The Sea Glass Shard of the Month: April 2012
A Teal Sea Glass Bottle Bottom
Sea Glass Specifications:
Max Length: 28.6 mm (1.125")
Max Width: 17.5 mm (0.688")
Max Thickness: 7.9 mm (0.313")
Weight: 6.4 grams (0.226 oz)
Estimated Age: 80 to 150 Years Old
This month's sea glass specimen is a teal shard from Puerto Rico. Teal is a bluish-green hue in glass originating from many of the same oxides used to create the other shades of greens found in glass products. Iron, chromium, and copper all produce different shades of green glass. Combined with such oxides of cobalt mixed with chromium will produce the teal, blue-green glass.
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It is believed the name for the color teal was inspired by the small freshwater Common Teal, a member of the duck family, whose eyes are surrounded by this color.
While this sea glass gem is fairly smooth at first glance, backlighting reveals the distinctive C-shaped pitting covering the surface.
The teal color is very uncommon in machine-made bottles and generally indicates a 19th or early 20th century manufactured container.
Sodas, mineral waters, porters beer and ales were the usual types of bottles made with this teal color and were commonly of a round cross section and thicker sides. This design was essential for bottles that had to withstand the rigors of repeated handling and rebottling.
"...the chances of finding a sea glass gem in this color are one in 2,500..."
Another typical source for this color type was the Rumford Chemical bottles produced in Rhode Island. The most popular chemical produced by the firm was Horsford's Acid Phosphate. This tonic concentrate, produced from the 1860s until the mid 20th century, made a "delicious and refreshing drink" similar to the present day lemon-lime drinks. These elixire was taken to "relieve mental and nervous exhaustion and cured other ailments."
This color in sea glass is considered rare to extremely rare and according to Richard LaMotte, author of "Pure Sea Glass," the chances of finding a sea glass gem in this color are one in 2,500. With that the Sea Glass Journal recommends demonstrating perseverance as it may take some time before one is lucky enough to stumble across such a rare and beautiful sea glass shard.
3. Norman, Teresa (2003). A World of Baby Names. Perigee. pp. 145. ISBN 0399528946.