Real vs Man-Made Sea Glass

orange-sea-glass

Orange Natural Sea Glass, Orange is the rarest of the sea glass colors.

I have collected sea glass since I was six-year-old. One of my biggest pet peeves is that people are selling man-made sea glass as real sea glass. Several people have come into Sand N Stones asking me if there is a way to tell the difference between real sea glass and man-made sea glass. The answer is yes and no.  If we look at the definition of Seaglass…. Any piece of glass that has found its way in a large body of water, the waves brake it up, the current tumbles it along and it is the acidity of the water, eating away at the glass that gives it the frosting that we love. It takes 50 or more years to make a piece of glass into a piece of seaglass.

The acid is what gives the glass a frosty look and gives it that nice almost “gritty” feeling, which is so desirable.  However, as we also know the acid in body of water varies from place to place. Making it a bit more difficult.

When glass is tumbled in a rock tumbler, which is one of the ways that people make so-called sea glass, it has a silky smooth feel to it, very much like tumbled rocks would.

blue-sg-101815Natural Turquoise blue sea glass wire framed pendant from Sand N Stones in Lewes, DE

Another way you can tell sea glass from man-made seaglass is the shape.  Glass fractures in a triangular like shape. It does not break in a perfect square or circle shape. If the object has been broken and it is in any other shape other than a somewhat triangular like shape you can question that it may be man-made sea glass. However, if the object has not been broken by the waves, or the glass hitting something like a rock, and it was originally round such as this brake light it could be true sea glass.  The brake light pictured is an example of that, which you can see at Sand N Stones.  Also if you find two pieces of sea glass that are identical, glass does not fracture the same twice, you want your red flag to go up, and start asking questions is this real sea glass or man-made.
Richard LaMotte who is known as the God Father of Sea Glass wrote the first true book dedicated to learning about these vanishing gems Pure Sea Glass and is know as the Bible of Sea Glass he has also published the Lure Of Sea Glass and Pure Sea Glass Identification cards.
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Another good book about sea glass is CS Lamber’s book Sea Glass Hunters Handbook.  This also gives you a list of beaches broken down by State and Country where you may be able to find Sea Glass. However, I have found that sea glass is getting harder and harder to find even at some of my personal best beaches, that is why I believe “man made sea glass”  is being made.

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

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