Collecting Sea Glass
For those of you who are new to Sea Glass we’ve collected a little bit of information to get you started. Experiencing a surge of popularity, collecting Sea Glass has become a worldwide phenomenon. Join us on our Facebook page and share your questions with collectors and Artisans attending our event! We’d love to hear from you.
You can also jump over to our ‘Sea Glass Gallery’ page where some of our viewers have sent in pictures of their great finds!
Sea glass (or beach glass) is glass found on beaches along oceans or large lakes that has been tumbled and smoothed by the water and sand, creating small pieces of smooth, frosted glass. Sea glass originates from bottles and jars that enter the water as litter and become broken up by the waves and rocks. Green, clear, brown, and amber beach glass is common (consider the most common colors of beer-bottles), though light blues, yellows and pink varieties have also been known to appear. Much more rare are grey, purple, bright red, and the black varieties. Red sea glass is found only once for every 5,000 pieces found, while the rarest of all seaglass, orange, can be found about once every 10,000 pieces. “Black” sea glass is rarely found and often originates from pre-1860 glass that is actually dark olive green. Some black sea glass is found around Australia and PEI, originating from 1940s beer bottles. Its rarity is due to the obscure materials that were used with glass to make the bottles, which increased its rate of decomposition.
The North American Sea Glass Assciation provides specific information on how to distinguish genuine from artificial Sea Glass along with some ‘buying tips’ to help you out if you are unfamiliar with the characteristics of authentic Sea Glass.
For some who are new to sea glass, finding a smooth, white (clear) piece of sea glass can truly be fun, there is no question about that. For many it starts as something simple, like picking up broken glass. Then if you are lucky, some of that broken glass seems to actually be quite pretty, rounded, perhaps even a nice color. For many sea glass collectors, finding broken glass and common colors (white/clear, green and brown) is what happens most of the time.
Finding out then that sea glass can be found in a wide range of colors, in varying levels or rarity…is what turns the leisurely beach comber, into a true sea glass enthusiast.
Time playing a large factor in collecting, because for those who dedicate time in this pursuit…something wonderful happens…gems are found. Pieces of glass that recall days of old. As you wonder where these pieces of glass came from, the allure of finding more will keep you walking for miles.