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St. Simons Real Estate: Riches Await Summer Visitors

St Simons Island and Sand DollarFor many people who comb St. Simons real estate for treasures, it’s a thrill to find sand dollars. As such, the organisms are one of the most sought after beach combing finds around.

Unfortunately in their excitement, many visitors forget to check and see if the marine creatures are alive or dead before placing them into their beach bags or pails. Having lived in the Golden Isles for many years, our real estate agents have a few tips on determining a sand dollar’s status.

When they are alive, young and healthy, these tiny, round members of the Gnathostomata super order are covered in a downy, dark-colored material. In addition, the sea creature’s entire circumference is covered in diminutive, finger-like cilia. Both the down and cilia start to fade away shortly after the invertebrates’ death.

So in the early, post-mortem stages the sand dollar’s exterior may take on a dusky gray, molted or off-color hue.

As time goes on, however, the entire surface is washed clean from the elements. Accordingly, only the creature’s bleached skeleton will remain visible in the sand. So the best way to identify the living from the dead is with a cursory, visual examination. If healthy down and cilia remain, St. Simons real estate agents recommend leaving the sea creatures where they lay.

If they don’t have the required surface layers, it should be safe to take the sand dollars home or elsewhere for further examination.

If the sand dollars are removed from St. Simons’ beach real estate, there are several ways to preserve them for decorative use. However, one of the best ways is just to let the Golden Isles’ natural sunlight bleach them out.

Why? Using artificial bleaching means tends to weaken the remaining skeleton’s integrity and may sometimes add an unwanted, yellow hue.

To learn more about these invertebrates and other riches to be found on St. Simons, please contact DeLoach Sotheby’s International Realty today.

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