This week is Delaware Week, being Delaware Day is December 7th. I have not posted much about the fascinating history that this First State has to offer, and I am blessed to have a retail shop in the First Town in the First State.
I thought that I would include the words to our State Song today…
Oh the hills of dear New Castle,
And the smiling vales between, When the corn is all in tassel,
And the meadow lands are green;
Where the cattle crop the clover,
And it’s breath is in the air,
While the sun is shining over
Our beloved Delaware.
Oh our Delaware! Our beloved Delaware!
For the sun is shining over Our beloved Delaware,
Oh our Delaware! Our beloved Delaware!
Here’s a loyal son that pledges
Faith to good old Delaware.
Where the wheat fields break and billow,
In the peaceful land of Kent,
Where the toiler seeks his pillow,
With the blessing of content;
Where the bloom that tints the peaches
Cheeks of merry maidens share,
And the woodland chorus preaches
A rejoicing Delaware.
Dear old Sussex visions linger,
Of the holly and the pine,
Of Henlopen’s jeweled finger
Flashing out across the brine;
Of the gardens and the hedges
And the welcome waiting there
For the loyal son that pledges
Faith to good old Delaware.
From New Castle’s rolling meadows,
Through the fair rich fields of Kent
To the Sussex shores hear echoes
Of the pledge we now present;
Liberty and independence
We will guard with loyal care,
And hold fast to freedom’s presence
In our home state, Delaware
Words by Geo. B. Hynson, Music by Will S. Brown and 4th verse by Donn Devine
Recently, I was asked why I do not really talk about or post on my website or social media about the healing properties of gemstones.
Michele’s Healing Properties Beliefs’
Most of my life I usually had stone or mineral in my pocket. One day my father, who has a very concreate scientific mind, asked me why I always had a stone in my pocket. I always replied, “that it makes me feel better.” He asked me how it made me feel better? Knowing that I needed to come up with a very scientific answer I explained…
Rock are minerals, our bodies are made up of minerals. Dad always taught me that when we get sick it is because our body is lacking a type of mineral. Most of our medications that we take daily are minerals. Our largest organ of the body is our skin. So laying a mineral on top of our skin, our body absorbs small amounts of that mineral into our body.
He asked how do I know which stone I need. I told him, that there are several books written on this subject, but I use them as very loose guidelines. I really depend on whatever stone I am drawn to that day.
Here is a list of a few books that I use as a very loose guideline for Healing Properties. What I have found is that some of these books contradict each other, they are reporting on what experiences they have found with a particular stone.
Yesterday, a gentleman came into Sand N Stones and we started talking about sea glass, and what sea glass is. It is essentially our trash that has found its way into a large body of water, the waves break it up, the tide comes along smoothing the edges with the sand, and it is the acidity of the water, eating away at the glass causing the coveted frosting. It takes 50+ years to make a piece of glass into a piece of sea glass. I also explained that glass is a made from a natural products, Lime, Soda, and Sand when mixed together it forms sand. We started talking about how we wished that more things were made from glass.
I know that we can sterilize glass and reuse it over and over again. How things taste so much better when it is served in glass vs plastic. I realize that it cost more to ship glass than plastic, because of the weight of the glass. The money that we are paying for environmental clean-up and health care issues caused by the plastics and styrofoam, would surely make up for the shipping cost of glass.
There is an island floating out in the ocean, bigger than the size of Texas, purely made from plastic. Unfortunately, it only keeps on getting bigger. We than started talking about how people are not going to stop polluting, and how our great-great grandchildren will still be dealing with our plastic and styrofoam trash during their life time. At least with glass, the waves and the rocks will break up the glass, and eventually it will go down to a pebble of sand once again.
I told him that I have never heard of an animal passing away from a piece of glass, now I am sure that may have happened, but surely not to the extent that we are hearing about today with plastics.
He told me that the Recycling companies are having a hard time with recycling glass. They really cannot melt it down, so they are trying to crush it called glass cullet. At one time, they were mixing the glass with our asphalt, to pave our roads eliminating the need to presort the glass and replace gravel which is mixed into the asphalt. They also use glass cullet for match tips, tile, and counter-tops. There has been some chatter about possibly replenishing the beaches, and the golf course sand pits with the crushed glass, but according to the gentleman that I was speaking with they are still getting slivers of glass that are sharp. So they have not perfected that idea yet.
After the gentleman left my shop, I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation. What if we allowed Mother Nature to take over that process? It has been proven over time, that if we dump ONLY glass into our oceans, The waves will break it up, and it will eventually go back down to a grain of sand once again. This would help with keeping the natural ocean shelves where they need to be. Instead of destroying them when we do beach preservation. It will not really disturb our marine animals and birds because they have the same enzymes that we have, and their cuts will heal, look at most of the manatees, whales and sharks they all have scars which have all healed. I do not believe that that the lime and soda that also is in glass, will disturb our wildlife either, since it will be mixed in with the glass, which is in a solid state.
Please do not hear me say, that I think that we should litter. that is not what this blog post is about. What I want to say, is that I feel that we should go back to glass containers, it is safer for us, our environment, and our planet.
I think that we need to come up with some simple creative solutions that will take care of more than one problem.
by Michele Buckler – Sand N Stones- 112 Front St. Lewes, DE
Long ago before we became “Green” conscious, we use to throw large portions of trash into bodies of water. Few ever gave a second thought to what happened to the trash once it got there. It would roll around in the sea for many years, some would break down and disappear, and others would wash back up on our shores.
Beachcombers use to walk the beaches and pick up glass seeing it as liter from long ago, others collected it, intrigued by its colors and shapes. It was not until Richard LaMotte wrote “Pure Sea Glass” in 2004, which told us of the value, where the glass could have come from, about the colors and the rarity of those colors.In 2009 he came out with a supplement to his book called “Pure Sea Glass Identification Cards, and in 2015 The Lure Of Sea Glass.
Genuine or Natural “Tide Tumbled” Sea Glass (also known as beach glass, mermaid’s tears, and Old Salts, Salties, many other names) is formed when any piece of glass (mostly bottles, tableware, windows, insulators, marbles, bonfire glass, ship wrecks, etc.) made their way into large bodies of water. The waves breaking them down, turning glass into shards, usually in triangular shape. The currents would move the glass over sandy surfaces smoothing the edges. Over several decades, the acidity of the water would give it a frosting turning glass into sea glass. It takes 50+ years for the acidity to eat away enough glass to make seaglass.
Many people are wondering why it is getting harder to find sea glass; there are different theories about this. More things are made of plastic today instead of glass. Some say it’s because most beaches have a carry in carry out policy. Can you remember when there were trash cans on the beaches? We are doing more recycling so we are not polluting as much as we once did. The process of beach restoration is pumping the sand from way out covering up the glass, there are also more beaches that are manicured, so they collect the shells, stones and sea glass, and use it for other purposes such as driveways. Most people say it is because more people are collecting it.
Beachcombers have found that they enjoy picking up sea glass, and displaying them in containers in their homes similar to those who enjoy gathering shells, stones and sea pottery. Authors have written about sea glass, Artisans have found ways to incorporate sea glass in their jewelry, photographs and paintings. Others have found ways to use the glass into everyday items such as sun catchers and candles. Some enjoy trying to identify its original origins.
“When I find a piece of sea glass it is like finding a missing piece of the puzzle.”
A few people have tried, unsuccessfully, to copy “Mother Nature’s” work by tumbling or etching the glass, called Ersatz sea glass. Zrsatz sea glass (fake, faux or Earth glass) has a certain appeal to some and is less expensive to buy, but to a true collector it cannot match the beauty or value that natural sea glass has. It is one of the few man-made things that get more desirable after it has been discarded and weathered by the elements.
Most beaches have sea glass some are better than others. You can do some research and find out if there were any shipwrecks near by, or what the beach or body of water was used for? Once you have found a beach that you want to collect glass from, it is best to look for glass during a full or new moon in the Fall and early Spring at low tide. But the most important thing about “sea glassing” is don’t tell others where you find your treasures.
You can bring your Sea Glass that you have found into Sand N Stones and Michele will be happy to custom wire wrap it for you in either 14k gf, Anti-Tarnish Sterling Silver (Argentium), or a combination of both. Michele usually makes pendants, pin, or earrings out of the Sea Glass.
Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, “Your One Stop Sea Glass Shop!”
Your local Antique Bottle Club
I asked an Archaeologist one day if there was a way to save the shards that I find on the beach from crumbling over time. She told me… Pottery Shards are very pores, and when they have been in salt water for many years, the salt gets inside of the pottery, and since salt is a drying agent it could over time make the pottery crumble. She suggested that I soak the pottery shards in half distilled vinegar and half distilled water in a glass jar with a lid for a week or so. She explained that the vinegar was a drawling agent and it will drawl the salt out of the pottery. When you take the pottery out of the jar it will have a slight vinegar smell to it but the smell goes away in a few days. She told me that this will not change the pattern on any designs on the pottery if there is any left, remember when we dye Easter eggs we use the white vinegar to set the dye on the egg.
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.
Natural 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.
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.
Sandy Delaware Sandflakes TM Ornaments are made with genuine Delaware sand located off the Delaware Bay. Handcrafted locally here in Delaware especially for Sand N Stones. We currently have 2 different sizes and 2 different snowflake styles. The largest of the sandflakes TM measures 5.5 inches square. Each snowflake is unique and since they are make from genuine Delaware Beach Sand no two are exactly alike. Keep the memories of your favorite beach with you through the winter season.
Growing up in Delaware, Michele Buckler, owner of Sand N Stones, Delaware and Nature Shop has some of her best memories walking the beaches, looking for beach treasures and feeling the cool sand between her toes. Over the years, sea glass, shells, beach pebbles, and Delaware Bay Diamonds have gotten harder to find. However, one thing that has always been there is the sand! Michele wanted to find a way to preserve the warm memories she hopes that we all have and the feeling that we get while walking our Delaware beaches. Talking to many customers about their love for our beaches, several people have asked Michele for ornaments from the area.
Michele contacted some of her local artisan friends and came up with idea of “Sandy Delaware”. Each year, Sand N Stones will release an exclusive new ornament made from “Delaware Sand”. This year, 2015-2016 there will be several sizes and styles of “Lewes Sandflakes” and the shape of Delaware, made from sand. Each ornament looks as timeless and is delicate as the sand itself, yet will hold its integrity for many years to come.
“No matter where life takes you, we hope that Sandy Delaware Ornaments touches your hearts and brings you warm memories.”
If you would like more information about Sandy Delaware, please contact Michele Buckler at Sand N Stones, 112 Front Street, Lewes, Delaware 302-270-7027 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org website www.SandNStones.com follow us on Facebook
AKA Cape May Diamonds
The Delaware Bay Diamonds are quartz crystals, resembling translucent pebbles. They begin their lives truly “in-the-rough” in the upper reaches of the Delaware River, in the areas around the Delaware Water Gap. Pieces of quartz crystal are broken off from veins and pockets by the water current from mountain streams that feed into the river. Thus begins a journey of more than 200 miles that takes thousands of years to complete. Along the way, the sharp edges of the stones are smoothed as they are tumbled along the river bottom to the bay on rapid river currents. Eventually the stones come to rest on the shores of the Delaware Bay in South New Jersey and Southern Delaware.
Thousands of vacationers from Cape May and the Delaware Beach area come each year search for these sparkling crystals that, when cut and faceted, have the appearance of real diamonds. The largest concentration is on the sands of Sunset Beach in Cape May Point. The ship wreck, Atlantis and a rocky jetties trap the stones, which are forced ashore in large quantities just prior to being swept by the tides into the Atlantic Ocean.
Some days the stones are more plentiful than others. Would-be prospectors should come equipped with a beach bucket, sand shovel, and a beach sieve to shake off sand. Typical stones are about the size of a pea and come in different shapes and colors. “Much of the time, larger stones the size of marbles are just underneath a layer of smaller ones,” advises Kathy Hume. Finds as large as eggs have been reported. On one occasion, a gem weighing over one pound was found. Prospectors may also find sharks’ teeth, Indian arrowheads, agates, and black quartz.
Some gift shops at Sunset Beach sell Delaware Bay Diamond jewelry. These pieces are made from gems that have been smoothed and polished in rock
tumblers or cut and faceted. When they are faceted, these gems have the appearance of a genuine diamonds and before the advent of modern gem scanning equipment, many a pawn broker was fooled by the “Delaware Bay Diamond.” Sand N Stones, Delaware and Nature Shoppe in Lewes, Delaware likes to wrap the stone in its natural state, as well as tumbled and they make wonderful souvenirs from the beach.
Delaware Bay Diamonds may have more than just monetary or sentimental value. In an earlier time, the local Kechemeche Indians, a part of the Lenni-Lenape tribe, believed the gems had supernatural powers to influence the well-being and good fortune of their possessor. The bonds of friendship and lasting goodwill were often sealed with gifts or exchanges of the sacred gems or for trading with other tribes and with the newly arriving European colonists.
This was especially true of those gems which were larger and free of any flaws. One of the largest “Cape May Diamonds” was presented to an early settler, Christopher Leaming, by King Nummy, last chief of the Lenni-Lenape. King Nummy received the gem from the Kechemeche as a tribute to him and as proof of their faithfulness and loyalty. Mr. Leaming had the stone sent back to the old country, Amsterdam, Holland. A lapidary expertly cut and polished the stone into a most beautiful gem.
Historically, the southeast portion of New Jersey contained many glass manufacturers, and Delaware Bay Diamonds are often attributed incorrectly to glass remnants, or sea glass discarded by these sources, which were then washed down the Delaware River until they were tumbled in a smoothed on local beaches. Delaware Bay Diamonds are more rounded like that of a grape or pea, where as sea glass tends to be more triangular in shape.
A gentleman came into Sand N Stones, one day, and I was telling him about the Delaware Bay Diamonds, AKA Cape May Diamonds. He told me of how the Cape May Diamond truly got it name. There was a gentleman, who dated his Aunt, who was a rock hound and had been collecting these clear quartz off the beaches of Cape May. One year a Gem Show came to Cape May, New Jersey, and this gentleman wanted to participate in the show. So he filled out the application, when he was asked what he would be selling he put clear quartz stones found on the beaches of Cape May. They would not allow him into the show because the sponsors did not feel that they were the type of stones/gems that they represented in their show. that it was a gem show. He took his case to court. He told the judge that these beach stones were actually Cape May Diamonds. He stated that a Presidential figure (he did not remember which one) was walking the beach and saw these stones that when he held them up he saw a rainbow like are ”fire” in the stones, very similar to what Diamonds have, and he called them Cape May Diamonds. He won the case and participated in the show. The gentleman in the store told me that Rock Hound made up the story so that he could win the case and participate in the show.
The one that I have wrapped pictured are still in its natural rough state. I have not tumbled it, I personally like that frosted natural state of the Delaware Bay Diamonds. To me they have the texture like sea glass, yet they are from the mineral world. If you would like, I will be happy to wrap one that you have found, however, it needs to be close to the size of a dime for me to be able to wrap it.
Recently I have learned that you can also find Bay Diamonds in the Chesapeake Bay as well, however they are a bit darker and some are even a bit greyish black.
Bonfire Glass: is glass that has been in a fire, such as beach bonfires, building fires, and landfill burns. These pieces of glass pictured were formed when glass was thrown into a bonfire and melted (glass melts at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and when high tide comes in cools the glass very quickly. Sometimes you get neat things trapped inside of the glass like sand, pebbles, other bottles layer together and ash. Sometimes when the glass has become molten it is very difficult to identify what the glass was originally.
Here are a list of Sea Glass festivals on the East Coast. I am NOT claiming that this is a complete list since new festival roll in from time to time.
Sea Glass, Seafood and See Birds in Queen Anne Co.
The Seaglass swap will be Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center and the Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, 600 Discovery Lane, Grasonville, MD 21638, will be holding a full month of events featuring Sea Glass. They are currently looking for vendors. For More Information: Heather C. Taylor 410.604.2100 or Debbie Birch 410.604.2100
Chesapeake Upcycled Art Festival – St Michaels Art League- May 12, 2012
The Lewes, Delaware, Historical Society puts on the Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival each year at the Lewes Historical Complex. This event is always held the last weekend in June. The Festival attracts Sea Glass artisans as well a Coastal Arts artists including decoy carvers and other waterfowl artisans.
MERMAID TEARS SEA GLASS FESTIVAL – PEI, Canada July 21-22, 2012
North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA) puts a Festival each year, this is the largest Sea Glass Festival in the United States at this time. This show travels each year to a different location. There will be Artisan Exhibits, Shard Identification, Lectures and Presentations, and of course the $1,000 Shard of the Year Contest. www.facebook.com/NorthAmericanSeaGlassFest
International Beachcombing Conference, Sea Glass & Beach Arts Bazaar, This will be the 4th Annual Beachcombing Conference and Arts Bazaar. More info will be available on their web-site as it develops. For more information please contact Dr. Beachcomber, Jay Taylor 302-645-4110 or Sharon Douglas 410-320-0662
Sea Glass Day on the Bay in October, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland
SEA BEAN SYMPOSIUM, Cocoa Beach, FLA – Oct. 11-12, 2012