Frequently Asked Questions

Our mission is to provide only the most historically accurate products in the world and I will not compromise our integrity.  That is why all the sand collected was personally gathered by me.  All the video filmed was done personally by me, and all products have a notarized affirmation of authenticity.

Where was the sand collected from in Normandy?

The landing area on D-Day covered approximately 50 miles of France’s northern coastline in Normandy. The sand comes from each of the Normandy invasion beaches code named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juneau and Sword. More specifically, the sand was collected from the exact location of each of the initial first wave assaults of the Allied forces into France on June 6, 1944.

Where was the sand collected from for the US Army Landing and Operations plaque?

After researching the landing sites for the US Army invasion of Europe covering the period of November, 1942 to August, 1944, the sand was collected in Fedala, Morocco (Torch), Gela, Sicily (Husky), Salerno, Italy (Avalanche), Anzio, Italy (Shingle), Omaha Beach, France (Overlord), Utah Beach, France (Overlord) and Sainte-Maxime, France (Dragoon).

Where was the sand* collected from for the Iwo Jima Landing Plan plaque?

This sand*was collected from the February 19, 1945 United States Marine Corps Landing Beaches, Iwo Jima, Japan — Green, Red 1, Red 2, Yellow 1, Yellow 2, Blue 1 & from the top of Mount Suribachi.

What!?  You have a new plaque?  When did this happen?

Yes, finally we have a new plaque.  The Iwo Landing Plan Plaque has been requested almost since the day we started in January 2015.  The initial thought process started in June 2016 but did not really get off the ground until the following year.  The Iwo Jima assault by the United States Marines was studied and researched extensively over the next two years.  The plaque was created, designed, tested and prepared for production.   The only thing holding up the plaque was the sand,* and that problem was solved on March 23, 2019.

Why does the sand in your first two plaques look so much different from each landing beach?

Beaches come in many colors: white, black, tan, yellow, red, and more. The geology of the surrounding area determines the color of those rocks. This determines what material is available for a beach. The colors are from the different rocks and minerals that make up the sand. The color of the sand on any particular beach usually reflects the surrounding landscape and the makeup of the adjoining ocean floor.

(Click to enlarge)

Will you continue to produce plaques after the 70th Anniversary of D-Day?

We are certifying plaques commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day with a Certificate of Authenticity.  After this edition is over we will offer plaques certifying only that the sand came from the June 6, 1944 D-Day landing beaches and not to an anniversary year.

Will you have a limited number of your ETO Plaques available?

No, these plaques will not be limited in numbers.

Will you have a limited number of your Iwo Jima Plaques available?

Possibly.  Iwo Jima is not the easiest place in the world to get to.  Ito Jima (as it is now known) in all respects does not exist except as a Japanese Military Base.

Do you have any licenses to sell your plaques?

I am licensed as a retail vendor in South Carolina and have transient vendor licenses for other states I might offer our plaques in person.  We did apply for a license from the USMC and I am an Official Hobbyist of the USMC: License number 19329.

I have heard that you can find bits of shrapnel in the sand.  Is that true?

Amazingly enough, you can.  It does appear that you can find iron/steel in the Normandy sand.  We initially were able to locate the shrapnel in the sand from Omaha Beach so far, though research indicates it is possible to find it in all the invasion beaches.  Some research indicates that up to 4% of the make up of the sand is shrapnel.  When you get your plaque, place a strong magnet over the vial of Omaha Beach sand and you might be able to attract very, very small particles to the magnet.  All the sand from Omaha that we have tested to date has shown this to be true.  We now have just found pieces of schrapnel in the Utah and Gold sand also!!  Good luck!!!!

Surprisingly enough to us, we have found iron/steel in all the other beach sand except Fedala to this point.

What about finding bits of shrapnel in the sand* from Iwo Jima?

The sand* from Iwo Jima is “exploding" with shrapnel.  Without pursuing any research, the 4% figure from Omaha will pale compared to Iwo jima.  The Iwo Jima landing beaches were a very small target for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of rounds from the United States Navy and the Japanese defenders.

How much sand is in each vial?

Each vial contains 5/8 dram, or approximately 1/12th of an ounce of sand.

How much sand* is in each vial of your Iwo plaque?

Each vial contains 1/2 dram, or approximately 1/16th of an ounce of sand.*

What is the size of my plaque?

Each plaque is 9” x 12” and ¾” thick and weighs just over 24 ounces.

Will the wood of my plaque look different than the one that you show?

Wood is a natural product, and no two plaques will look the same. Some will be darker, some will be lighter, and some will have a different wood grain. The plaques we are using are red alder wood.

How can I display my plaque?

The plaque has a keyhole cut out on the back to hang it on the wall. Another way to display your plaque would be to purchase a small easel, or upright plate display stand (remember the plaque weighs over 1 ½ pounds).  This seems to be the preferred way to display the plaques.

Can I remove the vials from the plaque?

Yes, the vials can be removed with a little bit of effort. They are held in by the friction of the cap against the wood. You can carefully “wiggle” them out and push them back in. Remember, if you take the vials out, you should take out one at a time and replace it before looking at another. They are not marked as to which beach they belong to. You might have a plan to mark them yourselves so you can replace them in their correct slot. We have found that a small adhesive label (1/4” x ¾”or smaller) attached to the back of the vial will allow you to write the name of the beach and return it to its correct position on the plaque. A label this size cannot be seen from the front when displayed.

My plaque’s vials are upside down and the photographs show them to be the other way around.  Did you assemble them in Australia? 

No, they are assembled here in South Carolina.  Initially the design was as seen in the photographs.  About three years ago, whether by act or accident, the vials were placed in a plaque upside down.  The reaction from our focus groups and customers was amazingly positive.  The placement of the vials now make it appear even more like a monument with a base under the sand. The plaques will all be made like this from now on.  If you were an early customer and want to order the other plaque with the vials to match up, let us know and we will make a special order for you.  Sometime in the not so distant future our website photos will be updated.

Can I get a discount if I purchase more than one plaque?

Yes. Purchasing any two or more plaques will be discounted $10.00 each.

I live in South Carolina.  Do I have to pay sales tax?

Yes. If you live in South Carolina, you will also pay 8% sales tax.  However, if you contact us using the CONTACT US form and let me know your South Carolina address, we will email you a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING for South Carolina residents to offset some of the sales tax “bite!!"

When can I expect to get my plaque?

Because of the demand for the collector plaques, we are anticipating delivery to you could take up to two weeks, however the shipping dates currently are about three days from your order date.   They are being processed on a first come, first served basis. We hope to speed that up shortly as we catch up with the orders. If you should need a faster delivery for a special occasion or gift, please use our “Contact Us" page and we will see what we can do to expedite your order.  If it is easier for you to call, then contact us at 803-663-7854 and leave a message and number if you reach the answering machine.

What is a certificate of authenticity?

A certificate of authenticity (COA)  is commonly a seal on paper authenticating a specific art work which and is made to demonstrate that the item is authentic. COAs are mostly common in the art world. Generally speaking, a valid COA for an artwork will include specific details about the artwork like when and how it was produced, the names of people involved in the artwork’s production, the work’s exact title, and the names of reference.

Your COA will be printed, signed and notarized as to the collection, location, and provenance of the sand from the invasion beaches of Normandy and/or the European Theater of Operation, as well as the sand* from the Iwo Jima Landing Beaches.

It can’t be my eyes but I keep seeing the " * " character when you mention sand* from the Iwo Jima Landing Plan plaque.  Am I missing something?

Yes.  This black “sand" is not the typical sand people associate when they think of beach sand.  The black “sand" from Iwo Jima is unique to volcanic islands.  The “sand" forms when hot lava contacts the much cooler sea water causing a violent, explosive interaction.  This interaction causes the lava, in this case basalt, to shatter into millions and millions of fragments, and produces this volcanic ash.  The basaltic glass grains feel very sharp and unlike any beach sand* that most people experience.

Is there a copyright on the plaques?

Yes, the Library of Congress issued a copyright on the Final Overlord Plan Plaque in 2014 and in 2016 on the US Army European Theater of Operation Plaque.  A copyright has been applied for on our new Iwo Jima Landing Plan Plaque.

I read somewhere that you donate a portion of your proceeds to a couple of 501(c)(3) foundations.  Is that true?

A portion of your purchase price is donated to the National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, VA when you purchase either of our first two plaques.

A portion of your purchase price for our Iwo Jima Landing Plan plaque will be donated to the Iwo Jima Association of American (IJAA) in honor of all those members of the United States Marine Corps who served in this invasion and battle in the Pacific Ocean.

Have you received any feedback on your plaques?

Yes, we have.  Here is a sampling.  Thank you every one for your purchase and kind words.

  • Joel, I received my plaque today. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with it . Thank you again , it is beautiful and as I said, it will be in my family for a very long time.
  • I received the plaque and it is beautiful. I gave it as a gift to my friend who was at the 70th anniversary but could not get sand from the 5 beaches. He had already gotten sand from Utah and Omaha and I thought this would be the perfect gift, as he was very disappointed that he could not get sand from all 5 beaches.  He totally loved it.
  • I received my plaque today and it’s everything that was described. It will be a privilege and a pleasure to have it in my home. Thank you for the opportunity to acquire the plaque.
  • Just want to say the plaque arrived and wow I’m very happy with it. I might post a pic of it on instagram.
  • The plaque arrived as quoted on April 13th, and I could not be more pleased. It is certainly a welcome addition to my small, private museum.
  • The plaque is gorgeous. I had many comments on it, thanks for the fast service.
  • This plaque is beautiful, my son loves it. I wanted to let you know that we have seen your ad in both “America In WWII" and “WWII  History" magazines. I was very impressed with your product and your customer service. Thank you very much.
  • Thanks for reminding folks about that great and terrible Day of Days.
  • My Father-in Law is a WWII vet about to celebrate his 90th birthday. He landed at Normandy, was later wounded, sent to England to recover, upon recovery sent back, was in the Battle of the Bulge where he was captured and interned as a POW. We thought that your plaque would be a perfect gift for him. Thank you very much.
  • Your piece just arrived about an hour ago and it is very well made. It will be a nice addition to my collection. Great job. I am actually thinking about buying one for a friend of mine. I will let you know. I applaud your enthusiasm and your dedication.
  • Hi.  Received the Plaque on Thursday 4/16.  Great piece.  Very Pleased …  Saw the item in an ad in WWII Magazine to which I subscribed to for a few years.  Thanks again for such a Great Item to remember a very special day.  Thanks.
  • I received your plaque.  Thank you very much for the kind gesture.  The detail and quality is outstanding!
  • Thank you for your prompt delivery.  You are going to make my husband’s Christmas!!
  • Thanks again for making a great product and honoring those that fought and died during that time.
  • I will be majoring in History with WWII.   I am very excited to get this beautiful piece of art.  I plan on using it as a teaching tool.
  • My son and I both absolutely treasure these wonderful works of art and history…thank you for making them.
  • The plaque is beautiful and an awesome conversation starter!  My husband’s Grandfather landed on Normandy Beach so this is a great way to remember him.
  • I got the plaque on 12/1. Very impressive.  I read all the ww2 and aviation magazines and saw your ad in one of them but can’t remember which one. When I tried to find it again, I couldn’t. I am a D-Day baby +3 years and my uncle came through Normandy + 6 days, so this plaque will be a great conversation piece.
  • Great experience!  Got a beautiful plaque, shipped immediately and arrived early.