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Jekyll Island's Hidden Treasures

Winter isn’t everyone’s favorite time to hit the beach, but it’s the best time to go exploring on Georgia’s Jekyll Island.

The smallest of Georgia’s barrier islands, Jekyll has a rich history that reaches back centuries, as well as breathtaking scenery and miles of beaches. But if you visit this beautiful island during January or February, you may notice a colorful glass globe nestled in the sand. This whimsical-looking sight is part of Jekyll Island’s Island Treasures, celebrated for the first two months of the year since 2002. Since then, more than 1,000 globes have been discovered.

These collectible treasures mimic the glass globes once used on fishermens’ nets in the early 1900s to help keep them afloat. The floats would sometimes break loose of the nets and wash ashore for lucky people to stumble upon. Collecting these globes became a hobby during the 1950s when the fishing industry replaced the glass with plastic and Styrofoam floats, making the glass floats rare and valuable.

island treasuresStarting New Year’s Day and continuing until the end of February, Jekyll Island recreates this unique treasure hunting experience. The artisans who make the glass balls use the same techniques that have been used for thousands of years to create glass art pieces. Each globe has a unique design and is stamped with the year of the hunt on its base. About three to five treasures are hidden daily, and clues are posted on Jekyll Island’s Facebook page.

Take the perfect excuse for a weekend excursion and get in touch with your inner treasure hunter. Even if you don’t find a globe, getting to experience Jekyll Island and its pristine beaches can be a treasure itself. Those who do find an “island treasure” can register them at the Jekyll Island Visitor Information Center to receive a biography of the artist who crafted the globe, as well as a certificate of authenticity.

If you’re not so lucky, you can buy your own island treasure for $65.


Photo Credits: Featured image courtesy of Jenn Agnew; story photo from Jekyll Island’s Facebook page.

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