The art of sea glass hunting is a beautiful thing. That feeling you get when you’re strolling the sandy beach and all of the sudden a shimmer in the sand catches your eye. As you bend down to get a closer look you discover a beautiful piece of sea glass. If you’re a beachcomber at heart, then you know that finding sea glass is a special treat. From the color to the shape, you never know what you might find and from where it may have come. Let’s learn more about these pretty and unique coastal treasures before you embark on your next Emerald Isle sea glass hunting adventure. Before you know it, you’ll be a sea glass expert!
all about sea glass
1. The ocean recycles pieces of trash into pieces of art.
Sea glass starts out as trash from sources like bottles, jars, glasses, plates, windows, windshields, or ceramics that are smoothed over time by the tumbling action of water, waves, and sand. Sadly, oceans end up being a dumping place for all sorts of trash, whether from ships or from those who live near the ocean.
2. Sea glass formation takes time.
As pieces of glass soak in salt water and get tossed against the sand by the waves for anywhere from 5 to 50 years, all the sharp edges and corners become smooth. The pieces of glass also take on a frosted look due to the way the sand etches the surface of the glass.
3. Sea glass has many names.
Sea glass can be called many things including mermaid’s tears, beach glass, sea gems, beach jewels, sea pearls, and drift glass. Whatever you call it, we can all agree it’s quite beautiful.
4. Sea glass and beach glass are not the same thing.
Sea glass is physically and chemically weathered glass found on beaches along bodies of salt water. These weathering processes produce naturally frosted glass. Beach glass comes from fresh water and has a different pH balance and a less frosted appearance.
5. White sea glass usually comes from clear glass.
White sea glass is one of the most common finds, because it’s usually made from clear glass that’s been tossed and turned by the waves until it gets frosty and white. Green and brown are also some of the more common sea glass colors.
6. White, brown, and green sea glass have something in common.
Bottles! Unfortunately, there was a time when throwing a bottle overboard was no big deal. While it’s certainly not cool to toss trash in the ocean, those discarded bottles and jars end up battered and broken and eventually become beautiful glass “gems.”
7. Red and orange colored sea glass is rare for a reason.
Red and orange sea glass colors are more rare. There are two reasons for that. The first is that fewer things were made from those colors. The second is that those fiery hues once required a colorant that was only derived from real gold, making them expensive.
8. Turquoise is the rarest color of blue sea glass.
Soft blue, cornflower, and aqua shades are less rare than some blues because they were used in medicine bottles, mason jars, and decorative pieces. Turquoise is the rarest blue sea glass and is very hard to come by.
9. Sea glass rarity charts can help you.
The most common colors of sea glass are green, brown, blue, and clear. These colors tend to come from bottles of popular drinks, such as sodas and juices.The rarest colors tend to be gray, pink, black, yellow, turquoise, red, and orange. These colors come from rare items such as old plates, wine bottles, and boat lights. Using a sea glass rarity chart can help you rank your sea glass findings by color and possible origin.
10. Sea marbles are really a thing.
In the past, marbles were used to balance the weight of ships and were dumped overboard once the cargo was delivered. The marbles start out perfectly round and smooth, but those abrasive elements at work and pH levels in the water give them a unique look that can’t easily be replicated.
11. Sea glass is more scarce now than it used to be.
Today, sea glass can be harder to find than it was in the past. Not only are more people searching for it and collecting it, but many glass items have been replaced by plastic. Not to mention that there are many more restrictions on ocean dumping these days (which is a good thing).
12. There is such a thing as fake sea glass.
Not all sea glass is the real deal. To meet demand, some jewelry makers and artisans create that weathered glass look by tumbling new shards with sand or treating them with corrosive substances. A few tips for spotting fake sea glass include avoiding pieces that look a little too perfect, considering that color varies in natural pieces, and looking at the price. (The real thing will cost more.)
13. You can try to replicate the look of sea glass in a rock tumbler.
Using different types of glass in a rock tumbler, you can create inexpensive versions of your own homemade sea glass. Unfortunately, true sea glass with its smooth, frosted appearance just can’t be duplicated by such artificial means. But it’s fun to try!
14. Sea glass hunting is popular on the beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
Just like hunting for shark’s teeth and searching for seashells, sea glass hunting in Emerald Isle is a popular hobby for vacationers and residents alike. Up your odds of finding sea glass and other coastal treasures by choosing an oceanfront Emerald Isle beach rental, which gives you prime access to the beach each and every day. More beach time translates to more beach finds!
15. Sea glass collectors find many creative ways to display their finds.
Some sea glass collectors display their colorful finds in jars, some make their own jewelry, and some find other creative ways to display their collection. Check out these fun ideas we found on Pinterest and get inspired! While you’re there, be sure to follow Sun-Surf Realty on Pinterest and check out our boards for all things beach related.
how to display Your sea glass
Click on the photos above to save them right to your Pinterest board for future reference. Best wishes on your sea glass hunting adventures. Have fun and let us know what you find!
Are you an Avid sea glass collector?
Share a photo of your best sea glass find or your sea glass collection below. We’d love to see it!