Sea Glass Jewelry Continues to Grow in Popularity

By | May 3, 2018

Graduation gifts this year are pretty easy.

After spending Spring Break on the beach, both of your daughters fell in love with sea glass. And while they initially dreamed of finding enough pieces themselves to create sea glass anklets or bracelets for all of their friends, they soon realized that this would not be possible. Instead, they settled on searching for a few pieces that could each be used in bracelets for themselves and decided to purchase sea glass anklets from local vendors.

As the Spring Break progressed, the whole family became experts of the various kinds of sea glass colors and knowing where to find sea glass if it were available. What you expected would be a vacation full of tanning and reading books, quickly became a quest for different kinds of beach glass that are becoming more and more difficult to find.

There are a couple of reasons why sea glass is increasingly difficult to find. For one, as plastic replaces glass as the packaging method for many of the items that consumers buy. For instance, the origin of cobalt blue sea glass colors originally came from glass milk of magnesia bottles. Once that product started being packaged in less expensive plastic containers, the source for those beautiful cobalt blue pieces of glass disappeared.

In addition to some packaging being plastic instead of glass, another reason that sea glass is more difficult to find is that today more and more people are recycling. Obviously a good thing, an increased amount of recycling means that fewer and fewer pieces of glass are ending up in the ocean. It is the ocean, after all, that does all of the tossing and turning of the glass that is eventually smashed into rocks and broken. These broke pieces then spend more time being polished by the waves before they eventually land on the shore.
Some of the most beautiful and rounded pieces of glass are actually the most rare. To be rounded, in fact, some of these pieces of glass have been tossed in the ocean for 100 or more years. The longer these pieces are in the ocean, however, the greater their chance is of shattering into too small of pieces to every use, let alone find.
Consider some of these other facts and figures about the sea glass industry and the history of this natural art that continues to be in high demand:

  • Favorites for wedding jewelry, the subtle hues of blue, green, and aqua are often fond in every 50 to 100 pieces of sea glass.
  • Found only once in about 10,000 pieces, orange is the least common type of sea glass.
  • The oldest known jewelry ever discovered are 10,000-year-old beads created from Nassarius shells.
  • Sea glass has existed since glass-making was first introduced, in Mesopotamia sometime before 2000 B.C., and can be found all over the world. It was not until 2007, however, that the North American Sea Glass Association became a formal organization. Today, there are approximately 90 members.

From sea glass anklets to different types of sea glass rings, there is a growing market for these beautiful items that serve as a perfect combination of the world’s careless consumerism and nature’s constant movement.