Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sea Glass -Everything you always wanted to know

I didn't know much about sea glass when I first started picking it up on the beach and collecting it years ago, except that it was pretty. I make jewelry out of it and have big vases of it in all colors. My friend, Dale, gave me a book about sea glass for my birthday and WOW is it interesting. Sea glass is graded by color (extremely rare, rare, uncommon, common) and frostiness (A-D). There are also 'bonus' points for being a shard from a rare type of glass or bottle. I was inspired to spread my sea glass out and take a good look at it. Then I separated the colors and put each color in a different glass container. Let's start with the Blues...(I got the blueeeees) I used to have a lot of blue (classified as 'Rare'), but have used most of it to make jewelry. It gets harder and harder to find. The turquoise color is also Rare and the large piece on the upper left side could be the bottom of a medicine bottle. I know some of those square ones are tiles, but I like 'em. Soft Green Soft green is classified as 'Uncommon', but is pretty common on Isla Mujeres. It ranges in color from the palest green to a darker color as you can see here. Some of the long, thin dagger shaped ones are automobile glass shards. The darker color (middle to right) are old Coca Cola bottles and you can see the vertical rib pattern on some pieces. This color makes pretty jewelry and is the color of the shallow areas of the sea This is a cool piece that I think is from an old Mason Jar dating around the 1920s. Purple I thought these were Pink, but silly me...the book says they're purple and purple is Rare. What they call pink is a peachy color. I found a really cool piece of pink sea glass that was 'frilly' and I made it into a necklace. I think that it was Depression glass in a past life and now it hangs around the neck of a lovely lady named Dianne. I also like this necklace, made of a 'purple' bottle neck and a strand of white moonstone beads. Brown Brown is 'common' and usually from beer bottles. Older shards can be from brown Clorox bottles. Brown can range in color from amber to darker shades. Kelly Green It may be rated 'common' but I think it's pretty. This color mostly originates from green beer bottles and Sprite bottles. Other Greens Forest, Lime, Jade There are many different hues of green and most are considered 'uncommon'. I have found a couple of Lime Green pieces, one with which I made this necklace. I was reluctant to part with it. White White is common, but I think it makes some of the prettiest jewelry. White sea glass lived it's former life as clear glass bottles. Black "Black Glass" is truly an exceedingly dark green or brown, but it's called 'black' and is considered 'extremely rare'. Iron slag is added to glass to get this color and therefore, it's very strong and usually found in large pieces, like the large bottle neck. Sea Tile Mostly tile or pottery, I like these. I have some with cool words on them or numbers. I wonder where all of it came from, if there's something really old there or a shard with a good story. Did some of it come from a home, damaged in a hurricane or a ship, sunk at sea? Sea Glass is getting more rare overall due to less littering and more plastic being used for bottles than glass. I still think it's a treasure and love to walk along the beach and collect it.

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.