Where is sea glass most commonly found?
There are some beaches that are known for sea glass, the most popular is Fort Bragg, California, which was previously a dumpsite where glass was left in abundance. Another popular place is Kauai Island in Hawaii, where glass gets trapped in between lava rocks and makes it way to the shore.
Sea glass is something you can look for while beachcombing. Not every beach, of course, has sea glass. But to increase your chances of finding the colorful baubles, head to the beach around low tide.
Fort Bragg, California
As a result, this is the sea glass beach, probably the best and most unique in the world. Basically, the entire beach is made up of sea glass instead of sand. The problem is, while you can look and touch, collecting is strongly discouraged (in fact, some sources even say it's illegal).
Most sea glass comes from old bottles and jars used for everyday products like baking powder, mineral water, milk, wine, beer, spirits, medicine bottles and the like.
The most valuable sea glass colors are light blue and turquoise, both of which usually come from vintage mason jars and medicine bottles. Since that glass is rarely used today, these colors are tougher to find.
Collect sea glass
“Unless the landowner has stipulated that nothing is to be removed from the beach.” As it isn't a natural component of the beach, you are technically removing debris.
Pieces of sea glass are hard to find!
The reason is pretty straightforward: glass is no longer being used as commonly as it was a few decades ago. Back in the 1960s and 70s, many things, including bottles, jars and pots were made of glass.
Wherever you find people and water you will more than likely find these sea glass gems! Walking along the shoreline, beach combing look among the pebbles, shells and other flotsam. This is where you can find these lovely frosted beach jewels. Beach Glass can be found on rivers, ocean shorelines and bays.
Glass Beach is a beach adjacent to MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California, named from a time when it was abundant with sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town. It is illegal to collect glass at this state park.
Today, sea glass is more popular than ever, yet rarer than ever.
Is blue beach glass rare?
Even though cobalt blue glass has been made throughout the generations, the color is still rare, especially when compared with clear or brown glass. It is thought that only about one in 250 or so pieces of real sea glass is found in a cobalt blue color, and double that for cornflower blue sea glass.
True "sea glass" formed in the ocean takes anywhere from 50 to 100 years to create. Constant tumbling and soaking in the salt water create a smooth, frosted surface over the glass, as well as rounded edges. Sea glass comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but some colors are rarer than others.
True purple glass is much rarer. In our English Sea Glass collection, it averages one in 5000 pieces as true lavender glass was reserved for the Monarchy (showing Royalty) and for the Bishops in the church. Light Blue or Cornflower Blue (Pre 1900 Phillips MOM bottles, Bromo Seltzer, Vick's Vapor Rub, etc.)
However, red sea glass has always been rare to find because of how it's made. While there are different metals and metal oxides that change color when added into the mix, some red glass is created by using particles of gold. If you do find a red piece of sea glass it is likely from an old Schlitz beer bottle.
Black sea glass is considered very rare and is usually only found in areas of human activity before the 1900s. If a collector is fortunate to find a coastal area of such historic note then several shards may often be found in the same day.
Authentic sea and beach glass will have sometimes uneven, but smooth edges; the fake pieces are usually rough and often too straight cut, and very often found to be square shaped, as you so rarely would find in real sea glass.
"Genuine sea glass" can be collected as a hobby and is used for decoration, most commonly in jewelry. "Beach glass" comes from fresh water and is often less frosted in appearance than sea glass. Sea glass takes 20 to 40 years, and sometimes as much as 100 to 200 years, to acquire its characteristic texture and shape.
The frosted piece of glass is 12 inches high and 64 inches around. It's the largest sea glass on record, according to the magazine story. The piece weighs 275 pounds and measures about 12 inches high and 64 inches around.
Although beach glass and sea glass are often used interchangeably, they can refer to two separate things, as well. While sea glass is always created and found near oceans, beach glass can be used to refer to glass that is found on freshwater shores, around lakes or rivers.
Black glass, or “pirate glass,” is glass that looks black, but when held up to the light, its true color is revealed. For the Outer Banks, the pirate glass is usually dark olive green, often with an air bubble stuck inside which indicates that it was made by hand and thus very old.
Where can I dig for sea glass?
Two beaches are especially known for their abundance of sea glass- Fort Bragg Beach in California and Glass Beach in Kauai, Hawaii.
If you plan to go beachcombing, a word about a local custom. It's not a law, as such, but you'll cause offence if you break the rule that says you can only pick up driftwood and other flotsam if it's lying below the highest tide mark.
Sea glass can only be found in the ocean or on oceanside beaches, whereas beach glass can be found in freshwater lakes and rivers.
Glass: up to 4,000 years
A frightening 4,000 years is how long it takes a glass bottle to decompose in the environment.
Most purple sea glass is actually “sun” purple – in the old days manganese was added to glass as a clarifying agent, and manganese turns purple when exposed to UV rays – like those in sunlight.