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.
David Barker Kent, UK: Hi! Here are two pieces in my collection, the codd marble is for size guide. The stopper is a recent find and the button has been in my collection a while. Both appear black but are a deep purple.
Both were found in Kent, UK on a beach that has eaten an old rubbish tip dating from 1900 and up to the 1940s.
Journal: Those are some nice finds David! What you have found is commonly referred to as "black amethyst" glass and has been used in the manufature of many types of glassware products including bowls, vases and even bottons.
This type of glass uses a high percentage of manganese dioxide during the glass production to achieve the very dark purple color and is the big brother to the sun-colored amethyst glass more commonly found by sea glass collectors. This color has been used in glassware from the mid-1800s to present.
Consider yourself extremely fortunate to have found an old rubbish tip that has eroded into the ocean. This type of hunting ground can yield many interesting sea glass finds!
Thanks for sharing your interesting find!
Want to share your thoughts on this submission? Leave a comment on the Journal's FaceBook Page!
A Topper, Stopper or Stem?
Nikki Scotland: I am a fairly new collector from Scotland and I probably go to the beach at least two times a week if not more. While I was walking along one of my favorite beaches one day to look for sea glass, I looked down and this beautiful piece was just sitting right there waiting for me.
I'm pretty positive it is a stopper, but every single stopper I have collected has never been multi-colored like this one. The red on the bottom of the piece just makes it one-of-a-kind, and it is now one of my favorite pieces I have in my collection. I mean just look at that red sea glass!
Journal: That's a fantabulous find Nikki! While a stopper can't be ruled out it could also be a finial or stem to some type of multi-colored decorative glassware.
Maybe one of the other collectors in the community will post a photo of a possible source on the Journal's FaceBook page.
Thanks for sharing your interesting find!
A Milky White Mystery
Jeanmarie Cape Cod, MA:
I've been collecting sea glass in Cape Cod, MA for 10 years. One of the first pieces I ever found is the one pictured, it is what inspired me to collect.
I would love to know more about this piece. I have researched books and online but can't come up with anything.
The piece is 3-1/4" x 2" and is 1/4" to 1/2" thick. It is embossed 1942 and there is an "H" on the arch above the 1. It is clear but depending on the light, can have a pink hue. Any thoughts would be much appreciated! Thank you!
Journal: I love Cape Cod and anytime I can find sea glass it's an added bonus!
Doing a few quick searches online my best guess is that your specimen is a mid-20th century, quart-sized milk bottle which were usually made of clear glass and larger in size than your common soda bottles. Since you mentioned that it had the letter "H" embossed on it as well it could be a Hood milk bottle!
My I suggest going on eBay and searching for vintage milk bottles for some examples of this type. I have included a pic of the bottom of one such bottle on the right.
Thanks for sharing your interesting find!
Heart of the Ocean
Dwayne & Mandi West Cape, PEI, Canada: My husband and I both enjoy escaping to the beach, for date night walks, that always include sea glass hunting!! There are many treasures to be found, but the rare pieces are what make the hunt a challenge! Although we have found many blues, a few small reds, yellows, oranges, and purples, those aren't very common where we search.
On our latest walk, the sun was setting, and soon darkness would fall. With one final look minutes before heading home, the most amazing treasure appeared! To say we were excited is an understatement!
We have since deemed it the heart of the ocean, and will cherish it for a very long time!
Journal: Wow Dwayne and Mandi! We're surprised neither of you had a "heart attack" when that gem appeared! The is a find of a lifetime.
It does appear to be a shard from a large fresnel lens and, as coincidence will have it, was a similar type shard that won the "Shard-of-the-Year" contest at the NASGA Festival this year.
Thanks for sharing!
The $1,000 grand prize winner of this year's festival.
The Grand Prize Winner!
Congratulations to the 2015 "Shard-of-the-Year" grand prize winner Earl Brown with his beautiful turquoise fresnel lens shard. Fresnel lenses were designed to capture more light from a single source than a similarly sized conventional lens. This allowed a light source to be visible over a greater distance and were most commonly used in lighthouses and other light sources where visibility from a distance was paramount.
Fresnel lenses are often colored to indicate a side or direction. Red indicates a port (left) side and green or blue is used for the starboard (right) side of a ship, train, plane or building.
Something Old, Something New
Victoria Long Island, NY: I am a comparatively new addict, but am slowly amassing a collection that is absolutely amazing! Sometimes I get jealous of the people in places like California who find some great quality rare stuff (reds, oranges, yellows) in art glass and more. Then when I find something like this, I'm totally grateful for Long Island's bounty of historical sea glass!
They don't have em' like this in California! ;)
Best hobby ever!
Journal: While we can't blame you for being jealous of some of the beautiful art glass found in California it is nice to hear that you also appreciate historical glass. This type of glass can truly have a story to tell!
But remember, while you collect this glass on the east coast, this type of old glass can also be found in California as well as locations around the world. You are not alone in your appreciation of these gems!
Thanks for sharing some of your antique bottle tops Victoria!
Early Bird Reward
Teresa Scotland: I am originally from Oregon but moved to Scotland 13 years ago. I beach comb at least three times a week and given I am such an early riser I am on the beach by 6 am.
Today, I knew the minute I arrived that it was going to be a good day. There was a lovely spread of rocks up and down the beach which always means treasures will be found.
I was hoping for marbles and bottle stoppers as I started my usual zig zag walk. Five minutes later I looked down to find this amazing door knob at my feet! It truly felt like a gift from the sea.
After I remembered to breathe again, I took a few pictures, snatched it up and put it in my inside coat pocket reserved for special finds. As if this beauty wasn't enough, I also found my first orange today!
It was a great morning at the beach and certainly worth that 6 am start!
Journal: We were really excited when the pic of your fantabulous doorknob surfaced on the Journal's FaceBook Page. Something so colorful and easily identifiable must be a joy to find. Without investigating it appears to be an ornate, Victorian or Edwardian era doorknob. Maybe one of the readers will have a more precise age for this gem that can be shared on FaceBook.
It sure is a good thing your an early riser as something so beautiful and so rare wouldn't last too long on the beach!
Thanks for taking the time to post this remarkable find!
Sea Glass Martini
Denise McCoy Princeton, NC: This was only half of what my family and I collected during 2015 July vacation. Although the pieces were not large in size, each piece is a part of our daily walks together. Our daily schedule was vamped around the tide schedule so we would not miss any treasures!
I was looking through the glassware at our NC beach rental and found the perfect glass for display.
This is our third year collecting as a family. One day, we will have enough to fill a table lamp to enjoy every day.
Journal: Very nice photo Denise. One of the many special reasons to collect sea glass is the memories that are associated with the glass. Enjoy the vacations and we hope to see your sea glass lamp some day. Thanks for sharing!
Bird of Paradise
Hayley Isle of Sheppey, UK: This swan is one of my favourite creation made entirely from sea glass all collected from my local beach on the Isle of Sheppey, SE UK. It is mounted on an old glass table top.
I found the beak shard from the beach and thought it looked like it belonged on a swan or duck and started from there.
I only started collecting sea glass to put in plant pots but as my collection grew I started playing with it to see what I could make. My first real creation was a butterfly mounted on drift wood.
Journal: We're sure the sea glass community will agree when we say that this is an amazing creation Hayley! Thanks for sharing.
Still Life in Blue
Betsy O'Reilly Connecticut: Along with creating beach cottage frames with my sea glass collection, I also really enjoy taking photos of my collection. In this photo, the USA blue sea glass was found by a friend along the Connecticut shoreline in an area not known for producing much sea glass. When she showed me the piece I was completely speechless! I just knew I needed to photograph it, with the promise of its safe return when I was done (short of leaving my credit card with her!).
With so much excitement, I grabbed my camera, antique blue milk of magnesia bottle (bought at an antique store) and my own collection of blue sea glass and started arranging for different shots. For me, there are 5 elements to this photo; USA shard, MoM bottle, blue shards, sea glass "cubes", and the variation of the color blue.
The composition is quite simple, yet quite powerful.
Journal: We agree that it's a fantabulous composition Betsy! Thanks for sharing!
A Beachcomber's Box
Herminia Rios Puerto Rico: I have been collecting these treasures in Puerto Rico for 12 years now. My son got me into collecting sea glass when he came from California after serving in the Marines. I started to collect everything I saw. I decided to use all that I found at my beach to decorate my mailbox. It came out great!
Journal: That's a great way to display your sea glass for all to see Herminia! And we agree, it came out great!
The Blues Brothers
Mary Wales: My North Wales beach is fed by a Victorian landfill. Storms and tides reveal many treasures none more so than these cobalt stoppers. Each time one was found much happy dancing ensued! Over the years I have been fortunate enough to find many stoppers of all shapes and sizes. These blues are are among my favourite.
So if you're ever in Wales look for me I'm that woman on the beach, either digging or dancing!
Journal: Those are fantabulous cobalt stoppers Mary! Only a sea glass lover would appreciate the good fortune of being on a beach that was once a landfill.
Keep on collecting and dancing!
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Sonia Zaciga - Maryland I started to work with sea glass a few months ago. My favorite part is collecting it with the help of my husband and my 5 year old daughter. Each sea glass shape is so unique, lets you create one of a kind piece of art.
Journal: What a fantabulous mixed media creation Sonia! You pretty much speak for the majority of sea glass lovers when you say your favorite part is the collecting. What makes sea glass so special is not only the beautiful pieces you find, but the wonderful memories you have of collecting with family and friends.
Thanks for sharing!
PS... the answer to the headline question: Because it wanted to collect some sea glass and the beach was on the other side!
See LARGER IMAGE
A treasure from the island of Rhodes, Greece
Gina Argyrou - Greece While walking along a small little port cove beach, that I just discovered last year, I found this pretty perfectly frosted lavender topper! Most probably once part of a candy dish. It was a thrill to find this treasure on my little beach on the Greek pebble of Rhodes.
This beach, called Cova, has a big water tunnel from a river that runs out to the Aegean Sea and that is where all the pieces of glass, pottery and ceramics turn up in the sea.
Journal: That's a beautiful find Gina! It looks like it may have been a finial from a glass cover, possibly from a candy dish like you guessed. It's wonderful to hear from someone on the other side of the world. Thanks for sharing!
Susan Richardson, New England: I call it the sleeping angel but it may have been Jesus or Mary in prayer. I found it on a special beach in Massachusetts and it was tucked down between stones all I could see was the top of the head and I thought it was just a thick piece of clear glass. I always check, though, even if the piece may end up being something I wouldn't bring home, just in case. I've found nice red shards masquerading as brown doing the same thing!
Journal: What an unusual find Susan! I agree that you should always inspect the glass you come across as you never know what you may have found.
A Saucy Stopper!
Patricia M. Krause - Massachusetts: A good friend of mine recently gave me a glass lamp filled with sea glass. I took the lamp apart to sort the sea glass by color for my collection. When I came upon the stopper, I was so excited. The writing at the top reads Lea & Perrins. I recognize the name from using Worcestershire Sauce.
Were the bottles ever made in this color with a glass stopper? Thanks for your help!
Journal: What an unexpected and fantastic find for you Patricia! There were lots of old bottles using stoppers made in this seafoam color including the Lea & Perrins club sauce bottle. Most were produced in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The stoppers themselves commonly had a cork sheath around the stem to attain a tight seal.
Thanks for submitting!
Cabinet of Treasures!
Tina Brower - Pennsylvania: My favorite cabinet. The sea glass is from the Chesapeake Bay, the glass floats are from the Aleutians Islands. Both a gift from Maria Elena. On the bottom right is an old anchor. A gift from my father in law. It's filled with pottery from Florida all the way up to Canada.
You can't really see it but the box in the middle contains mini shells that people bring me from all over the world. I think the farthest is Japan.
Journal: That's a fantastic way to display your sea glass and other beach-combed treasures Tina. We can imagine experiencing the rush of a fresh ocean breeze and the smell of ocean air everytime you open it. It's very beachy!
Thanks for submitting!
Catch the Wave!
Crystal Lee, Maine: The sea glass is from the Canary Islands and was brought back by my cousin. His girlfriend asked me to create a design for him and this piece will go in the middle with photos from their trip all around it.
My twelve year old daughter, Daisy, actually put the design together and I simply poured the resin over the top. It reminds me of a big wave!
Journal: What a fantabulous piece of memorabilia Crystal! Daisy definitely has an eye for creating spirals with sea glass.
Thanks for submitting!
Lindy Kosydar: On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, my partner and I who are avid sea glass hunters were lucky enough to find these treasures. All in all we came home with over 50lbs of sea glass from both San Juan and Rincon. It was truly a sea glass hunters paradise.
Journal: It looks like you had a successful treasure hunt Lindy! Puerto Rico can truly be a collectors paradise!
Eggs-cellent Sea Glass!
Cyndee Welsh, California: It took me about 13 years to collect these colored eggs from the coves in Northern California. Typically I only find white eggs.
Journal: What a beautiful photo Cyndee! I dare say what we're looking at here is 13 years of wonderful memories.
A Fine Wine Topper?
Caroline, Bahamas: I found this in the water diving off of a lil' island called Meek's Patch off of Eleuthera, Bahamas. I was looking for marbels and a little bit of it was sticking out of the sand. When I pulled it out I was like "Yes! Wow!" I was soooooooooo happy! I could not belive it was not broken and I could not stop looking at it!
Journal: That's a fine specimen and not your average find when looking for sea glass Caroline. It appears to be the finial from a two-toned stopper to a wine or liquor decanter.
There's not much we can think of that's better than swimming in the Bahamas and discovering such a wonderful piece of sea glass!
Patricia Krause, MA: I found this piece sea glass on a Plymouth, Massachusetts beach after a recent Nor'easter. I walk the beach daily to find sea glass and by far this is my favorite piece. It is aqua blue in color, 9 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter of solid glass.
I have gotten a lot of guesses as to what it is antique towel rod, glass rod for blowing glass or a piece of glass cane. Any ideas?
Journal: What an unusual find Partricia! All those guesses seem plausible. My only other thought would be something used in electrical insulation. Maybe one of the other readers could provide the definitive answer to this mystery on the Journal's FaceBook page.
History in Glass
Christina Clausen: Hello! My name is Christina, I live in Flensburg, Northern Germany and I've found this Richard Wagner glass medaillon from the Winterhilfswerk at a nearby beach.
Have a nice Sunday and happy hunting!
Journal: What a nice historical find Christina! The Winterhilfswerk was an annual drive (literally "winter help work") established in Germany in the early 1930s to provide food, clothing and other essentials to needy Germans during the cold months. This Richard Wagner crystal intaglio was possibly one of many famous Germans created to help raise money for the cause.
While an original Wagner intaglio was not found on the internet for comparison, the site linked here... German Military Collectables shows (half way down the page) one of Adolf Hitler who probably took control of the relief effort and had his own likeness created as well.
Your find is another example of how sea glass collecting can be a hobby with many facets in this case leading to the discovery for many of another occurrence in world history.
Karen & Craig Burlew, NJ: These were found in New Jersey along the Delaware Bay, likely from a demolished glass factory as New Jersey had many at one time.
These are not the largest in our collection. We find many super chunks along the beach and have amassed a collection of over 6,000 pounds!
The KilnFusion photo (note shown) shows glass fused to a kiln block used in manufacturing. There are hundreds of similar pieces in our collection.
Journal: What a great spot to hunt for sea glass. Looking at all the other pix you sent it appears you have an amazing collection from that area.
You also noted that the both of you will be exhibiting some of your collection at the NASGA Sea Glass Festival on Saturday, Sept 27th. Everyone attending should stop by to see some of the other wonderful finds the both of you have.
For more information on the festival collectors' area click Collectors' Area.
Theresa, New Jersey: As the Summer of 2014 comes to an end I spent the last week of August at the Jersey shore and took every opportunity to search for sea glass. The beaches were untypically very rocky but there was a bounty of sea glass available so I powered through the stones.
In total for the week I found over 200 pieces of the typical browns, whites, some greens and even a few blue and tourquiose but then I came upon the "holy grail" of seaglass. Sitting by itself in an unusually sandy patch of beach was a 1" by 1" piece of red sea glass. I quickly grabbed it before the next wave hit thinking it had to be plastic but hoping it was not.
Upon closer inspection I could see it was glass and the red transitioned into orange and yellow. The most beautiful sea glass I have ever seen! I was so excited that I couldn't keep it to myself. I just had to share my prize with all the other sea glass hunters I passed on the beach to show it off and ask what they thought it could have came from.
Perhaps and old car light, perhaps Amberina?
Journal: That's a great find and a great question Theresa!
Amberina glass, a type of two-toned glassware, was first patented by Joseph Locke in the late 1800s. The red color was achieved by reheating the glass before it was allowed to cool. As some of you may have guessed already, a precipitate of colloidal gold is used in the glass to achieve the red color as in other types of red glassware.
Amberina is usually reserved for types of glassware where the two-toned effect is desired #150; more specifically, your fancier types of tableware. I've looked through many images of amberina glass on the web and did not found anything that resembles the ribbed pattern of your piece.
While this could be a type of tableware it looks more like a red glass lens, possibly from an automobile tail light. I have many shards from automobile tail lights and other red glass reflectors that show this type of two-tone color. The process for making such lights probably causes the outer edges of the glass to cool quickly causing a color shift to orange-yellow.
Maybe one of the other readers can shed some more light on the two-toned color found in tail lights and glass reflectors on the Sea Glass Journal Facebook Page.
More information on amberina glassware can be found by clicking Amberina Glass.
Thanks for sharing this interesting sea glass find!
Linda, Canada: I have only been collecting for a few months on beaches in New Brunswick, on Canada's East Coast. Recently my daughter and I visited a small beach in the area. There was so much glass that it was hard to decide what to keep. A gentleman from the area told me that up until 50 years ago this was a dump site. So I guess that's why there is so much getting washed up.
Most were pretty standard greens and browns. As we walked I noticed what looked like a round rock partially buried but not wanting to assume, I picked it up. I realized it was not a rock but a very puzzling piece of glass.
Later I showed it to a friend who has been collecting for many years and she had a couple of suggestions but had not seen a piece like it before.
This week my daughter sent me the link to your site showing the torpedo bottles and said this looks like what you found. Since I thought so too I decided to send you some pics.
Journal: Hi Linda! Lucky you! One amusing aspect of sea glass collectors is that we prefer to find an old, coastal dump to explore rather than sunbathing on a pristine beach!
Looking at the photos you sent, right off we can determine that it is an old piece of black glass. It looks to be a very dark olive green specimen, possibly from the 1800s. It does seem at first blush to have the rounded bottom common to a torpedo bottle (Torpedo Bottles) but after closer inspection we can rule that possibility out.
First and foremost, torpedo bottle bottoms are very thick at the tip and we can see that your specimen gets thinner in the center. Your find actually has all the markings of a kick-up from the bottom of an old bottle and what you first thought was the outside was actually the inside of the bottle.
Many sea glass kick-ups will have a little rounded bump in the middle referred to as a mamelon, caused by a metal rod with a concave tip. Your bottle bottom appears to have been pushed up with a rounded tipped rod. You can read more about kick-ups by clicking Sea Glass Kickups.
Thanks for sharing your unusual sea glass find!
The Thrill of Discovery!
Seamaiden, New England:
I wasn't five minutes at a favorite beach when my eye caught the stem of this tiny perfume stopper gleaming in the overcast light. I bent down to have a better look and felt that familiar thrill of discovering an exceptional treasure!
Some days feel like the perfect day of blessings showered down one after another and this particular day was just like that. This beauty was the first of several wonderful finds and is one of my most unique stoppers ever!
Journal: Methinks you spent a lot of time performing the "happy dance" that day Seamaiden. Thanks for sharing such an eye-popper sea glass stopper!
A Puzzling Prize!
Susan Cox, MI: I found this piece of beach glass this summer here in Marquette, Michigan on the shore of Lake Superior. I'm not sure what it is but it looks like a bottle top of some type of decanter. It's quite a large piece of beach glass measuring 1-1/4 inches across. What a surprise to see this beauty shimmering in the sand that day!
Journal: That's an interesting find Susan! It's difficult to tell with just the one photo but it could be the top (or bottom) of a clear glass bottle but I suspect it may be something else. One tactic I employ when I'm stumped is to take the piece to a few antique dealers to see if any of them can identify it.
If you happen to get it identified please let us know. Thanks for sharing!
Laura Hart, West Virginia: Hello! This is the same piece of beach glass I found in Erie, PA. I call it my beach glass candy I found it on a windy, chilly day last October. The waves were rough and I was just about to call it a day when it rolled right up on the pebble beds.
Journal: That is a wonderful piece of art glass Laura! It's funny how some prized gems appear just as one is about to leave the area. It's almost like the beach is giving a gift in the hopes that it can convince you to play just a little while longer.
Rick & Deb, Okinawa, Japan: My wife and I have been on Okinawa since December and have become weekly sea glass hunters. As senior pastor of a local English-language church and my wife busy teaching, we find the thrill of the hunt therapeutic. The fact it is a hobby we can enjoy together is a particular blessing.
There is a very private beach on the east coast that yields incredible finds. My wife picked up this beautiful marble the other Friday. She will be taking a large supply of sea glass back to the states this month for a two-week visit. The teacher in her has already planned out the crafts she will do with the seven grandchildren!
Sea glass hunting it is the thrill of the search, the blessing in the find, and the joy in sharing with others!
Journal: We couldn't have said it better Rick and Deb! That's a marvelous marble and we always enjoy hearing from sea glass collectors from around the world!
Ione Ackerman: My story on finding this piece is nothing short of miraculous! I had just returned to Juneau from visiting my daughter, Celeste and my grandson, Orion in Haines, Alaska. All three of us had gone "glassing" while I was up there and she had found her first piece of lavender sea glass! And so after I returned from my vacation I still had one last day off so I decided to go "glassing" again at the cove near where I live.
I found various sea glass, a green stopper, a blue marble and a pretty piece of pottery that had a water-color design. On my hike back down the beach a friend of mine who lives right on the beach asked to see my "treasures" so I placed them on the beach for him to see and he so graciously picked them up and placed them back in my hands. After I was back at home I noticed that the pretty pottery piece was not in my bag and then I knew at once that my friend had not picked it up with the other pieces. I was too tuckered out to go back and look for the pottery piece and decided to go down the next weekend and look for it.
Saturday came and I had a lot to do so I decided to go search for the pottery piece and not spend much time looking for anything else, just a quick hike down and back. I searched the area in front of my friend's house where I had placed my treasures but nothing. The tide was not a very low tide and so I couldn't go beyond the farthest house on the beach because the water was up to the concrete foundation. Deterred and disappointed, I began to walk back down the beach towards where I had parked my car and I could not get that pottery piece out of my head and I was feeling guilty because I knew it wasn't right to feel so strong about wanting it.
In my thoughts I told God that I could not hide my disappointment and the only thing that would make me forget that piece is if I found a purple stopper. A purple stopper was at the top of my "bucket-list" of things I wanted to find. As soon as I got in my car to head for home I decided I wasn't going to be defeated and drove over to the beach on the other side of the house where the tide would not allow me to go and slid down the embankment, walked over to the side of the house and walked down to where the tide was lapping at the shore and there, just barely on the shore from the tide was a purple stopper!!!
God performed a miracle and gave me the desire of my heart!! Did I believe that God used something as simple as a purple stopper to teach me something? Yes He did! If my friend had not failed to put that pottery piece back into my hands I would have never found that purple stopper! I also learned that God can turn a disappointment into something better if we persevere and do not give up!
Journal: What a fantabulous sea glass find Ione! That's a great example of a sun-colored amethyst sea glass stopper. You must certainly feel blessed!
Sea Glass Mesa-Round!
Linda Wozniak, Halifax, Nova Scotia: I have been collecting for a number of years on the east coast of Canada and wanted a way to display some of my favourite pieces. When I spotted this antique table at a secondhand store (and it was a very reasonable price!), I realized I had found the perfect showcase for some of my finds.
I wasn't quite sure what it would look like when I started putting in together but I started by painting the base with sand coloured paint and I added some actual sand to the paint. Then, like a puzzle, I just began adding pieces. I didn't want to glue them as I wanted the flexibility to add or change pieces.
In the end I replaced the glass cover and all in all was happy with the result! Next project... a window!
Journal: That's a fantabulous way to display some of your sea glass Linda! You must get a lot of "ooohs" and "ahhhhs" from your guests.
A Stopper Topper!
Char Spinosa: Hello! My name is Char Spinosa and I am from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. I have a "honey hole" along the shores of Lake Ontario that regularly produces stunning finds from yesteryear.
Last week we had rain and high winds so it was "ify" at best if I would find much, but, having a long cold winter, I went anyways. I packed up my tools, hip waders, mini backback, heavy coat and my rake.
I thought I saw a large piece of turquoise caught in the waves at the edge of the beach... timing and the rake, I pulled in this stunning turquoise bottle mouth with the stopper and cork-lining still attached!
The sad part is the beach becomes very boring until that next breath-taking piece.
Journal: Very nice find Char! It's rare to find a stopper let alone a stopper still stuck in a bottle top! What's great about this piece is that it shows how simple stoppers also used cork to help seal the bottle top.
We have no doubt that this sea glass specimen will be one of the premier finds in your collection.
Happy to Have the Blues!
Michael, 10 years old from PA, spent most of his spring break from 4th grade visiting his uncle in Bristol, RI and looking for sea glass with his brother and a freind. After completing the Cliff Walk in Newport, Michael wanted to search for some sea glass along the beaches. After about 45 minutes of collecting sea glass we were about to call it quits when Michael asked for just a couple more minutes. This is when he spotted the "find" of his trip, a cobal bluet sea glass marble perfectly rounded. He first thought it was a small rubber ball and was going to bounce test it against the rock, but thankfully he realized this was not a rubber ball, it was some type of glass.
Michael plans to carefully transport the piece of glass back to PA where he will come up with a safe place to display it, and have it as a great memory of the spending his vacation in RI with his parents, his brother, his friend, his uncle, and his big black labrador retriever.
Journal: What a find for Michael... and in my own back yard! That is one beauty of a cobalt blue shooter marble. Most collectors can search a lifetime and not find such a wonderful specimen. I have no doubt it will be one of the premier gems of his collection.
And we are extremely happy that Michael decided not to bounce his find against a rock to see if it was a rubber ball! That would certainly have given him the blues!
Of Bleaches & Beaches!
Tracy: I just got into collecting sea glass and think I may have become obsessed. I just moved to Pacific Grove, CA and there seems to be a ton of sea glass around the Monterey Peninsula.
Yesterday I found a brown handle of some sort at the beach in Seaside and today I was shocked to find one almost identical on the beach in Monterey.
I "googled" to see what they might be and found out that they might be old Clorox bleach bottle handles. Do you know if that is correct?
Journal: Those are nice specimens and we think you're right Tracy! They're probably from Clorox jugs or some other bleach jug such as Purex which also came in large, brown glass jugs.
Have fun collecting from the Monterey Bay! Besides being a very beautiful area there are lots of beaches to collect sea glass.
Sandy: I found this beautiful piece of aqua colored glass in Mazatlan Mexico, after sea kayaking to an off shore island. What a great find! It looks like it might be the edge of a glass insulator. The other side has what's left of a large lip.
After a trip to a small local town that was inland, we noticed the aqua colored insulators on the lines going out of town!
What ever it is, I'm thrilled!
Journal: That is a great find Sandy and I do believe you're correct in believing it's part of an electrical insulator. It's thick and chunky that insulators are commonly found with and it appears from the photo that it has the tell-tale inside threads found on most insulators.
On vacation in Mexico, sea kayaking to explore an island and finding a great sea glass specimen... priceless!
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