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Authentic Sea Glass Jewelry

Updated on October 31, 2013

This Season's Hottest Fashion Accessory: Authentic Sea Glass Jewelry

Authentic sea glass jewelry is beautiful and truly unique. In warm ambers, brilliant yellows, rich reds and blues that rival the colors of the ocean itself, these colorful bits of glass add a touch of the seashore to your wardrobe.

Not only are these bits of glass colorful and fun, each piece is also imbued with it's own little history. Some bits of sea glass come from old bits of pottery or glass jars and bottles used to hold everything from beer to medicines.

The intro photo is from Jill Reid Images at

And some are hundreds of years old, bits of glass that have been tossing around on the ocean floor since the first traders and pirates sailed the 7 seas.

Artisans all over world are scouring beaches and designing intricate sea glass earrings, pendants and bracelets, but watch out. Not every piece of glass you see is authentic. Words like 'Ancient glass, art glass, fashion glass and recycled glass' are just another way of saying 'plain, old, ordinary glass'.

You want authentic sea glass jewelry. You want to wear a piece of history that's been polished and frosted by Mother Nature and the ocean.

What Is Sea Glass?

Sea glass, which is also sometimes called beach glass, is bits of glass and pottery that wash up on both fresh and saltwater beaches. These bits of glass can be pieces of anything from glass bottles, canning jars, windshields, pottery, windows - anything that's ever been made of glass or pottery.

People have always used the seas and oceans, rivers and lakes, as dumping grounds for refuse. It's only been recently that we've stopped littering the waterways. And in the past, before we started using so much plastic, everything came packaged in glass jars or glass bottles or crocks.

So for centuries we've been dumping our glass waste into the oceans and rivers and it doesn't just sink to the bottom. All those bottles and jars get churned up in the waves and blasted by the sand until, years later, the pieces get washed up on the beach.

And what we find on the beaches are bits of colorful glass, with a frosty finish from the constant grinding of the water and sand. Some are also highly polished, like you'd see when you use a rock polisher.

What makes sea glass so popular is it's rarity and the history behind each piece. This combined with the fiery colors and the delicate beauty of each piece are what makes sea glass jewelry so popular this year.

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Where To Find Sea Glass

Sea glass can be found on beaches all over the world but some of the best locations are the United States, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Italy, Southern Spain and Australia.

Many people find it fascinating to research old shipping lines and go sea glass hunting in areas where the ancient mariners used to sail. Shipping lanes and ports are especially good areas because long ago the ships just threw their trash overboard as they were pulling into the harbor.

Beaches surrounding the Great Lakes in the U.S. are also ideal hunting grounds. Glass found on inland beaches is often referred to as Beach Glass. It hasn't been tossed around by the sea and it's typically not as weathered as sea glass. But you'll also find varieties that you won't find at sea - like cobalt glass from old Vicks Vaporub bottles.

Where to Look for Sea Glass

Sea Glass is everywhere but the best places to look are on areas of the beach where you see a lot of stones or shells or driftwood. Get off the beaten path because public beaches are often combed to remove rocks and debris and make the beaches look prettier.

The best time to look is just as the tide goes out. If you're in an area where you might have to compete with a lot of other sea glass hunters then arrive at the beach at least a half hour before low tide so you get the first pick.

Sea glass can turn up any time, any where, so you should always be on the lookout and never give up. Some pieces are very small and hard to miss, but once you start learning what to look for you'll start to see it everywhere.

Sea Glass - what to look for - Video

Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck

Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck
Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck

This beautiful deck of Sea Glass identification cards is perfect for helping to identify that tiny bit of brilliantly colored glass you picked up this morning. And each card is laminated so you can take them to the beach with you and identify your finds, right there on the spot.


Rare Sea Glass Colors

The most common color of sea glass is frosty white or clear, which comes from windows, windshields, and clear glasses, bottles and jars. But kelly green, blue and brown are also common colors, and these come mainly from beer and soft drink bottles.

For every 25 to 100 pieces of sea glass uncover, you'll find one piece of jade, amber, lime green, forest green or ice blue. These pieces come from whiskey bottles, medicine bottles, soda bottles, ink bottles and fruit jars.

A particular shade of green that was used in soft drink bottles from the mid-1900s will turn up in every 50 to 100 pieces you find.

For every 200 to 1,000 pieces you discover, you'll get a piece of cobalt or cornflower blue, which comes from Milk of Magnesia bottles, poison bottles and bottles of Vicks Vaporub. Aqua and purple are also rare, as well as white glass, which comes from milk glass.

Red is a very rare color and only turns up in 1 out of 5,000 pieces. It comes from automobile tail lights, nautical lights, Schlitz bottles and red glassware from the Depression era.

Black and orange are the two rarest colors, and you'll find them after you turn over about 10,000 pieces of glass. Black glass often dates back to the 18th century when they used black glass for whiskey, wine and beer. And if you're really lucky you may also find some pink, grey or teal sea glass that also dates from the Depression era.

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Make Your Own Homemade Sea Glass Jewelry

With the wide variety of colors and the deep history that's held inside each little piece of glass, most people prefer to find their own sea glass and make their own jewelry. After all, making a pair of earrings or a pendant from an artifact you picked up during your honeymoon or a special vacation is a way of creating lasting memories.

Many artisans from all over the world are finding there's a huge market from homemade authentic sea glass jewelry. If you're creative and you enjoy making jewelry, then start hitting the beach. There's plenty of room in this burgeoning market.

Even beginners can make their own sea glass jewelry. It has a natural, earthy look, so you don't have to be skilled at creating all those intricate jewelry details. A bit of silver wire or hemp and a few twists and you'll have a lovely, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

How to Wire-Wrap Beach Glass the Easy Way - Video

Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry

How to Drill Sea Glass - Video

Dremel 8000-03 10.8-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Rotary Tool

Tiny drill bits, tiny sanders, tiny sculpting tools and yes - you can even use a Dremel to cut through your sea glass. If you're creative and crafty you're going to love all the things you can do with a Dremel.

Authentic Sea Glass Dangle Earrings, Earth Tone Colors, Sterling Silver

Authentic Sea Glass and Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings, Earth Tone Colors, American Made
Authentic Sea Glass and Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings, Earth Tone Colors, American Made

These delicate 2-inch sterling silver dangle earrings each have 2 pieces of authentic sea glass - a brilliant green and rich brown - polished to a high sheen by years of exposure to the sea and sand.


What's the rarest color of sea glass you've found and where did you find it?

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    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      I am an avid sea glass collector and own several pieces of jewelry. Enjoyed your lens a lot. Please check out mine and let me know what you think. My favorite piece to date is a lavender piece I found in Alaska.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You've got the eye for gorgeous jewelry! Sea glass ones are really unique.

    • SomethingAboutC profile image


      6 years ago

      This kind of reminds me of looking for agates along the beaches in Northern California when I was a kid.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      6 years ago

      Oh this seaglass jewelry is beautiful. I wish I had the knack for making jewelry

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sea glass jewelry is so pretty!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Amazing sea glass jewelry! I've delighted in finding sea glasses pieces, but never knew jewelry was made from it. Interesting!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      6 years ago from London

      We used to find quite a bit of sea glass on the beaches of Wales during my childhoood holidays. It always feels rather special. Sea glass jewelry is a lovely idea.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The jewellery is stunning! I've never seen this before! Looks wonderful.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful sea glass pieces!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I live in the mountains and not near the ocean so have never even heard of sea glass before. It truly is gorgeous though and I would love to own a few of the sea glass jewelry pieces. You have captured my heart.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      such beautiful jewelry!

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      6 years ago from Kent, UK

      I live beside a pebble beach but I've never looked for sea glass. I imagine we have plenty because wee're on one of the busiest seaway in the world.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love it! Thanks for the lessons!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love sea glass and you've done a beautiful job teaching us all about what it really is. ~blessed~

    • LadyCharlie profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens and very nicely done. Thanks for sharing...this is actually the first time I've heard of sea glass. Blessed

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      6 years ago from U.S.A.

      I have never found sea glass, but would like to. Wonderful lens! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love sea glass- found my first personal collection piece this week in New Jersey- great lens- keep up the good work!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I love sea glass and this is a very lovely article. :)

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      very cool lens, Blessed

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This lens is beautiful, detailed and extremely impressive. I love it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: How adorable!!

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 

      6 years ago

      some of these pieces are just beautiful!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This sea glass jewelry is beautiful! I don't know if I've ever found any sea glass before.. ? Blessed by an Angel!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The sea glass jewelry sure looks authentic and classy, very beautiful selection.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Gorgeous to say the least! SquidAngel blessings.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      @Success_At_School: Finding sea glass pieces is like finding a treasure!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I hadvno idea sea glass was so beautiful.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I hadvno idea sea glass was so beautiful.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      @WindyWintersHubs: I heard that the Canadian west coast can be good for sea glass. But it's like a treasure hunt, maybe next time you will find something.

    • ismeedee profile image


      6 years ago

      I found a spot near me where there are hundreds of bits of sea glass every time the tide goes out. Most of it isn't that nice and it's fun to hunt for the odd special piece! Great lens with clear ideas what I can do with it all!!

    • wolvyz profile image


      6 years ago

      These would look really nice on a girl.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such a beautiful lens.

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      I have a beautiful piece of orange sea glass. I can't remember where I found it. I have been creating gorgeous sterling silver rings set with sea glass. I have collected sea glass for years and years and finally hit a point where I had to do something with it. I also have some desert glass (from what appears to be a broken windshield) that has is set beautifully in a fine silver bezel and enveloped in sterling silver flower petals.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fascinating! I remember collecting sea glass when I was little. We pretended we were pirates and sea glass was our treasure.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Very pretty collection. I haven't seen any on the West Coast where I live but will look a closer the next time I'm at the beach or on vacation.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      @Scarlettohairy: Funny, green is the color I find the most over here (with the clear ones as well). I would so like to find a red beach glass, or a large piece of nicely polished blue glass.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      6 years ago from France

      Sea glass is so pretty and sounds very romantic. I'll be looking from now on!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      nice lens. thanks for sharing

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not really been searching for them but now you have given me another thing to do in the beach.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love sea glass. All of it. Any color! I've only found a piece of green.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Blues and greens usually - would love to find some red sea glass! Beautiful lens - blessed

    • HonoluluMom profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't found any really rare colors yet but I will keep looking. There's plenty of sea glass where I live!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      So many pretty pieces to choose from.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      I found some sea glass on the Isle of Skye in Scotland years ago. It was from old bits of china dishes smoothed by the wave action. I treasure them and display them in a bowl.

      I have a lens about blue seaglass. Love that color.

    • victoriuh profile image


      6 years ago

      These are beautiful! I found some sea glass once. I thought it was a special treasure :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I would love to find some, these are such a great display of sea glass especially for jewelry.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      6 years ago from US/TN

      I've never found any sea glass. I'd love to find some blue and green pieces.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great stuff... thanks for the video on drilling the glass

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How pretty! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      looks great

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I have never found sea glass-- I think all the beaches I have been to are too well populated. People got there ahead of me. I will keep looking.


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