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Rare Sea Glass
Rare Sea Glass
Rare Sea Glass and Rare
Beach Glass - Why is it hard to find? How can I find it?
Here, we will focus on finding rare beach glass - why certain
beaches have the rare colors and why others don't.
makes certain colors of sea glass rare depends basically
- First, and the most important, the relative amount of glass
produced in certain colors by the glass industry, ie, more green glass
produced by the industry, more green shards, less rare.
- Second, to a minor extent, if the production of that glass
took place near a
shore (dumped directly from the factory or shop).
To look at these factors in more detail, let's first break the glass
(well, not literally) down into two categories.
slice of medium-rare to rare sea glass colors
Categories of Glass
and their Relation to Rare Sea Glass
To simplify matters, we will divide glass into two categories, both of
which produce rare sea glass under the right conditions:
- Production glass - Mass produced in large quantities, most
likely glass formed in molds rather than blown.
- Designer glass - One-of-a-kind glass that was made as art
work or for a number of other special purposes.
Let's look at these two categories in more detail now.
Briefly, what we will call production
glass is glass that was produced in large quantities and was
used for everyday products. Generally, production glass was produced
for three uses:
1. The first and by far
the largest production of glass has been for clear glass
for bottles or windows; also, the common colors of glass for bottles (brown
2. The next type of
production glassware, in terms of quantity, would probably
that of dinnerware.
Although mass produced, the quantity of glass made for
dinnerware does not come close to the glass used for bottles and
The colors of dinnerware glass are much more varied and
this is really where we begin to see more of the rarer
sea glass colors
3. The third type of
production glass has been made for decor such as
mass-produced lamps, vases, knick-knacks, etc.
We could also include in this third group utilitarian glass, ie,
warning lights, insulators, sparkplugs, etc.
Click photo to
zoom - Some
of the rare sea glass colors found in designer glass.
Colors used in these production items were generally one
clear color throughout. However, combined colors and blended colors
were used also. (See Colors
- How is Sea Glass Made).
- Some of the colored production glass (examples would be
Depression Ware and Carnival glass) although produced in a large
quantity, may have been only produced for a relatively-short period of
time, and therefore much less common. Shards from this type of glass
make rare sea glass.
The photo here shows
colors one might find on any beach, that is, colors used in production
glass, although thecolors
shown are not nearly as common as the
standard white, greens, and browns.
What we will call designer glass was made specifically for artistic
objects and is especially sought after as rare sea glass.
This would include much of the blown
glass, most stained glass, and other more expensive and
artistic one-of-a-kind uses. Many times, this glass will be fused, laminated, and mixed.
Designer glass is generally not just one color throughout
but a blend or combination of colors and may have iridescent, opalescent, or
other special qualities.
- Rare designer glass of this type is almost impossible to
find on your average beach, but rather is found in decent quantities
only near a glassmaker's shop or art glass production centers.
- On the other hand, isolated pieces are to be found in old
homestead dumps; in other words, just about anywhere; and this does
make your search of any beach exciting!
are the chances of you finding a rare piece of glass?
Pretty good, actually...if you spend time at it.To
see one of our contributor's (Toshi) excellent comments regarding
It's like fishing.If you go out fishing off the pier at the local
beach, you may catch a lot of the common smaller fish.
BUT, there is always the chance of catching "the big one."
The same is true of sea glass. However, like a fisherman who plans a
fishing trip, you also can narrow the beaches down to the more likely
good "sea glass fishing" beaches.
How? Do some research. There may be an unknown (to sea glass fans)
special beach near where you are or will be going.
To know what to look
for, go next to Identifying
a Good Sea Glass Beach.
If you do find a piece of rare sea glass, please share it!
A Note on Size and Shape:
It should be noted that
rarity will also be affected by size and shape.
For example, a green glass marble is a lot rarer than green bottle
glass. And a red piece that is little larger than a grain of salt is
not nearly as rare as the same color the size of a quarter.
Shapes and their origins are discussed on other pages on this site.
See also these related pages:
OdysseySeaGlass Home Page