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Sea Glass Rarity

Updated on November 2, 2012

Sea Glass: What is it?

There's nothing worse than walking down the beach, enjoying the scenery, and stumbling across someones pile of abandoned beer bottles. It irks me every time. Well, leave it to mother nature to turn our mess into something absolutely beautiful! Sea glass; the result of a piece of glass being worn and weathered by the waves and rough sand for a long period of time. The product is lovely, and searching out and finding these pieces has become a hobby for many beach combers. While many of the pieces that we find today do come from beer bottles and other modern glasses, there are some rare finds from the days of old. Many of these rare finds come from medicine and poison bottles that were on old wrecked ships, and they can come in a spectacular variety of colors. So how can you tell how rare your sea glass find is?


Common Colors

If you’ve found sea glass before, chances are that it has been one of the following three colors: brown, white, or Kelly green. Reason being, the pieces come from glass bottles that are used frequently for beer bottles, wine bottles, and glass jars.

Brown: This color sea glass is found very frequently as many beer variety are manufactured in brown bottles. 4 in 10 pieces found are brown.

White: These pieces appear white after they have been worn down by the ocean, but they actually originate from clear pieces of glass. So these pieces can come from anything from glass sauce jars, to windows, to car headlights. 4 in 10 pieces found are white.

Kelly Green: This is a very common color as well. Popular beers like Heinikin and Rolling Rock are manufactured in Kelly green bottles and most red wine bottles are a green hue as well. 2 in every 10 pieces found is Kelly green.

It is important to note, however, that finding a piece of sea glass that is one of these three colors doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not rare. If the piece has patterns or embossing on it, it may be older and less common. Also, a telltale sign that any piece of sea glass is old, and likely more rare, is bubbles within the glass. Older glass making methods were less efficient at removing air bubbles from the cooling glass.


Rarer Colors

Seafoam Green: Seaglass of this color is likely from old cola cola bottles. However, some older white glasses naturally have a green tint, so a piece this color could also be very old. 50 in 100 pieces are seafoam green.

Cobalt Blue: This, in my opinion is one of the most beautiful colors of seaglass. These deep blue pieces are sought after by many seaglass hunters and can come from old milk of magnesia bottles, alka seltzer bottles, or a wide variety of old medicine bottles. 1 in 200-300 pieces of seaglass are Cobalt Blue.

Lavendar: These beautifully tinted pieces of sea glass actually didn't start out that color. Glass naturally tends to have a greenish tint to it, and in order to remove that tint a specific chemical is added to the glass as it is being blown. Well, during WWI, that chemical became unavailable, since we imported it from Germany. For that time, a substitute chemical was used, which, over time turned the bottle this beautiful lavender color. 1 in 300-500 pieces of seaglass found are lavender.

Emerald Green or Deep Green: These rare pieces are darker than your Kelly green peices, and usually come from old medicine bottles. If the glass is thinker than normal glass today, it is likely from a rare peice.

Lime Green: Glass of this color was produced in the early 1900s. While some modern bottles are produced with a similar lime green tint, you can determine the age of your glass by looking at its thickness relative to modern glass. If it is of different thickness, it is likely an older piece. 1 in every 500 pieces of sea glass will be lime green.


Extremely Rare

Teal and Aqua: Glass of this color is hard to find and comes from a variety of sources, such as old seltzer bottles, canning jars, and decorative glass. 1 in 1000 pieces of seaglass are teal or aqua.

Ruby Red: Red glass of this color is very rare and was manufactured by the Anchor Hocking Glass company in the 1950's. They made household items, as well as the Schlitz Beer bottle, utilizing a method that used copper to give the glass its red hue.

Brilliant Red and Orange: These are by far the most saught after pieces by serious sea glass hunters. Red glass has always been very rare, and still is today, because gold is needed to give the glass its deep red hue. It is so rare that only 1 in every 50,000 pieces will be this brilliant red.

Do you collect sea glass? What color has your best find been?

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    • profile image

      Josie Seward 

      28 hours ago

      LOVE SEAGLAS The excitement of finding pieces LOOKING at the various pieces

    • kidscrafts profile image


      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I had a student of mine who was collecting pieces of sea glass. It's beautiful! Personnaly, I collect shells and also sand that I put in little jars with the place I found it.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Yes do. You will like it! I see that you are quite knowledgeable when it comes to sea glass. I appreciate the fact that you recognize the "green" aspect of sea glass. It is not just 'trash' anymore!

    • KerryAnita profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

      Ooooh, sea glass wind chimes would be pretty. I'll have to check out your hub, I'd love to see your collection!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I collect sea glass. I love it! I have a Hub that showcases my collection. I have made some things like wind chimes of mine. Great and accurate info here!

    • KerryAnita profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

      Glad you enjoyed it Eddy! Thanks for reading:)

      Have an excellent day!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read and I have to vote up and share.

      Take care and thanks for sharing.



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