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Create Your Own Beauty With Sea Glass

If you are a jewellery maker, crafter, or simply artistic, you will always be on the lookout for odds and ends to use in your creations. Sea glass makes a wonderful addition to any artwork and is readily available on eBay.

Using sea glass in jewellery

Sea glass is essentially pieces of glass, ground smooth by the action of the sea. Taking anything from 20 to 100 years to complete the process, the end results can be exquisite. Finding pieces of sea glass that are similar enough to put into a single piece or matched set of earrings is quite rare. This does mean, though, that each finished piece of jewellery will be utterly unique.

What is the difference between sea glass and beach glass?

In terms of creation, sea glass and beach glass both come from water. Sea glass gains its texture and surface 'etching' from weathering in saltwater bodies. Beach glass, however, is created from contact with freshwater, so has a much 'clearer' appearance than sea glass.

Artificial vs authentic sea glass

There are several characteristic differences between artificial and authentic sea glass. These include the 'etching' on authentic sea glass which is only present after 20-plus years of submersion and tumbling, as well as colour consistency. Authentic sea glass is very difficult to match precisely, which makes it rarer and more expensive than artificial sea glass.

What else can sea glass be used for?

As sea glass is available in a wide variety of shades, it can also be used in more prosaic household decorations. Putting a few inches of sea glass into a clear vase for a flower arrangement can not only offer added visual interest but will also give a useful way to 'fix' stems and twigs in place. Using sea glass as a 'topping' in plant pots for succulents or cacti will protect soil from inquisitive pets, as well as tie a colour scheme together. Or a bed of sea glass around candles on a tray will catch dripping wax and protect surfaces from damage.

Characteristics of sea glass

Given the nature of sea glass creation, sometimes shell fragments or other materials might be mixed into a bulk batch of sea glass for sale. To identify true sea glass, look for the following:

  • Rich, consistent colour.
  • Smooth, rounded edges.
  • Frosted or opaque 'etched' surfaces.
  • No cracks or visible damage.
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