Finding and Making Jewelry With Sea Glass

Jewelry and other personal decorations for the body predate the written word, and over the many millennia, different materials have been used to create jewelry of all kinds, from sea shells to gold, silver, and precious gems like rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. And ever since glass started being made in Mesopotamia around 2000 B.C., sea glass entered the world of jewelry, and sea glass has proven itself popular around the world for the beauty of the products and how sea glass bits can be used in all kinds of jewelry today. A sea glass pendant is one possibility, and can be worn around the neck. A sea glass bracelet can also be made when a piece of sea glass is put into a gold or silver band around the wrist or forearm, and an authentic sea glass charm or other beach glass jewelry can be very attractive and possibly much more price-friendly than regular gems, depending on the color of sea glass used in an item like a sea glass pendant. How is sea glass made, and what are some rare colors that collectors might like?

On Sea Glass

A sea glass pendant or earrings or anything else made from this materials has its origins in man-made glass, which makes it a practically unique category of jewelry. While gems like diamonds and rubies are cut by human hands into different shapes, they are formed in nature and are found rather than made. Sea glass, by contrast, always originates as man-made glass products, ranging from stained glass windows to glass drinking vessels to medicine bottles and more. These glass products often end up as part of trash dumps in the oceans, and until recently, a lot of human waste was disposed of in the world’s oceans, so this provided vast amounts of glass that was exposed to the ocean’s seawater for years. Due to the salt and pH of seawater, broken pieces of glass will be ground down and reshaped in water over time, and they will have their sharp edges sanded down and the glass may adopt new hues of colors and transparency or a lack thereof, and by the time such glass washes up onto beaches around the world, it is hardly even recognizable as man-made material. Instead, the natural ocean will have carved the sea glass into a smooth and often beautiful product in varying colors, making it ideal for jewelry.

Sea glass pieces can be used for a sea glass pendant, sea glass necklaces, earrings, ring jewelry, and anything else that a jeweler will want to make with it, and they can design and price jewelry pieces based on the shape, quality, and the color of a piece of sea glass being used. Jewelers will probably know that different colors of sea glass are more common than others, based on the colors of the original man-made products as well as how natural materials change the colors of other glass types. For example, gentle hues of blue, green, and aqua are fairly common among sea glass, and can be found in every 50 to 100 pieces of it, while orange stands as the rarest color, with an orange sea glass piece being found in one in every 10,000 pieces or so, and red is also a fairly rare color. This can greatly affect the price of a sea glass pendant or other product made with this material, alongside the value of the metals involved like silver or gold.

Wedding jewelry, for example, can certainly be made from sea glass, and it is increasingly popular nowadays for brides and grooms to use alternative materials for engagement rings and other jewelry, and diamonds face competition such as sapphires and emeralds, and this may include sea glass as well. The bride could wear sea glass as earrings during the ceremony, and the bridesmaids could wear subtler sea glass jewelry as well. This could be on-theme for an outdoor beach wedding ceremony, for example. And even for indoor weddings, sea glass jewelry can be a great choice when a wedding’s theme is based on a color (this is fairly common) and certain pieces of sea glass can match those colors to complete the theme.

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