Gulf Coast Students Design Tar Ball Jewelry

A creative college freshman and her friends are making unique jewelry out of tar from the BP oil spill. Smarter still? Proceeds pay for their school expenses.

One Alabama teenager is turning tar into treasure by creating jewelry out of the waste from the BP oil disaster. Jessica Boykin and her father came up with the idea after a July 4th walk on a public beach on Dauphin Island, where they found tar balls and oil sludge where there used to be pristine sandy shores.


Oil Coast Jewelry emerged out of the experience, a website where Boykin and her fellow students sell their designs – each made out of oil extracted from tar balls, acrylic and sterling silver charms.

“I’ve had the help of other students and friends whose families have been affected by the oil spill. Working together we have created many pieces of oil coast jewelry – each one unique,” Boykin writes on her website.

The response to their efforts has been remarkable. As of today, the entire jewelry inventory is sold out, but the diligent designers are busy making new product and hope to bring stock to stores in the area soon – all good news for Gulf Coast parents since proceeds from the project go towards college expenses.

For more information on Oil Coast Jewelry, visit

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