Grade Sea Glass - Grade Beach Glass - Value Sea Glass

Have You Been Wondering How to Grade Sea Glass or Beach Glass?

To establish the worth or value of a piece of sea glass, you need to evaluate three things:

  • First: The Grade of the Beach Glass
  • Second: How Rare is the Color
  • Third: The Size and Shape of the Piece

On this Page: Why and How to Grade Sea Glass

When you're walking on the beach and spot a piece of sea glass, you first notice the color.

Bright colors really stand out and are very exciting!

On the other hand even a dull-looking piece may turn out to have very attractive subtle colors.

With experience, though, right after remarking the color of the glass you'll look at the grade of glass before getting too overjoyed.

A piece of sea glass that is not very frosted or is chipped or broken can lower not only our excitement level a bit but also the grade and perceived value of that beach gem.

There are Two Main Divisions in Grading Sea Glass - Jewelry Grade & Craft Grade

Take a good look at the two pictures above.

It takes a long time for a glass shard to become a rounded and frosted jewelry grade. Therefore, jewelry-grade glass is much rarer than craft grade. Most fine sea glass jewelry is made with Jewelry A sea glass.

Of course, that doesn't mean that craft grade cannot be used for jewelry or vice versa.

However, the very rounded and naturally-symmetrical look as well as the evenly-frosted surface makes Jewelry Grade A sea glass a natural for jewelers.

Craft Grade B Beach GlassCraft Grade B
Jewelry Grade A sea beach glassJewelry Grade A
Craft Grade A beach sea glassCraft Grade A
Grade Sea Glass Beach Jewelry AJewelry Grade A

On this page see:

Jewelry Grades

Craft Grades

Jewelry Grades of Sea Glass

Jewelry Grade A Characteristics

  • Evenly and thoroughly frosted with very rounded corners. 
  • No chips, poorly-rounded corners, or visible defects.
  • Excellent for fine jewelry.

Here are two views of the same numbered pieces from two different sides. Notice the features.

View 1 - Jewelry Grade A sea glassView 1 - Jewelry Grade A

1. Cobalt blue 
2. Brown 
3. Teal 
4. Turquoise 
5. Pale sea green (seafoam) 
6. Dark aqua 
7. Light cyan 

View 2 - Jewelry Grade AView 2 - Jewelry Grade A

You will notice that pieces #2, #6, and #8 have some edges not quite as rounded. 

If they were a little sharper, they would fall into a Jewelry B grade.

Jewelry Grade B Characteristics

  • Same qualities as A grade sea glass but
  • with a small chip or
  • defect visible from one side only OR
  • more defined edges/corners.
  • Very good for jewelry and arts. 
Grade Jewelry B Sea GlassJewelry B Grade

1. Aqua 
2. Green 
3. Brown 
4. Cobalt Blue 
5. Medium sea green 

 You will notice here that #1 and #4 have obvious chips.
However they are the only defects and are visible from one side only, and so qualify as Jewelry Grade B.

Pieces #2, #3, and #5 don't have any visible chips.However, the edges are a little too defined to be Jewelry Grade A. 

Jewelry Grade (Other)

 This category might include, for example, the sea glass hearts group above.

A Jewelry (Other) piece of sea glass may have 

  • more than one of the defects of B grade, but
  • because of unique shape, color, or other qualities, it could make a nice jewelry piece.

Craft Grades of Sea Glass

Craft Grade A Sea GlassCraft Grade A Sea Glass

Craft Grade A Characteristics

  • Evenly and thoroughly frosted but 
  • with chips or defects visible from both sides or
  • distinct angular edges and
  • not more than 1 rough or cracked edge. 

 Good for many art and craft projects. 

Craft Grade B Characteristics

Craft Grade B Sea GlassCraft Grade B Sea Glass
  • Must be somewhat frosted.
  • May have chips, defects, and rough edges. 

Good for mosaics and some craft projects.

Illustration of Craft Sea GlassIllustration of Craft Sea Glass

You can see that the above mix of Craft Grade A and B sea glass is much less rounded and tumbled than the Jewelry grades.

1. Cobalt blue
2. Pale sea green
3. Off white (clear) Craft A
4. Light cyan  

5. Misty Rose 
6. Pale turquoise 
7. Green 
8. Dark olive 

Pieces #1 and #2 are Craft Grade B.

Pieces #3 and #4 are Craft Grade A, being fairly well tumbled and smoothed but with distinct edges and some chips.

Pieces #6, #7, and #8 are actually somewhat shiny. Along with piece #5, they barely meet the standards to be considered sea glass. 

However, the colors are not so common so you would likely want to keep them in your collection until replaced with similar colors that are in better tumbled condition.

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Winner - Photo of the Month - August 2015

winner sea glass photo contest
"From Trash to Treasure" by Dawn Benoit