Sea Glass Photo Archives
An archive of sea glass photos and comments submitted by readers for the Photo of the Week section.
Have a sea glass photo you would like to submit? Click Photo Submission Info for submission details.
An Eye Popper Stopper!
Seamaiden, New England: I had the incredible pleasure of being blessed on New Year's Day 2014 by finding this wondrous stopper still stuck in its bottle top! The design is just clear enough that it enabled a lovely and dear friend of mine to positively identify the stopper's origins on eBay. She found the matching Agra perfume bottle and shared the link/photo with me. I, in turn, shared the information with our online seaglass community, and another sweet pal saw the link, bid on it, and won the bottle for me as a gift!
Agra perfume was popular in the early 1900's, and the bottle is actually quite large compared to most perfume bottles we're familiar with in the 21st century.
Stoppers of various kinds are much-sought-after treasures among seaglass addicts; they aren't as common as other types of shards and their discovery on beaches around the globe never fails to bring a thrill to those who are fortunate enough to find one tucked between pebbles at their feet, buried in seaweed at the wrack line, or washing up on an incoming wavelet.
I love to share in the thrilling delight when anyone posts photos of their favorite finds, especially stoppers, marbles and other unique and rare pieces.
Journal: That's a great stopper Seamaiden! It certainly does appear that you have discovered its origins and the Art Nouveau design definitely dates it to the early 20th century.
Thanks for sharing and keep on hunting!
Catch of the Day!
Denise Wirth, NJ: Found on the south end of Lavallette, NJ, 2-16-14... after nor'easter, full moon. I was finding very "chunky" pieces... this guy was buried... I first thought it was plastic!
It's likely a home decoration that was washed into the ocean from (Hurricane) Sandy.
Journal: What a catch Denise! It does appear to be a tropical fish glass creation.
This type of art glass usually has the two pectoral fins in the front to allow it to stand upright. Whether these were broken off before or after this gem found its way into the water we'll never know for sure.
If your assumption is correct and it did end up in the ocean due to Hurricane Sandy, it makes evident that natural disasters that cause property damage near the coast can also contribute to a particular area yielding sea glass.
Your find could have an amazing story of joy and ordeal associated with it.
Before & After!
Seamaiden, New England: This wonderful Coca-cola seaglass half-bottom was found on a favorite New England beach. I photographed it perched upon the bottom of a whole Boston Coke bottle as part of a 'Before and After' seaglass photo project.
Up until the 1960's, Coca Cola embossed the bottoms with city/state names to commemorate bottling plant locations. When I first rediscovered the particular joys of seaglassing a few years ago, thanks to some chance meanderings along a beach near my alma mater, my knowledge of local glass history was nil. At that time, I simply enjoyed the thrill of the hunt, making new friends, exploring different beaches, and collecting various colorful treasures for their beauty and charm.
Once a fellow seaglass lover introduced me to the bigger community of fellow addicts, my collection grew along with my understanding of the historical and cultural value of seaglass beyond its visual, tactile and creative appeal.
Identifying origins is very rewarding, especially if obvious identifiers are lacking due to the shard's condition from its seasons in the sea, tumbling among the waves, sand and pebbles. Many seaglass aficionados share images of their finds online and, if they haven't found an original match, one can be sure somebody will sleuth around until the shard has been ID'd!
We all celebrate accurate and well-matched 'before and after' identifications together.
Journal: Thank you for sharing that great photo and info on the Coke shard Seamaiden. It is always nice to have a before and after connection and I agree with you 110% that the historical and cultural value of sea glass collecting just adds another exciting facet to the hobby!
Denise Wirth: Sea hunting this day, I kept thinking of sailboats as I picked up glass. When my walk was over I assembled this out of my bounty.
Journal: What a peaceful, or should I say "pieceful" image of sea glass on calm waters. Thanks for sharing your creation with us Denise!
Danielle: I found this frosted peace pipe on the shores of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico in 2013. Tossed around the stormy Atlantic Ocean for over 30 years, I imagine a crusty pirate or rhythmic flower child enjoying a calming drag out on the open water.
This is one of the most "fully baked" pieces in my collection.
Journal: That's is one unusual sea glass specimen Danielle! And yes, as they say in the sea glass community, your pipe has spent enough time in the surf and sand to be fully baked!
One Spiffy Mirror!
Sangita, Australia: Art is inspired by surroundings and currently this sea glass junkie lives in the Australian Outback, away from the sea. Hence this mosaic is inspired by Aboriginal art symbols and this huge kangaroo that ran across the road. The circles represent clans and there is a river too. I had intended to use only sea glass found in Australia but was forced to go into the Uruguay and Costa Rica stash for more greens and the Vanuatu stash for the whites.
The mirror was a thrift store find that I repainted and I used a silicone adhesive to glue the glass. If I was to do it over I would paint the mirror first not last, I would use less silicone and I would tape of the section of the mirror that was not mosaic as it took a lot of isopropyl alcohol and elbow grease to remove the excess silicone smears.
Journal: It's great to hear from someone down under Sangita and what a beautiful mirror. It seems you have traveled far and wide to gather your sea glass.
I'm sure our readers will also appreciate the tips you have provided in case any one of them feels inspired by their own surroundings.
A Super Bowl of Sea Glass
Jackie: Although only eighteen, I have been collecting sea glass for well over 10 years. I use this fish bowl to display my findings from San Diego. When taken out of the bowl, the collection is well over 500 pieces of which include a few red, a few pink, a few yellow, and a large amount of greens, browns, and whites.
I have read so much over the years that San Diego and La Jolla California have no sea glass to offer. This couldn't be further from the truth! Most beaches that I have read about online that have been reported as "a waste of time for a sea glass collector" have provided me the best hauls!
That goes for California, New York, the Outer Banks, and Florida! Don't believe everything on the internet. Go out and find it for yourself!
Journal: You have a great collection of colorful sea glass Jackie and you offer some great advice! You really do have to explore a the coastlines for yourself as there are many reasons why someone will report having little success.
For example, even well-documented hunting grounds may be covered over with sand on any given day due to tides, currents and prevailing winds.
Besides, even a day at the beach where little sea glass has been found is still a day at the beach!
Pam: I found an unusual piece of green sea glass. I found it in Duck, NC after Hurricane Sandy so it was a good find!
Is there someplace I could send a picture of it so I could find out what it is?
Journal: I think we can help you Pam! What you have is a classic piece of campfire sea glass. Sometimes called bonfire glass or a sea glass melt, this type of sea glass generally originates from soda, alcohol or other types of glass bottles that were tossed into a campfire or bonfire on the beach.
Often, as in your case, two different colored shards will fuse together while still in a molten state. High tides and/or storms will then wash the glass into the sea where Mother Nature then performs her magic.
Besides being highly deformed and multicolored, another telltale sign that it's campfire sea glass is that sand and/or ash accompany the glass. These artifacts will frequently mix in the glass while it is still in a molten state and become encased in the glass as it cools.
That's a great find and maybe thoughts of campfires on the beach will help keep all of us warm during these cold winter days!
Manuela, Milan, Italy: Hello! Here is only a small part of my collection. I have been collecting (in Italy) for five years now.
Journal: You certainly have found some beautiful sea glass Manuela! This photo just shows one more reason why visiting Italy is a must-do for any sea glass collector.
Orange You Lucky!
Dan Porter: I found this on a beach in Kenosha it was a really cold day and I was just getting ready to quit. Looking into the sun something caught my eye.
I had just started collecting so I didn't think much about it other than I had to keep it because I had never seen anything like it.
I held it to the sun and it had different colors, not just orange, kind of yellow and green as well.
When I got home and put it next to everything I had collected at the time. It was then that I knew I had found something really cool!
Journal: Well Dan... for someone who has just started collecting you a very lucky indeed! That orange sea glass specimen is the find of a lifetime and you're just starting out! It looks like it could possibly be the remnants of a candle holder.
Now you will have the rest of your collecting days trying to top that one.
The Perfect Present
Tracey: I'm a 20-year Lake Erie collector, but the last few years I've been making trips to California to visit friends and roam the majestic beaches of Northern California. I found this little red beauty on my first trip out, sort of like a welcome gift.
I remember every second of finding it and feeling like a kid on Christmas, getting the best present ever (you know the feeling... the air gets sucked out of your lungs and your eyes pop out!).
I thought this photo of it glowing in the New York snow would be the perfect photo to share with you all for the holiday season!
Journal: What a gem Tracey! Some collectors go through their whole lives without finding a red and you found this beautifully shaped cherry red ruby. No doubt it was a joyous experience.
Kaleidoscope of Colors
Danny Simentales: I've been collecting for only a short while but now it's an avid and daily activity.
I'm lucky to live only 15 minutes (by bike) from the Pacific Ocean!
Journal: You know what they say Danny, "A bad day at the beach is better than a good day at work!"
Keep on pickin'!
St. Lawrence Stylin'
Marie-Louise: I have been collecting sea glass seriously for about a year. Here is a selection of my best finds.
I hope you like them as much as I do.
I will disclose my picking location a beach on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec! Now just go ahead and try to find it!
Journal: We do like your sea glass Marie-Louise. You do find beautiful ocean colored glass.
I wonder how long it would take to walk the shores of the Kaniatarowanenneh... :-)
Pictured are the winners of the sea glass contest at the Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival. The $500 grand prize winner (center) has glass colored flower designs within the shard.
Santa Cruz, Surfboards & Sea Glass
The 2013 Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Art Festival was a smashing success. Along with over 40 sea glass and ocean artisans over 2,400 attendees were present to revel in sea glass stories, creations and the wonderful Santa Cruz ambience.
See you all next year!
Sea Glass In Print
Nancy Elliot: I place my finds in an antique printer box that sits on my coffee table so that I can admire all the beautiful pieces from the sea...
Journal: Now this is the type of display that a person in the publishing industry can appreciate!
Laura: I am wondering if you can help me? I found this amazing piece of sea glass. It looks to me like a red glass eye. It is the perfect size and shape for a human glass eye.
I am having trouble researching whether red glass eyes were made for people and thought some of your fans may be able to help with the inquiry.
Maybe someone else has found a similar piece and knows what it is?
Journal: Wow Laura! That's one unusual and interesting find! All I can think of at the moment is that the darker colored section is the remnants of a different colored stem. In which case this sea glass specimen may have come from some type of decorative ware. Or maybe it was a glass eye for some type of sculpture, possibly a wooden horse from a carrousel?
If anyone has an "eye-dea" that will help Laura please visit the Sea Glass Journal's FaceBook Page and leave a comment.
Ariadne, Greece: This gem was found at a beach in Chalkidiki peninsula, an area of sea resorts in Northern Greece near Thessaloniki. I went for a walk with my husband, son and brother's family.
While walking and looking for sea glass on a lovely warm, sunny day my hubby bent down to pick something up. I was eager to see what it was and I jumped for joy when I saw it.
It is my first ever yellow and it was perfect, not at all broken, and so big! I was so happy that I said out loud "You deserve a kiss!" and kissed him.
Every one laughed and he was impressed by the fact that I get so happy with such simple things in life!
Journal: That's a beautiful gem Ariadne! One of the more enjoyable aspects of sea glass collecting are the memories that are attached to our special finds.
Gina Argyrou, Greece: I was so lucky this week to have met a nice Norwegian lady on the beach, here in Rhodes Greece, and we got to talking about sea glass. She is also an expatriate and lives here as I do.
She told me about another wonderful beach on the island, that I did not know about, that has sea glass.
So of course the very next day I hit the road and went there and low and behold I find this treasure of an orange. When held up to the light it has some golden, orange and reddish tint so I think it is amberina! What a thrill!!!
I went back today and found even more beauties.
I now have 3 beaches to hunt my treasures... I am blessed!
Journal: The sea glass gods do favor you Gina! That is a wondeful gem you have found.
Now that you have three beaches to hunt at, how do you decide which to go to? Or do you just spend the whole day visiting all of them?
Mark Wadiak shows off a spectacular red sea glass specimen.
A Hidden Treasure
Maryann Wadiak: Sometimes gems are found in the most unlikely places.
My husband Mark and I are enthusiastic sea glass collectors and we enjoy traveling to places near and far in the hopes of finding special treasures. One of the places we go to on the east coast is a waterway located near a retired trash dump.
There is a lot of rubbish to sift through with very few polished pieces. In addition, extra precautions are needed here due to toxins and safety hazards, making the search more laborious and tedious. For these reasons, it is not one of Mark's favorite places.
However, on our most recent excursion, Mark was rewarded with this delightful piece (along with a few other special surprises) causing him to be a bit more enthusiastic about future explorations.
Journal: Wow! That is a keeper!
The allure of sea glass collecting often drives us to explore places that are less than desirable, but sometimes for our efforts, we are rewarded with a special find.
Use prudent judgement, be safe and have fun!
Sea glass enthusiasts enjoying the festival in Cayucos, California.
Cayucos Is Californian for Festival!
On March 9th & 10th, 2013, sea glass craftspeople, sea glass jewelers, artists and collectors descended on the lovely coastal community of Cayucos, California for the third annual Cayucos Sea Glass Festival.
It was a fantabulous success and you can see some of the fun by clicking 2013 Cayucos Slide Show.
Sandy Sea Glass!
Billie Lopez: These pictures are of some lovely seaglass I found in Cocoa Beach, Florida after Hurricane Sandy. Sandy dumped loads of treasures on our beaches and I have combed almost daily since she came through finding more treasures in a week than I have in years.
The wonderful green sea glass heart was almost missed she is so tiny, but at the last minute she spoke to me. I was thrilled to have discovered this little gem, my first ever heart shaped piece of glass.
Journal: Big storms can transform a beach into a treasure trove of sea glass delights Billie. It's obvious you have a sharp eye being able to spot that tiny heart.
Here's hoping you have many days of bountiful sea glass collecting!
Denise Irvine: I have just seen your picture of "The Largest Sea Glass Ever Found" and thought you might like to see an even larger piece.
My piece weighs 5.6 lbs! It is black and very dense so no light can penetrate, but it is probably brown from the colour of the external frosting.
I have previously found sea glass chunks a teal piece weighing 2.0 lbs and a blue piece weighing 1.6 lbs all on the same beach!
Journal: Unbelievable Denise! That is one monster sea glass gem! And to think that you also have others in teal and blue.
When it comes to sea glass hunting, you are certainly a big-game hunter!
Susan Spicer-McGarry: Beach conditions in my area do not produce the beautiful sea glass sought by collectors. Sadly, other good collecting beaches in New Jersey have been lost to beach restoration projects. As a novice collector, it was disappointing to come home with bits of broken glass, only to see the hands full of incredible gems others were finding.
Rather than giving up collecting, I've learned to make the most of my few rare finds with a camera.
This marble was found rolling in the freezing February surf, and quickly named for the planet she resembles, "Venus" has been the subject of several photographic series.
The pink bottle neck (found prior to a restoration project) made the perfect stage for Venus' first photo.
I am having way too much fun with just one marble.
Journal: That's a wonderful artistic touch to the photograph Susan. Getting real close to a piece of sea glass often reveals qualities to the gem that are otherwise overlooked.
Keep up the great work!
Table Worthy Gems!
Dorothy Palmer: This is a table we had a friend build for us to show off the sea glass we collect each day walking the dog on the beach in Madison, Connecticut. We just moved here and have found some beautiful pieces of glass.
All visitors who come for the summer find glass on the beach and each night we determine whether the piece is "table worthy" or not. All the extra sea glass goes in glass vases on the book case. We now have 22 full vases of glass.
It is the most fun and relaxing thing to do and everyone enjoys helping look for that perfect piece.
Journal: What a great looking table Dorothy! And look at all those "table worthy" gems. It's wise to have a goose to guard your glass.
Story continues on Sea Glass Photos, page 2