The origin of the event dates back to the early 1900s, when fishermen used glass floats as markers on their nets. Occasionally, the floats would break loose and wash ashore for lucky beachcombers to find and keep. Collecting the rare, highly sought-after glass floats became a hobby in the 1950s.
On Jekyll Island, the tradition continues with the annual Island Treasures event. Artists from across the country are selected to create one-of-a-kind glass floats. New for this year, treasure hunters will now hunt for clear, plastic globes that can be exchanged for a handmade glass float at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center.
Island Treasures are always hidden in plain view, in public spaces. Beach Buddies will never place a treasure in the dunes, marshes, animal habitats or private property. And, each weekend, Beach Buddies will double the number of globes hidden around the island. A full FAQ is available on the Jekyll Island website to help treasure hunters.
“Over the years, we’ve received feedback from guests about the Island Treasures event,” said Hood. “The same comment came back time and again – make it easier for more folks to find a float.”
With this in mind, the team at JIA fine-tuned the Island Treasures event. This year, clear, plastic globes will be hidden instead of the actual glass floats. Inside each plastic globe, treasure hunters will find a card with instructions to take the globe to the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center. Each card will have a number that corresponds to a real, handcrafted Island Treasure. Hunters will be limited to one glass float per household per year, increasing everyone’s chance to find a glass float. Hunters will also receive a certificate of authenticity and artist biography for their one-of-a-kind float. The Guest Information Center will be open daily, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m