What Is Sea Glass

What is Sea Glass or Beach Glass - Where do you find it?


 "Sea Glass is reverse gem"©. Traditional gems (diamonds, rubies, emeralds) are made by nature and refined by man. Sea glass is originally made by man (bottles and jars) but refined by nature to become smooth frosty beach found gems. Or simply said, Man Made - Nature Refined!

Worn by waves, recycled by the sea, sea glass is a product of both nature and man. Bottles, jars and glass carelessly discarded are tumbled by the ocean to form these colorful gems of the shore. These lovely collectible beach gems are vanishing due to plastics and recycling.©

Sea glass begins as bottles & glass that get tossed on the shore, broken, and then tumbled smooth by the waves and currents. Nature acts like a big rock tumbler recycling our pollution!

It can take 10-50 years in a constant surf environment for sea glass to "become" sea glass. A quality piece of sea glass has no shiny spots, is well frosted and has smooth tactile edges. See Our Valuing Page for more Info on sea glass quality.

These diminishing beach gems are becoming harder to find as glass is no longer used as it was in the past. Before the mid 1960’s, everything came in glass bottles or jars or tin cans. Plastic was still a product of the future and recycling was nonexistent.

In coastal areas and islands, trash collection was also something that would not begin until the area developed.

Coastal residents would bury their trash in the sand or simply toss it in the ocean (thinking the sea was this vast indestructible entity). Today we know and act differently. With the advent of recycling and the wide use of plastic for beverages, sea glass is becoming increasingly harder to find.

Called many things, sea glass, beach glass, mermaids’ tears, ocean glass, trash glass; it is all beautiful and fun to collect. Glass from the ocean is called sea glass. Glass from fresh water sources is called Beach Glass.

We have been educating consumers about sea glass for over 25 years. This page and it's contents were even used in a book considered the Jewelry makers bible Jewelry Making Through History

See more on our page

Genuine Sea Glass In Our Jewelry

Here at By The Sea Jewelry we are adamant about selling only Genuine Natural sea glass. All of our glass is found on the beach and is UNALTERED (unless we drill a hole to incorporate it into jewelry).

By The Sea Jewelry uses only Genuine Sea Glass that we certify to include the most in depth assessment of each sea glass pieces value and rarity and location found. We do not alter the shape, size or texture of the sea glass from the way it was found on the beach.

By The Sea Jewelry has a collection of over 1000 pounds of jewelry quality sea glass, allowing us to offer jewelry in a wide range of sizes, colors and styles.

For more information on Genuine Sea Glass, Please visit our page Genuine Sea Glass - Real Vs. Fake

Where do you find sea 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.

The more current or wave action, the more likely that you are to find smooth top quality sea glass. Higher water PH means that glass will age (become smoother) faster and the rockier and rougher the beach, the better sea glass will age.

Our collections of sea glass include glass from The Outer Banks of North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Hawaii , Maine, Massachusetts, California, Washington State, Florida, Bermuda, Canada, Spain, Italy and Seaham England. We have sea glass from just about every continent of the world.

Each beach is totally different. Tides, wind and beach topography can greatly effect where sea glass will be found. Beaches that are groomed (as in populated tourist areas) will hardly ever yield sea glass in season.

How & When To Look For Sea Glass

Every beach varies as to when the best time to go collecting might be. I recommend either keeping a journal of your beachcombing days and note the weather, especially winds and tides. If you are visiting an area, try asking locals you see on the beach.

When sea glass collecting on the Outer Banks Of North Carolina, I found that 2-3 days after a strong onshore wind was great for sea glass. Many times there were several different tidelines. The tideline furthest back from the beach could yield very large pieces of sea glass including rounds (bottoms of bottles). The tideline closest to the water would have smaller pieces. Very rarely would I find sea glass if there was nothing on the beach that day.

Sea Glass hunting after storms is also a great time to look. Storms stir up what is on the beach and brings in new treasures.


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NOTE - Sorry, By The Sea Jewelry does NOT provide sea glass appraisals or certification to third parties due to time limitations. 

PLEASE NOTE the tag lines "Worn by waves, recycled by the sea, sea glass is a product of both nature and man." and Sea Glass is reverse gem"© as well as this entire page are protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and use of this content are prohibited by law.