When Beach Treasures Become Fashionable Keepsakes

April 5, 2017

Just walking along the beach on the Outer Banks can feel like opening a treasure trove. There are so many beautiful shells and rocks, and if you look carefully, you’ll find sea glass in many colors. Collecting these treasures while walking the beach is a wonderful and relaxing way to spend your time. But you can also enjoy these natural treasures through local artisan jewelry!

Many stores and boutiques in the Outer Banks sell locally made shell and sea glass necklaces, earrings and more. Mother of pearl, sea glass and wampum shells make beautiful fashion pieces for any occasion, and you will enjoy wearing your own very special connection to the Outer Banks!

Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl is the smooth, shiny, iridescent material inside of shells, particularly the shell lining of mollusks, oysters, and abalones.  Also called nacre, this inner lining of shells is created much in the same way pearls are formed.

Sea Glass
Sea glass is formed naturally when broken bottles and glass find their way into the ocean. The broken glass pieces are tumbled in the ocean for years, breaking down into soft worn edges and a frosted finish. Some of this glass comes from the shipwrecks off the coast of the Outer Banks! Wire wrapped sea glass is a very trendy fashion on the Outer Banks, each piece being unique and special.

Wampum shells
Wampum beads have an important history on the east coast. These polished shells once were used by Native Americans and colonists as gifts, decoration, and currency. The shells come from whelk (sea snails) and clams and are white and vibrant purple in color.

Jewelry made from these treasures of the Atlantic offers a precious nostalgic keepsake while also supporting many local artists who create them. You will find plenty of options popping into the local shops!