The small little Pansy Shell that is associated with Palmyra Stays and Stilbaai is also referred to as a Sand Dollar in other parts of the world.
Wikipedia has an interesting article on the pansy shell.
The Pansy shell is rich in symbolism that represent the story of the Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the top part of the shell you can clearly see in the center a star, which represents the Star of Bethlehem that led the Wise Men to the manger when Christ was born. Around it is the outline of the Easter lily, a sign of Our Lord’s Resurrection.
At the edges of the star are four holes and in the center another one. These remind us of the four Sacred Wounds of Our Lord on His Hands and Feet that He bore after being nailed to the Cross. A center hole, the fifth, represents the pierce Wound to His Sacred Heart made by the spear of Longinus.
If you turn the sand dollar over, you will find an outline of the Poinsetta, the Christmas flower.
Finally, if you break open the sand dollar, five "doves" emerge – the doves of the Peace and Joy of Christmas. There are always five doves every time you open one.
There is a beautiful little poem by an anonymous author:
The legend of the Sand dollar
That I would like to tell
Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ
Found in this lowly shell.
If you will examine closely,
You'll see that you find here
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman's spear.
On one side the Easter Lily,
It's center is the star
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.
The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side
Reminds us of His birthday,
Our joyous Christmas tide.
Now break the center open
And here you will release
The five white doves awaiting
To spread good will and peace.
This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me.
To help to spread His Message
Through all eternity.
Thank you Margaret C. Gallitzin for sharing this.