Real vs Man-Made 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.

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

Sandy Delaware Ornaments

sd-lg-w-holly-121915Sandy 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 website follow us on Facebook



Delaware Bay Diamonds – Sand N Stones

Delaware Bay Diamond found on one of the Delaware Beaches. It is wire framed in gold and silver.
Delaware Bay Diamond found on one of the Delaware Beaches. It is wire framed in gold and silver.

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.

Cluster of Delaware Bay (aka Cape May) Diamonds natural and tumbled
Cluster of Delaware Bay (aka Cape May) Diamonds natural and tumbled

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.

Michele will be caries Delaware Bay Diamonds in our store on a regular basis at Sand N Stones in Lewes, DE   Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

Bonfire Glass – Sand N Stones

blue bonfire glass
Blue bonfire glass sitting in a piece of drift wood- Photograph by Michele Buckler

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.

multi layerd bonfire glass
multi-layed bonfire glass


Sea Glass Festivals and Events:

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.





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.

 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


    Eastern Shore Sea Glass Festival in St. Micheals, Maryland

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page we are always talking about the festivals and sea glass.


Sea Glass – Treasure Of A Different Kind

By Carol Fezuk

This article was written in The Best Places In Town Complimentary Summer/Fall 08 edition.

The Southern Delaware resort are will welcome Sea glass lovers from around the world on October 11th and 12th 2008, when the Third Annual North American Sea Glass Festival commences at the Virden Conference Center on the University of Delaware campus in Lewes.

This year, with ever-increasing numbers of sea glass professionals and treasure hunters looking to connect, the Festival hopes to draw an even larger international audience of collectors, artisans, nationally-known authors, and basic beachcombers interested in swapping sea glass stories; exhibiting their art and craftsmanship and sharing their tiny treasures with others of like mind.

According to the festival’s local contact, Michele Buckler owner of Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shop in Lewes , “In addition to lectures and seminars, the international ‘Shard of the Year’ contest will be held, awarding a $1,000.00 cash prize to the collector with the most rare and desirable piece of sea glass,” Last year’s SOTY contest, sponsored by the North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA), attracted  over 900 entries, with a rare orange hear shape shard of sea glass taking home the prize money.

“Some of this year’s festival exhibitors are really rather renowned- they’ve been featured on popular television shows like The Today Show, Martha Steward Living, and in the Washington Post…” says Richard LaMotte, author of Pure Sea Glass and NASGA Vice President- a.k.a. The founding father of the Sea Glass community. LaMotte expects over 2,500 attendees, artists, and collectors at this year’s festival. Visitors from destinations in Europe, Canada and the United States including California, Hawaii, and Washington will converge on the first town in the First State for this unique event.

According to the organization’s website , NASGA was formed by a group of professional sea glass collector, authors, artisan and retailers. Their primary goal is to establish a community of informed collectors and sellers of sea glass that is educated on the characteristics and significance, properties and benefits of genuine, pure, sea glass.

In order to maintain the value of genuine beach sea glass, through education, NASGA also established guidelines to differentiate genuine from fake sea glass and standard to which to grade and appraise sea glass.

Real vs Fake Sea Glass?

Genuine sea glass is formed when vintage glass, (beer, water, pharmaceutical bottles, jars, and other vessels) enter the ocean waters through shipwrecks and other natural disasters like hurricanes or an all-too-familiar Delaware Nor’easter. As the glass surface weakens for the action of water, waves and tide it breaks into shards. It is further subjected to corrosive elements, pitting, other natural forces and tumbling actions, yielding pure sea glass with its unique look.

This process can take from fifty to one hundred years, finally producing a quality shard with the customary pores, frost, and luster.

Fake/faux sea glass is created quickly by tumbling or etching by mechanical means and seldom has uneven texture because of the tumbler’s uniformity of design. Modern glass’s chemical etching leaves no pores. Even though fake/faux sea glass has a certain appeal and is less expensive to purchase, it does not have the beauty or value of naturally formed sea glass.

It’s All About the Color

The most common glass bottle colors in the 1800’s were blue-green, green, and brown glass. But by the 1900’s new technology introduced color removing additives and clear glass became the rage.

However, after years of sun exposure the once clear glass turns a subtle arrays of pastel colors like lavender and pale yellow. Orange and red are two of the rarest colors of sea glass.

Supply and demand also helped to make certain colored glass extremely rare for collectors. For instance, in the making of red glass gold ore was added as an ingredient in the glass recipe. Gold was, (and still is!) an expensive ingredient so it was used sparingly. Yellow is also a rare color because the selenium, silver, and uranium dioxide used in the recipe were also costly and scarce ingredients for glass production.

Other unusual, hard to come by sea glass colors are: amber, black, cobalt and cornflower blue, gray, jade green, opaque whites, pink, teal, turquoise, yellow-green, soft greens and purples.

In his book Pure Sea Glass, Discovering Nature’s Vanishing Gems  LaMotte categorizes sea glass colors by rarity. He list as extremely rare: orange, red, turquoise, yellow, black, teal and gray. On his rare are: pink, aqua, cornflower blue, cobalt blue, opaque white, citron, and purple/amethyst. Listed as uncommon are: soft green, soft blue, forest green, lime green, golden amber, amber and jade. And finally the common colors: Kelly green, brown, white (clear).

The book’s color rating scale is based on an intensive study of more than 30,000 pieces of sea glass. It enables readers to determine the rarity of each piece in their own collection.  Pure Sea Glass is available in Lewes at Cape Henlopen State Park/Seaside Nature Center, Sand N Stones and Packard  Reath Gallery; in Dewey at A Way of Life, The Indian River Life Saving Station, and Books and Coffee; or in Rehoboth Beach at Odysea and Browse about Books.

Where Does It Come From?

The most common source of sea glass is mass produced glass bottles for the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some collectors consider collection sea glass, “a form of archaeology” since these vintage relics lay under water for hundreds of years.

Discovered on beaches in shifting tides, where heavy shipping traffic occurred, these well-worn glass pieces pounded by nature’s elements, can resemble precious gems with frosted surfaces, rounded edges, and an interesting range of colors. Turn-of-the-century coastal resort areas with their abundance of tourists and their trash are and excellent source for sea glass.

Tips for Beginning Your Sea Glass Hunt

Ask about ships that wrecked offshore and where the popular beaches from the 1800-1900’s were located. Seek out nautical charts and local maps to locate channels near accessible shorelines.

Talk to waterman. Ask about where the high shipping traffic occurred, circa 1900. Once you have narrowed your “collection zones, it’s best to look for sea glass during full or new moons, particularly in the fall and in early spring after wind and waves have washed up pebbles, shells, and sea glass over the beaches. Remember to scavenge the high- and low-tide lines where stones or pebbles have gathered into beds. To protect your back, pack a stick or shovel to sift through the fertile zones.

Perhaps most important: don’t tell others where you think you’ll find your best sea glass treasure or it may be snatched away before you get to it! Happy Hunting.


The North American Sea glass Festival has grown significantly, since the Lewes Festival. It is the biggest authentic Sea Glass Festival to date, and is held in a different part of the United States each year. To Find Out More about the Sea Glass Festival. go to their website North American Sea Glass and follow them on Facebook/seaglassassociation.

The 2008 The North American Sea Glass Festival was a huge success  in Lewes, so much so, that the Lewes Historical Society started a  yearly Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival which takes place towards the end of June each year.

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


Why is it important for me to know the Gemstone Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness?

I have been working on my website lately and have been including the Moh Scale of Hardness as part of the description. My father was looking over my website, and asked me what the Moh Scale was. I tried to explain it to him, and thought maybe you would like to know as well. It is important to know the Moh Scale for jewelry to determine how durable the stone is, and how you would wear the piece of jewelry. For example you may not want to wear a soft stone as ring, since we are usually hard on our hands and a soft stone would scratch easily, but you could wear a softer stone as earrings.

In 1812 the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness was devised by the German mineralogist Frederich Mohs (1773-1839). He selected the ten minerals because they were common or readily available. The scale is not a linear scale, but somewhat arbitrary.

Some minerals are very soft; others are very hard. The degree of hardness is an aid in identifying the minerals. Diamonds are harder than quartz and will therefore scratch quartz, quartz will scratch calcite, calcite will scratch gypsum, and so on. To help identify minerals, geologists have assigned numbers to the hardness of several minerals. In this hardness scale, the softer minerals are assigned a low number and the harder minerals a higher number.

In the field, an easy way of estimating the hardness of a mineral is by trying to scratch it with common objects such as a fingernail with a hardness of 2.5, a penny is the hardness of a 3, or a pocketknife, hardness 5.5. Glass has a hardness of slightly less than 6 and will scratch most minerals. Anything on the Moh’s scale that is less than a 7 is easily scratched.

Hardness Mineral Associations and Uses

2.5- Fingernail,
2.5-3 -Gold, Silver
3 -Copper penny
4-4.5 -Platinum
4-5- Iron
5.5- Knife blade
6-7- Glass
6.5- Iron pyrite
7+- Hardened steel file

To test a mineral for hardness, try to scratch it with one of these common objects. For example, a sample can be scratched by the knife (H=5.5) but NOT by the penny (H=3). Therefore, the sample has a hardness of about 4. Using other property tests that you will learn in lab, you then determine that the mineral is calcite.

The Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness goes as follows….

1 is Talc- Talcum powder.
2 is Gypsum- Plaster of Paris. Gypsum is formed when seawater evaporates from the Earth’s surface
3 is Calcite- Limestone and most shells contain calcite
4 is Fluorite- Fluorine in fluorite prevents tooth decay.
5 is Apatite- When you are hungry you have a big “appetite”.
6 is Orthoclase- Orthoclase is a feldspar, and in German, “feld” means “field
7 is Quartz
8 is Topaz- The November birthstone. Emerald and aquamarine are varieties of beryl with a hardness of 8.
9 is Corundum- Corundum Sapphire and ruby are varieties of corundum. Twice as hard as topaz.
10 is Diamond- Used in jewelry and cutting tools. Four times as hard as corundum

Sea glass is on a Moh scale of a 6-7 and that is why I do not recommend sea glass for rings. We are extremely hard on our hands and wrist and tend to bang them around, and as we all know glass will break. I do recommend using seaglass in pendants or in earrings.

Delaware Bay Diamonds are clear quartz crystals and have a Moh scale of a 7 and is fine to make jewelry out of.

How to Perform the Test

1. Select a fresh surface
2. Hold the sample and attempt to scratch it with the point of an object of known hardness, start at the higher (harder) end of the scale and work down. In this example, we use a sharp quartz crystal (Hardness = 6)
3. Press the object firmly but lightly against the unknown sample
4. If the test object is harder, you should see and feel a definite “bite” into the sample
5. Inspect for an etched line
In this case, we notice a deep scratch in the sample, which indicates it’s hardness is less than 6 . Repeat several times, always with a sharp point and a fresh surface.

From the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

You Might Be A Rockhound If….

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

You Might Be A Rockhound If…

You Might Be A Rockhound If…

  • You think you KNOW how to pronounce “chalcedony.”
  • You are thinking about giving out specimens for Halloween.
  • You planted flowers in your rock garden.
  • You purchase things like drywall compound just to have another nice bucket to carry rocks in.
  • The club you belong to uses rocks for centerpieces for the annual Christmas dinner.
  • The first thing you pack for your vacation is a chisel and a hammer.
  • You spend hours and hours in the ugliest room in your house.
  • You give directions like, “turn right at the green farmhouse …”
  • You bought the ugliest boots available because they were waterproof.
  • You know what “findings” are for.
  • You watch the scenery in movies instead of the actors.
  • They won’t give you time off from work to attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, but you go anyway.
  • You begin fussing because the light strips you installed on your bookshelves aren’t full spectrum.
  • You’ve spent more than ten dollars for a rock.
  • You’ve spent more than ten dollars for a book about rocks.
  • You still think pet rocks are a pretty neat idea.
  • You have amethyst in your aquarium.
  • You associate the word “hard” with a value on the Mohs scale instead of “work.”
  • You know the location of every rock shop within a 100-mile radius of your home.
  • You’re retired and still thinking of adding another room to your house.
  • You’re planning on using a pick and shovel while you’re on vacation.
  • You bring your entire rock collection into Sand N Stones to have made into jewelry.

Author Unknown

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

Lewes, Delaware Insignia

As you are driving around town or stroll down Second Street Downtown Historic Lewes, Delaware you may have noticed a new twist to the Lewes Coat Of Arms, which hang from the flag poles in the Spring. 

The big white house at 112 Front Street is located in a town that is humming with history. It is the home of  Sand N Stones, Delaware and Nature Shop owned by Michele Buckler.

Michele designs and crafts wire-framed jewelry. Typically customers in her shop pick out the stone from among hundreds of different semi-precious stones in her collection and she custom wraps in silver or gold wire to form a pendant, pin, earrings, or ring. Upon researching her craft, Michele discovered roots in some of her designs in the 17th century Holland.  To commemorate Lewes’ Dutch heritage, she designed a ring made entirely of wire using a braided pattern from this time period.

Marsha Holler is a graphic artist who like to say all her designs tell a story.  When Michele mentioned she had an idea for a graphic design that brought together Lewes’ Dutch English and American heritage, the ladies brought it quickly to life.

The earliest European settlers of the Sussex County coast were 32 Dutch men who arrived aboard the ship “Walvis” in April 1631. They called the spot Swanendael, later spelled Zwaanendael, or Valley of the Swans. The second settlers called the place Hoorn, after their home in Holland. The name changed often  in the beginning. In 1682, Delaware was conveyed to William Penn by the English Duke of York and Lewes received its present name in honor of the town of the town of the same name in England. It is pronounced Loo-iss.

The Coat of Arms that the City of Lewes uses on its police cruisers and on City Hall is actually from Lewes, East Sussex,  England. It’s origins date back to the Norman Conquest a thousand years ago.  The gold and blue checkers are the arms of the de Warenne family who held the Barony of Lewes from the time of the Norman Conquest until 1347, when the last de Warenne died.

A nephew, Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, succeeded to the barony and added the gold lion on the red ground. The introduction of the silver crosslets has never been satisfactorily explained
they will probably remain a subject for speculation.

Tulips, like wooden shoes and windmills, are known all over the world as an emblem of the Netherlands. The humble flowering bulb had its origins in Persia and began trading throughout Europe The tulips were soon distributed throughout Holland. This was the beginning of the Dutch bulb business. Early in the 17th century, rich Dutchmen, Englishmen, and Frenchmen were competing with each other for these prize status symbols. Tulip appreciation became tulip-love, which then became what has come to be known as tulip-mannia.

Tulips were first sold in the 17th Century Netherlands by way of trade from Turkey and Russia. Where they had been cultivated for a long time. New varieties developed quickly including ones with flame like petals that were a result of disease.  Whether solid color or patterned, their relative ease of cultivation made the demand for tulips far greater than the supply.  Thus the “Tulip-mania” phenomena where ridiculously high prices were commanded for bulbs of the once humble wild tulip lower from Central Asia. The Netherlands are still today, after almost 400 years still identified with growing and supplying the world with the greatest variety of tulips.

Crawling on the tulip is a lady bug. Millie Rust-Brown’s second grade class from Lulu Ross Elementary School in Milford, Delaware studied state insects, and discovered that Delaware did not have a state insect. After much discussion, the class wrote then-governor Sherman Tribbertt with the request that the Ladybug become Delaware’s State Insect. With the help of some local high schoolers they took it to the Legislators.  Rep. Lewis B. Harrington introduced the House bill number 667, on March 9, 1974. On April 25,1974 the Ms. Brown’s class dressed up as ladybugs, and walked the halls of Leg Hall.  The vote was unanimous the lady bug was adopted as our state bug.

The idea of combining these three elements the Lewes Coat of Arms, the tulip and the ladybug to form a visual link to Lewes’ past. Separately it is just a shield, a flower, and a bug, but after reading about Delaware’s and Lewes’ fascinating past the three elements are symbolic.  The shield is official governance, the tulip is agriculture and the ladybug is natural beauty; all still present in Lewes.”

The inspired graphic design is available on various merchandise exclusively at Sand N Stones.  Lewes Insignia was designed and  Copyrighted by Michele J. Buckler in 2006. In 2010 it became the official Logo for the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s  Tulip Festival.

The Coat of Arms is seen  throughout Lewes in many diffrent places. It was first used by Col. David Hall Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in the early 1950’s when they used the seal to mark historical significant buildings in the History of Lewes, Delaware. The History of Lewes Delaware book was published in 1956 and a revised edition appeared in 1981. The Chapter requested permission to use the Coat of Arms from the official of Lewes, East Sussex, England. The Police and Fire Department as well as City Hall all use the Coat of Arms in Lewes, Delaware.

The City Flag of Lewes also uses the Coat of Arms Seal  in the center of the flag. The flags blue and white background also has some historic significance. The original Lewes, Delaware settlers traveled from the Netherlands town of Hoorn in the North Holland province.  The Hoorn’s people first sailed South to the town of Veere, in the Zeeland Province. The flags background was adopted from the flag of Zeeland Province, (its name translated is “sea land”) since the Zeeland people share the affinity for the love of the sea.  The Hoorn’s people established the town of Lewes, Delaware in 1631.

The flag was designed by Alan Keffer a Lewes, DE resident. The flag was first used it 1991 and copyrighted in 1993 and was officially sanctioned as the city flag of Lewes, Delaware in 2005.  Resource Lewes Delaware, Celebrating 375 years of History, by Kevin N Moore page 19 ISBN 0974899887

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


2011 Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival

Presented by the Lewes Historical Society in Lewes, Delaware

Like collecting shells, fossils, or stones, ‘combing shorelines for sea glass is a hobby many beach-goers and beachcombers enjoy. Hobbyists often fill decorative jars with their collections and take great pleasure in sourcing out a shard’s original origin. Artisans craft beautiful, much sought after pieces of jewelry, stained glass and other decorative items from sea glass.

Sea glass can be found all over the world, but the beaches of the northeast United States, California, northwest England, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Nova
Scotia, Italy and southern Spain are famous for their bounty of sea glass, bottles, bottle lips and stoppers, art glass, marbles, and pottery shards. The best times to look are during spring tides and during the first low tide after a storm.

Shards may also evidence a frosted side and a shiny side, most likely because they are pieces broken off from larger glass objects still embedded in mud, silt or clay, which are only slowly being exposed by wave action and erosion.

Sea glass has become a very collectible item in recent years and natural sea glass is becoming difficult to find.  Due to the decline in naturally occurring sea glass because of greater environmental awareness, it is becoming more expensive and harder to find.

In addition to artisans from across the nation coming to Lewes with fabulous sea glass jewelry, art and decorative pieces, lectures will be given on Saturday about sea glass collecting, photograph and local maritime history.

In 2010 The Lewes Historical Society hosted the first Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival attracting over 3,000 visitors to the event. The great sea glass artists will be joined by other coastal artists including decoy carvers and other waterfowl artists.

Hours for Artisans:

Saturday June 25, 2011  9 a.m. till 4 p.m. at the  Historic Complex, Second & Shipcarpenter St. Lewes, Delaware

Sunday June 26, 2011   9 a.m. till 3 p.m. at the Historic Complex,  Second & Shipcarpenter St., Lewes, Delaware

Where over 30+ Artisans from across the country, will be  displaying their wares for sale.

Speakers: To be announced

I just found out that….. Due to scheduling issues, the 2011 Sea Glass Speakers Series has been canceled. We regret any inconvience.

Around Town:

Members from the Delmarva Antique Bottle Club will be on hand to help identify shards and their possible bottle origin.  A shard exhibit and identification session will be held in the Midway School House at the Historical Complex.

Sea Glass Festival Package available at the Inn at Canal Square    302-644-3377

R and L Liquors will be offering Sea Glass Wine tasting on Saturday

M.E.R.R. will be set up in the 1812 Canal Park, for the 2nd Annual Wildlife Donation Drive.

Sand N Stones will be hosting Mark’s Delmarvalous Kettle-Korn and Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, from Mark’s Kettle-Korn and Lemonade, on the Corner of 112 Front Street and the Lewes Post Office. Don’t forget to stop by Sand N Stones during the festival.

Holly will be there on Saturday selling local Delmarva beach glass.  She has some true treasures please come by and check them out. If you have any pieces of Sea Glass that you own and  would like to have wrapped, Michele will be inside Sand N Stones wire wrapping.

Advanced Tickets  will be for sale at  Sand N Stones and The Ryves Holt House Museum Shop beginning Memorial Day 2011. Passes are $5 and are good for both days of the show;  passes will enable the bearer to avoid the lines to enter the events.

This is an Annual  Lewes Historical Society Event, which takes place Last Weekend of June.

If you like this event you may also like the North American Sea Glass Association’s Festival

Pictures from 2010’s festival complements of, Gary de Blois, Seaglass Journal

19th Annual Delmarva Antique Bottle, Sea Glass Show has been canceled for 2011

The Beachcombing Conference

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

Photographing on Delmarva

I have been interested in photography since I was in grade school.  My both my Mother and Father are shutter bugs.  My mother gave up photography  several years ago due to some heath issues,  but my father is still out there photographing, underwater as well as on land, and teaching Photoshop.  There are people who come into my store that are interested in Photography from hobbyist to professionals. I have the opportunity to speak to many of them about photography. Some give me wonderful nuggets of information.

Many people ask me where are my favorite places to go shooting? There are so many wonderful spots to take pictures here on Delmarva   If you like wildlife and nature here are just a few of my favorites.

If you like architecture, Delmarva has many historic and quaint little towns, that are great to go photographing in, a few of my favorites are.

  • Lewes Delaware
  • Easton Maryland
  • St. Micheals, Maryland
  • Chestertown, Maryland

Don’t forget that Delmarva  Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by Delaware and a small part of Maryland and Virginia. It’s also close to alot of other great places which are just a couple of hours away such as D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey.

I just found a new blog that many of my photography friends may be interested in… DelMarVa Fhoto Forum and The Perfect Tyme.

May I suggest that you join a  camera clubs in the area which you live, in Delaware we have two that I am aware of

  1. Coastal Camera Club in Lewes,
  2. Delaware Photographic Society
  3. Apogee Internet Photography Magazine Photography Clubs

Judy Rolde has been offering photography classes and workshops on Delmarva since 2004.  Some of her class include Digital Photography 101, Digital Intermediate, Digital Workflow, and Digital One On One.  Delmarva Photo Safari  to unique locations in the Delmarva area where photographers learn new skills while enjoying and affordable getaway. She takes people on 2 hour/ less than a mile  Photo Walks  combine historic ommentary with creative photography tips. Digital Phtography Expeditions, and Photo Scavenger Hunts.

Horizon Photography Workshops

There  are also photography workshop at the Ward Museum in January, Kevin Fleming will be doing a presentation. Art in Nature Photography Competition
August 12, 13 & 14, 2011  The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University

There is a Tulip Festival April 15 and 16, 2011 in Lewes, DE which has a photo contest associated with it. For more info on the photo contest please check Lewes Chamber of Commerce

Delmarva on View Photography Contest sponsored by the Lewes  Public Library

Just a few ideas. If we band together, you may be able to car port with each other, and some of the events offer discounted group rates. Go For it! I hope to see you there!

I have been asked many times if I have any of my photographs on-line?  my reply has been no, scared of the right-click thing. I asked a professional photographer one day what he does to get his work to be seen?  He told me about Zenfolio.

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


Glass from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck

In 1774, Captain James Hathorn was sailing a cargo ship from Bristol, England to Philadelphia. PA. It was carrying goods the colonists would need, including household items and building supplies.  The ship ran into a nor’easter and ran aground. It was reported that the crew survived. However, on May 11, 1774 the Pennsylvania Gazette reported that the Severn was “ashore in our bay full of water and is thought will be lost.”

It was not until the Fall of 2004 while the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers were doing some beach replenishment, a dredge sucked up many old artifacts and scattered it along the Lewes beach. Several beachcombers started finding these artifacts.

The State contracted The Southeastern Archaeological Research Inc., to explore the site and see if they could determine anything about the shipwreck and where these items originated. Some of the item found were….

*Mineral water (bottled by the “Selters” who is still in business today) shipped in trademarked stoneware bottles.

*Case Bottles from Great Britain and Europe. Square case bottles that fit into a partitioned box which held a variety of liquors and strong spirits.

*Round Bottle Glass, from Great Britain and Europe. It was used to hold a variety of liquids. Many were shipped empty to be reused.

*Some of the bottle shards that were traced to Groot Constantia, the oldest surviving winery in South Africa. The shards, bearing the embossed words, “Constantia Wyn,” Bottles embossed with this emblem were used in the period 1760 to 1840 and came from a farm currently known as Groot Constantia.

In 2005, in commemoration of the 320th anniversary of the founding of the estate, Groot Constantia introduced Grand Constance, a commemorative dessert wine similar in style to the wine that made the estate famous in the 18th century, and similar to the wine that was found in the Roosevelt Inlet’s Shipwreck’s cargo.

The winery is further exploring its association with Delaware. According to Naudé, the company has changed its packaging of Grand Constance, fashioning a bottle shape used in the late 18th century, and embossing with a replica of the “Constantia Wyn” emblem that was found in the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck. The wine, which is individually packed in a wooden box, includes an information sheet that covers its Delaware story. The repackaged wine will also be sold in the United States today.

*Other items found were personal items such as buttons, tobacco pipes, several pewter shoe buckle frames were found at site, not only did they secure the wearer’s shoes but they also were a fashion statement.

*Household, kitchen, and dining wares, such as German Blue-Grey Stoneware, Tin Glazed Earthenware, Red Earthenware, and German Brown Stoneware.

*Building Supplies such as window glass, slate roof tile, ceramic tile, bricks and nails.

*Also decorative metal objects inset with pressed glass stones most likely a pin or broach.  were found.

Approximately 56,000 artifacts from Lewes Beach have been donated to the Delaware Department of State. A large selection of artifacts recovered from the Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck site are on display at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, Delaware.

According to The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) the shipwrecks origin remains uncertain, as the critical architectural components of the wreck are missing. The vessel, is thought to be the remains of the British commercial ship possibly the Severn, which would be the oldest-known shipwreck discovered in Delaware waters. The wreck site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 16, 2006.

From a sea glass collector’s  perspective the glass that washes up on the Lewes Beach that I have found is not like most sea glass. It is very thin and has an olive green color with a thin iridescent covering that flakes off when dry. It is said to be caused by the minerals in the ocean water. It’s a kind of erosion or deposit, most likely a deposit. To preserve this unique quality, I spray a clear top coat protective finish over the glass, which will darken it about one shade.

That was not the only Severn that found trouble in Delaware Waters. On April 8, 1918 the tug, Eastern left New York for Norfolk Virginia with three barges, including the Merrimac, built in 1906 weighing 640 tons and the Severn a much smaller barge. A day after leaving New York the tug encountered stormy seas near the Delaware Cape and headed for safety of the Delaware Breakwater. By night fall the storm was getting worse. The Eastern, the Merrimac, and the Severn all tried to weather the storm but by morning the decision was made to “let go stern” meaning that the barges would be cut free and drop anchor to hold their own. However, the anchor was not set in time and the Merrimac and the Severn drifted ashore towards Rehoboth Beach. The Merrimac beached and was badly damaged. The tug was able to free the Severn and they continued their journey.


Bridget Warner, Site Supervisor, Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, Delaware

Shipwrecks of the Delaware Coast, Tales of Pirates Squalls & Treasure by Pam George

Saving Delaware History, Historical and Cultural Affairs Doc number 20-06-10-03-04

Saving Delaware History, Historical and Cultural Affairs Doc number 20-06-08-03-01

Lewes Shipwreck, the Severn, gives up her secrets, by Henry J. Evans Jr, Cape Gazette Staff

The Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck: Identification, Analysis, and Historical Context, A thesis by Bridget Christine McVae


Delaware history: Lewes shipwreck site a window into 1770s economy

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

%d bloggers like this: