The Ancient History of Sea Glass Jewelry

One gift that always remains evergreen is that of jewelry. There are all different styles and materials used in jewelry making, which means it can be extremely personalized. One beautiful type of jewelry is that made of natural sea glass. There’s everything from sea glass necklaces to see glass rings, bracelets, charms, and earrings. And, pro tip: sea glass wedding jewelry can be especially tasteful if you’re having a beach wedding! Though man made sea glass is available (and likely more inexpensive than natural sea glass), the most beautiful and authentic is definitely natural sea glass, since each piece is unique and formed over hundreds of years. If you’ve ever been curious about where sea glass comes from and where you can find sea glass jewelry, read on!

Tell Me More About Sea Glass

Sea glass’s origins have been dated before 2,000 B.C. in Mesopotamia (before glass-making was even introduced) and can be found worldwide. The North American Sea Glass Association became a formal organization in 2007 and today there are just under 100 members. Interestingly, recycling has a big part in the history of sea glass. Before recycling was the “thing” to do (or before people even thought of recycling), trash and glass got buried under sand by the water’s edge, making sea glass for people to find years later. With a big recycling push, sea glass is becoming rarer and rarer.

Sea glass is most often found in shades of green, white, and brown — typical colors for glass to come in. Blue, green, and aqua are found in every 50 to 100 pieces of sea glass and are very popular in wedding jewelry. However, one of the rarest colors to find in natural sea glass is orange — it’s found once in about 10,000 pieces.

Finding sea glass in a triangular shape is the most typical form it takes, because when the glass is broken up, it does so in straight angles, which usually forms a triangle. Oval shaped sea glass comes from those original triangles that have been worn down for hundreds of years. This shape is very rare to find in nature — it means it’s been shaped by water, sand, and other grit for over one hundred years and never broke!

Sea glass is often smooth and opaque, but there are also other types of sea glass that have round, pitted holes which actually come from stuck air bubbles that got worn smooth over the years, and bonfire glass. This type of glass is sea glass that got hit by lightning or was burned in fire, melting the glass. It has interesting shapes and will often have those round, pitted holes or other types of debris stuck inside.

What Does Good Quality Sea Glass Look Like?
You know you have a rare type of sea glass if it’s in blue, lavender, red, pink, orange, or gray shades, though rare colors may still not be the highest quality. If your sea glass is heavily frosted, that’s a good indicator of quality though! Frosting happens with very old glass, so if you have perfect frosting, you have some excellent sea glass on your hands.

Unique markings, bonfire glass, and unusual shapes also make sea glass rarer and more valuable.

Where Can I Find Sea Glass Jewelry?
Many shops and boutiques near water (whether it’s a lake or an actual ocean) will display sea glass jewelry, since the natural material tends to be prevalent there. It’s also a great souvenir and gift to take back with you, so it tends to sell well. However, if you don’t have a beach vacation coming up, but still are on he hunt for sea glass jewelry, you can turn to the Internet. There are plenty of online stores that feature homemade sea glass jewelry at a range of price points.

Commemorate a trip away with beautiful sea glass jewelry and if you go beachcombing yourself, keep an eye out for any natural sea glass you may find!

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