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THE MERMAIDS' JEWELER

Linda Jereb turns sea glass into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry

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Written By: Stefan Braham
Photographs Courtesy Of Linda Jereb

Once in a very great while, the environmental misjudgments we make have a happy outcome. Occasionally, the bottles we have thrown away over the centuries find their way into the sea, and Nature breaks them up and gives them a tumble in the ocean for a few decades. Washed ashore as ‘mermaid glass', or sea glass, these sparkly pieces often spend the rest of their lives in a jar or a bowl in the home of a local beachcomber.

Linda Jereb of Sebastian, Fla., gives these pieces of sea glass a more dignified existence by making them into jewelry.

“I've always been a beachcomber, always picking up shells when I was a little kid when we would take trips to the shore,” Linda explains. “Later we would visit the Jersey shore and I would collect Cape May diamonds (crystal-clear pieces of quartz that are abundant along Cape May's Sunset Beach), and then upon moving to the Outer Banks, somebody turned me on to sea glass.”

After amassing about a half ton of sea glass on her own, she started purchasing sea glass from around the world to vary her collection.

Linda's reasoning for turning these pieces into jewelry is obvious: “The pieces are just gorgeous - they have a gemlike quality to them that I wanted to do something with them, which is when I started to research ways to turn them into jewelry.”

And so, By the Sea Jewelry was born. With 80% of her business in Internet sales, Linda and her husband Jim spent much of their time traveling to offer these pieces to beachgoers, every piece being unique. As a founding board member of the North American Sea Glass Association, as well as having a deep interest in the Eastern Shore, Linda is looking into Rehoboth Beach or Dewey Beach, De, as the home for the Association's 2008 convention, following the 2007 convention in Santa Cruz this fall.

Wherever Linda may be, on the Eastern Shore, the West Coast, or hometown Sebastian, Florida, her jewelry is always just a few clicks away.