The next time you are at the beach and stumble upon a piece of Sea Glass, take a pause and look at it before you just throw it back down.
I have been going to the beach my whole life, and I have never found a piece of Sea Glass. It’s turned into this weird obsession I have. Instead of just enjoying my time with the waves, I’m constantly scanning the ground for just a glimpse of that smooth, cloudy, yet colorful piece of history.
Yes, I said, “piece of history.”
How Is Sea Glass Made?
It takes between roughly 30 to 100 years of crashing and smashing along the sea to develop into Sea Glass. Shocking, isn’t it!!
Naturally produced or “genuine sea glass” originates from broken bottles, broken tableware, or even shipwrecks. The glass shards are rolled and tumbled by the ocean’s tides for decades until all the sharp edges are smoothed and rounded.Return To Now
Now, obviously I am going to the wrong beaches, because there are entire beaches that are made up of this Sea Glass phenomenon that nature made into beautiful artwork.
Where Can You Find Sea Glass?
I have always gone to beaches in Southern California, South Texas, and The Outer Banks of North Carolina. You just kind of go where you live, right? But, that doesn’t bode very well for finding Sea Glass.
Sure, I’ve taken trips to the ocean in Northern Florida and South Carolina, but alas, negative on the Sea Glass searching front.
If I want to get serious about my quest to find Sea Glass, I will have to plan my seagoing adventure and venture outside of my home base.
Road trip anyone?!?
There are entire beaches basically made of Sea Glass — from Northern California, to Australia, to Scotland, to Hawaii. You just have to know where to look.
Glass Beaches In The Western United States
- Fort Bragg, located along the northern Pacific Coast of California, actually has a place called MacKerricher State Park Glass Beach. The seashore is peppered with colorful glass stones just about as far as the eye can see.
- At Davenport Beach, located in Davenport, California, the Sea Glass isn’t as prevalent — you would do best to find it at low tide or in a wetsuit, exploring the deeper waters. It’s not always easy to find Sea Glass here, but many treasure hunters hit the shores of Davenport Beach looking for a glimpse of the beautiful nature-made masterpiece.
- Summerland Beach, in Sacramento, California has a yearly festival called the Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival. It not only honors the colorful glass on the beach, but it pays tribute to those artists who make creations using the Sea Glass.
- Del Monte Beach is located in Monterey, California, just south of Fisherman’s Wharf. Sea Glass here is a bit tricky to find — but it exists, I promise. It tends to collect in between groups of pebbles, and you have to hunt to find it.
- Port Townsend, Washington has its own “Glass Beach.” It was a waste dumping place until environmentalists and real estate developers stepped in. You have to hike to get here — it’s located at McCurdy Point — but it’s touted as some of the best Sea Glass you can find.
- Lincoln City, Oregon has about EIGHT miles of beach to explore for Sea Glass. It’s such a popular spot for Sea Glass hunters, that the town puts floats at the tide line to help people more easily find the Sea Glass.
Glass Beaches In The Eastern United States
- Quincy, Massachusetts is home to Spectacle Island — a former landfill site that has been transformed over time to a haven for hunters and collectors alike. But, be forewarned, you aren’t supposed to take anything you find. They want it to stay beautiful for all the people who come to gaze upon its beauty.
- If you are looking for blue and green Sea Glass, go hit up Machiasport, Maine — home to Jasper Beach.
- In South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you will find the shores of Lake Michigan. Grant Park Beach — though tricky to find — has some of the prettiest freshwater Sea Glass you will come across.
- Bowman’s Beach, in Sanibel Island, Florida, is known more for its cool seashells than its Sea Glass, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look. You will find plenty of the colorful glass in between the beautiful seashells.
Other Places To Hunt For Sea Glass
If you’re looking for an excuse to take an exotic vacation, you can also find glass beaches in England, Russia, Hawaii, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Japan, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Morocco, Spain, and Australia.
I’m just saying, hunting for Sea Glass is a great reason to plan your next vacation!
What Are The Different Colors Of Sea Glass?
You will find Sea Glass in many different colors and hues. Sea Glass hunters can tell you where a piece of glass originated.
The most common colors of sea glass – kelly green, brown, white, and clear – come from modern beer, juice and soft drink bottles, as well as plates, drinking glasses, windshields and windows.
Less common colors include jade, amber, forest green and ice blue, which came from whiskey bottles, medicine bottles and ink bottles from the late 19th and and early 20th centuries, and lime green, which comes from soda bottles in the 1960s.
When you find a purple or cobalt blue, those are even more rare. The purple and blue pieces are made from containers that used to be glass: Milk of Magnesia bottles, poison bottles, and Vicks VapoRub containers. If you find an aqua piece, it probably originated from a Ball Mason jar.
Then you have the pieces that are extremely rare to find — make sure you take a picture to prove you found it! These would be the gray, pink, teal, yellow, turquoise, red, and orange colors of Sea Glass. They are made from everything from depression-era plates, to tail lights, to wine bottles.
BUT, the #1 hardest glass to find — it is a true treasure — are the black pieces of Sea Glass. It is quite possible these have been floating in the sea for 500 years! It is speculated that these black glass stones originated from pirates’ liquor bottles in the Caribbean.
“Drink Up Me Hearties — Yo Ho!!”*
* Pirates of the Caribbean