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Red Sea Glass is a Rare Beach Find

How Rare is Red Sea Glass? Where Can I Find It?

Find out why red beach glass is so desirable, why it is a unique beach gift, and what makes the glass red.

Rare red sea glass

Even on a super glass beach, red is not common. BUT - not impossible!

Red sea glass (beach glass) is rare mainly because a very limited amount of red glass was ever mass produced.

red sea glass in hand

As a result, not much red is found in comparison to most other colors of beach finds and is comparatively quite rare sea glass.

It follows that if you see someone selling sea glass - such as on eBay - containing a large number of red glass pieces, it is likely to be artificially-tumbled glass and not real beach glass.

I remember the first piece of red that I (Lin) had a chance to actually see in someone's hands at the beach.

It was a piece of very thick deep red, nicely-rounded glass found by a sea glass collector named Kelly on West Beach, Deception Pass State Park, one of the beaches we frequented back then.

Oooh, was I impressed!

 Joey and red sea glass

Red beach glass
Here, friend Joey finds a nice piece at Moran Beach a little south of Deception Pass State Park mentioned above

How Rare is Red?

Pretty rare, especially if it is well tumbled.

On the rarity chart, the only colors that are more rare are usually the true yellows and oranges.

If you're fortunate enough to find red beach glass yourself, the rarity would also depend on how old it is and how tumbled, frosted, and worn it is.

Naturally, it would seem that the more tumbled and frosted it is, the older it would be.

www.OdysseySeaGlass.com red sea glass 2

Small Red Sea Glass Pieces

However, where there'sa lot of wave action, a newer piece of red seaglass will look more tumbled and frosted than a much older piece on a calm shoreline..

Samples of Red Sea Glass

Red sea glass by James Hailey

Here is a great selection of reds collected by James Hailey in the Monterey Bay area of California.

One of the great jewelry quality pieces of red sea glass that I (Lin) have is the nice crimson-to-red piece seen at the top of this page and also in the photo at the right photo. 

Because of the color gradation, this large piece of red-orange sea glass has the appearance of Amberina, a two-toned glassware that was originally made from1883 to about 1900.

However, because of the thickness, my guess is that it was from a big old warning light off a ship.

I obtained this beautiful real beach glass from a friend, Carla, on Whidbey Island here in the State of Washington, Northwest USA.

The smaller pieces are also from the same area.

red sea glass
David finds big red sea glass

David found this large piece of red at North Beach County Park in Port Townsend, Washington.

This beach is a favorite of sea glass collectors , dog walkers, and other beach lovers; yet David found this piece right in front of the parking area in the low tide strip of pebbles.

Here is a picture of some very small pieces of Amberina sea glass I found.

Note that they are not jewelry quality but I love the colors, so I'm hanging onto them.

amberina sea glass

Red Sea Glass - The Color

Years ago, they actually used gold in the making of red glass to achieve the various hues of red.

Different amounts of gold would give it a different hue of color. This was pretty expensive, so they tried using other metals like copper and other materials to achieve the color.

Modern methods use other metals because of the high price of gold.

Red glass has been used in bottles, car brake lights, warning lights on boats, lanterns, lamps, stained glass, tableware and Depression glass.

No doubt about it, sea glass collectors yearn to have red beach glass as part of their collections.

See more in the Sea Glass Photographs

For more on the history behind sea glass, go to Sea Glass Origins

From earlier Facebook comments:

red sea glass Linda Robertson
I found 2 small triangle pieces today on the beach at Hoopers Island, Maryland
Rare red sea glass Melissa Keyes
I found a nice deep red this morning on Hutchinson Island FL this morning, my first red!
Rare red sea glass Spreets Gull - Top Commenter - Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
I just found one today in St. Kitts where I study vet med! Can anyone tell me where my large red piece is from??

Sea Glass Odyssey
Hi Spreets - If you post some good photos to our sea glass identification page, there's a chance someone will know: http://www.odysseyseaglass.com/glass-shard.html
Rare red sea glass Justin Ballard - Top Commenter - Borah High School
I found a good size Yellow Piece in cape code MA 5 years back..

Sea Glass Odyssey
Wow! Yellow is super hard to find!
red sea glass Donna St.Onge - Hyannis, Massachusetts
Found my very large piece of red sea glass in a strip of rocks washed up at Trunk River Beach in Falmouth, MA.
Rare red sea glass Nour Wissam Humaidan
I found one yesterday when I was digging in the sand I thought it was a stone but I took it anyway.

Sea Glass Odyssey
Good pickings - any photos?
Rare red sea glass Jane Stebbins ยท Reporter at Curry Coastal Pilot
I found one while I was waiting for my dog to sniff another dog, just sitting there in the sand. Beautiful! Thick and dappled, like it came from one of grandma's cookie plates! Love it!
And I ain't saying WHERE!

      Sea Glass Odyssey
Oh don't leave us hanging like that :)
Rare red sea glass Ryan Murrin - Waiter at 99 Restaurants
found mine in falmouth MA USA.
Rare red sea glass Linda Robertson
I found 2 small triangle pieces today on the beach at Hoopers Island, Maryland
Catie Muller - Owner at Misawa Art-sea Crafts
Found my first piece of red sea glass today, the beaches here in northern Japan are amazing, my kiddos find the neatest pieces.

Sea Glass Odyssey
We would love to see photos. Japan... exotic...
Rare red sea glass Dana Hilchey - Fairbanks, Alaska
I found a piece of red sea glass last night on the beach in Barrow, Alaksa. This is the first piece I have ever seen in my life...it is beautiful!
Rare red sea glass Tom Carmelengo - College of real life
Here in the NYC/NJ area, there was a lot of sea-dumping into large pits offshore years ago.
As a child I watched the 'trains' of tug-pulled barges moving out to the dumping sea-grounds, not to mention the heavy cruise-ship traffic that also dumped.
Well, eventually the sea gives it back up, we have found our share of reds. One that was a match to a 1947 Plymouth tail light! Reds ARE rare, but they are out there.
Rare red sea glass Daphne Thornburg - Pastry Chef at The Union Club
Found my first piece of red beach glass today while at Headlands Beach with my fiance.
What a rare find...just like you Tom :) I love you!
Happy you could share this with me today!
Rare red sea glass Brittanie Ford - Meridian, Idaho
I went to geneva lake today with my family and my dad found a red piece of glass just sitting there!
Rare red sea glass Jane Skoch - Works at Maiden Jane
Interesting article! We found two of these today!
Rare red sea glass Janice Morin - The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA)

See also Sea Glass Jewelry and Sea Glass Crafts.

Return from Red Sea Glass to Odyssey home page

Go to Eco Jewelry from here.

Sea glass photo contest winner
Photo of the Month Winner
February 2015
by Adam Lewis (Virginia, USA) 
Submit Your Photo to Odyssey's March 2015 Sea Glass Photo Contest


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