Full specifications are as follows:
Palau’s silver-dollar sand dollars can be purchased from a variety of retailers, including Power Coin (Italy), Minted UK (United Kingdom), LPM (Hong Kong), and Coin & Currency Institute (United States). ❑