The mold for this pewter casting was taken from an actual sand dollar that washed up on a Cape Cod beach.
If you've strolled along a beach on Cape Cod, you've probably found a sand dollar. But what is a sand dollar? Children have been known to say that sand dollars are pressed sand that has been dried or even the money of mermaids washed-up from the deep. In reality, the fragile disk is the skeleton or "test" of a marine animal. By the time the test washes up on the beach it is missing its velvety covering of minute spines and appears somewhat bleached from the sun. It is hard to believe it was once alive.
There is also a Christian legend about the sand dollar, described in the following poem:
"There's a pretty little legend/ That I would like to tell/ Of the birth and death of Jesus/ Found in this lowly shell/ If you examine closely/ You'll see that you find here/ Four nail holes and a fifth one/ Made by a Roman's spear/ On one side the Easter lily/ It's center is the star/ That appeared unto the shepherds/ And led them from afar/ The Christmas Poinsettia/ Etched on the other side/ Reminds us of his birthday/ Our happy Christmastide/ Now break the center open/ And here you will release/The five white doves awaiting/ To spread good will and peace/ this simple little symbol/ Christ left for you and me/ To help us spread his gospel/ through all eternity."
Well, we are definitely in favor of spreading good will and peace. We'll let you decide about the rest of it.
Jeff Mitchell, the artist, is a retired Electrical Engineer who now lives in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Mass. While still working in the Boston suburbs, Jeff took up metal casting as a hobby, and now recreates creatures from the waters around Cape Cod in a high grade, lead-free pewter.
This Sand Dollar is 3" diameter, and weighs 3.7 oz. It is solid lead free pewter.