What is Sea Glass?
Also called beach glass or mermaid tears, sea glass is a shard of glass that can be found on most shores around the world. Sea glass originally started as a typical household glass object such as a milk jug, perfume bottle, Depression glass, window pane, medicine or soda bottle. One way or another the glass ended up in the ocean and over time was tumbled naturally by the waves until it washed up on the shore, leaving each piece as a one of a kind. Many people walk by and don’t realize the history and decades of tumbling it took to create this wonderful treasure. With some imagination and a creative mind, the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” becomes a reality.
Where do you find Sea Glass?
Sea glass can be found on most shores. Most of my current collection is from the New England area, North Carolina, Glass Beach in Bermuda, Barbados, and Grand Cayman Islands. Sea glass is found in areas that routed a high amount of water traffic decades ago. Remember, sea glass can be hundreds of years old, so you need to research your history. Keep in mind, glass has been around since the B.C. era. An old landfill can now be the site of a sea glass sanctuary. It’s all about knowing what has happened there many years ago.
Is your sea glass real?
Yes, all the sea glass that I use is real. Finding the sea glass is actually one of my favorite parts of the job. I have always enjoyed collecting treasures washed up by the waves. Many people ask “Why don’t you just tumble the glass? Wouldn’t that be easier?” I believe that finding the glass is part of the fun. Also, I love the mystery that comes with each piece right off the beach. I imagine the story behind the piece and wonder how far it traveled and how long it took to find me. Genuine sea glass has a brilliance that man made tumbled glass will never achieve.
How many colors of sea glass are there?
Sea glass comes in all colors. However, some colors are rarer than others. According to Richard LaMotte, (Author of Pure Sea Glass), there are four main categories of rarity. Common colors include kelly green, brown, and white. Uncommon colors include soft green, soft blue, forest green, lime green, amber, and jade. Rare colors consist of pink, aqua, cornflower blue, cobalt blue, opaque white, citron, and purple. Finally, the extremely rare class includes orange, red, turquoise, yellow, black, teal, and gray (LaMotte, Pure Sea Glass 2004). Based on my beach combing experience, I tend to agree. I’ve been lucky enough to find some of the extremely rare colors myself. If you would like to know more about a particular color be sure to visit the shop by color page.
For more information I recommend the book Pure Sea Glass by Richard LaMotte. This book provides an in depth description of sea glass. Topics from the history of glass to the science behind what breaks down glass are discussed. You will be amazed by the fantastic photography of Celia Pearson. It is an essential book for every sea glass collector.