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sea /beach glass
Found 2.10.99
Nags Head, NC
Sea Glass Or Beach Glass?
(And Just What the Heck Is IT?)
I've yet to decide which term to use! (Tell me which one you Prefer!)
Wherever you find people and water you more than likely will find it! Walking along the shoreline, beachcombing, looking among the pebbles, shells and other flotsam, you'll sometimes find these lovely frosted gems. Basically it's nature recycling our pollution! How Cool! 
It's bottles & glass that get tossed or left on the shore, broken and get tumbled and washed smooth by the waves and currents. It's nature acting like a big rock tumbler! Beach Glass can be found on rivers, ocean shorelines and bays. The more current or wave action, the more likely that you are to find SMOOTH glass.

It's sometimes fun to look at a piece an try an figure out just where it came from, what was it, and how long has it been rolling around??? It's kind of like beach archaeology. For a complete essay on beach glass / sea glass see Beaches Magazine, for an interview we did. It is everything you always wanted to know about beach glass!

Below are thoughts others have shared about sea glass and it's appeal!
Write me about your memories of sea glass or tell me about that favorite piece you have stashed away!

"I have, again, a life-long love of sea glass.  We used to collect it as children, and I always thought it was more precious than gems, since the colors are so beautifully muted, and there is an air of mystery about each piece: where did it come from, how long was it washed in the ocean,  where has it traveled, how old is it, what other hands held it?? etc., etc.  It is such a transformation to go from being a piece of something ordinary or discarded or forgotten to becoming an object which captures the light and the imagination, a treasure which possibly becomes a piece of exquisite jewelry!?!?!!"
      Angela - Charlottesville, VA
"Saw your site and couldn't help telling you of the tradition in my family. When my children were small I would take them to the ocean and they would bring me treasures of all kinds; driftwood, worn smooth by sea and surf; empty shells, discarded by some growing creatures; found objects large and small. One of the true treasures was sea glass. We would collect all colors and oooh and aaah at their beauty, sending some back to the sea to "ripen" some more in hopes of finding them next time. The very best gem of the day was blue sea glass, guaranteeing the finder of such a piece a free ice cream cone in their choice of flavor. Great days we had."

"Between the ages of 6 and 16, I spent my summers in a small coastal town in Maine. Owl's Head has many beaches and coves for an adventurous youngster. Over those ten years, I spent as much as 12 hours a day exploring. I collected sand dollars, starfish, rocks, sea urchins, driftwood, buoys, but my favorite find was always beach glass (By the way, my vote is for "Beach Glass", I rarely heard the term sea glass. They also sometimes refer to it as "Mermaids Tears"). I would always have jars full off beach glass at the end of the summer.

Now 36, I have my own son, who at 12 reminds me so much of myself at that age, it's scary. Last year I returned to Owl's Head for a week long vacation with my family. It was as if time had stood still all those years I was away. The beaches were the same, the tide still leaving many treasures to be found. I felt like a kid again. Each morning as the lobster boats past by, I would awake, and with my first cup of coffee in hand, I would be out combing the beach. My son would soon be following behind me. He didn't fare as well as I did in finding the beach glass, as he did not have 10 years experience is how to spot the glass. He did however disappear for hours on end. It seems that exploring could be in the blood. We followed the tide chart, and planned our days activities based on the lows and highs.

On one excursion, after having walked at least a mile down the coast, we climbed down from some rocks to a small secluded rocky beach. Both of our eyes widened as we found piece after piece of dark blue glass. Usually a hard find, this small little patch seemed to be a magnet for the stuff. At the end of the week, We had two coffee cans full of beach glass, and several cans full of other stuff. None of us wanted to leave at the end of the week, but I have lots of things to remind me of the wonderful time we had."

In Maine you can find,
along it's rocky beaches.
Different colors of glass,
that have broken to pieces.

Over time the sand and rocks,
have smoothed all their edges.
And the waves drop them off,
under the rocks and on ledges.

Brown, green and clear,
of all shapes and sizes.
It's best to search for beach glass,
before the tide rises.

Blue, yellow and red.
Are much harder to find.
But after gathering a few,
they'll be your favorite kind.

Called a Mermaids Tears,
to folks from 'round here.
They've been washing ashore,
for many a year.
      Brian Haslip - Pennsylvania

"I prefer "sea glass" because it sounds classier than beach glass. it also rolls off of the tongue easier. Anyway, that is my opinion and you asked for it!!" 
      Kathy Novak

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This page was last updated July 4, 2000
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