Types of Sand Dollars

There are many types of sand dollars and our goal on this page is not going to give the scientific names of the individual types of echinoderms but instead try to mention the more common names that we have run across on the internet, from local divers and wholesalers. Also, we have found three typical ways that sand dollars are spelled. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary Sand Dollar is the correct way to spell it, Sandollar is missing the D and Sanddollar are just the two words run together but the two misspellings are very common


3 common names

Arrowhead Sand Dollar, True Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Keyhole Arrowhead Sand Dollar
  These are popular for painting beach scenes, palm trees and souvenir types of paintings on because they grow larger than the others and not as fragile as any of the others. Like most types of sand dollars these are concave on the top side and flat on the bottom. The “sand dollar doves” in these are very large. As you guessed it resembles an arrowhead and that is why they are named as such.


Keyhole Arrowhead Sand Dollar



 5 common names

Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Keyhole Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Gulf Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Florida Gulf Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Mexican Sand Dollar Arrowhead.
   These are the same as above but they have the extra hole in them which is called the keyhole.

Arrowhead Sand Dollar



4 common names

Keyhole Sand Dollar, Florida Keyhole Sand Dollar, Round Florida Sand Dollar and Round Sand Dollar.
   Most popular for use at beach themed weddings as favors, place cards and table decorations. These are also the ones used in the “The Legend of the Sand Dollar” and for jewelry such as sand dollar earrings. The long hole is why it’s called the “keyhole” sand dollar.

Florida Keyhole Sand Dollar



Florida Sand Dollar Before Sun Bleached


 2 common names

Pancake Sand Dollar, Sea Pancake Sand Dollar
The pancake sand dollar pictured below is 6” tall but very flat except for the star in the middle, it makes what looks like a small mound. The star on these protrude slightly and have very well marked edges.
Pancake Sand Dollar



Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar
   These are a very thick sand dollar measuring approximately 1-1/2” high when sitting flat on a table and are usually about 3” to 5” round and are a lot less fragile than any of the thinner types of sand dollars making them good to display in “open dish” displays and anywhere that someone may want to pick it up and check it out. The star protrudes from the top of the sand dollar giving the star a very distinctive outline.  The name fits them well because they resemble biscuits.

Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar



Sea Cookie Sand Dollar
   Generally these range from an inch to an inch and a half across and 1/4” thick, there’re solid and a very tough sand dollar making them great for crafts. They are cut as a button and actually resemble a button!

Sea Cookie Sand Dollar


3 common names

Pacific Sand Dollar, Washington State Sand Dollar, Western Sand Dollar
   The pacific sand dollar also resembles the round Florida keyhole sand dollar without the holes and looks like a partially deflated tire. Generally the sizes that can be found on the internet range from 2” to 4”.

Pacific Sand Dollar


Octagon Sand Dollar
   The octagon sand dollar resembles a stop sign, otherwise it pretty much looks like a typical Florida round sand dollar without the holes. The typical size range you find on the internet are about 3” to 5” across.

Octagon Sand Dollar


3 common names

Puffer Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar, Sea Gopher Sand Dollar, Thin Puffer Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar
   These are kind of “puffy” and I’m guessing that’s the reason for the name. They have a very thin wall and are extremely fragile. They also have the largest holes on the bottom compared to all other sand dollars listed above. Only four “arms” can be seen on the star in the middle.

Puffer Sea Biscuit Sand Dollar