That's a good question. On this page you'll find answers to the following questions:
At its most basic level, it's glass that has been tumbled…and tumbled…and tumbled some more with other hard objects for a period of time, causing tiny nicks in the surface.
As it's tumbled further, it loses its shiny surface and the sharp edges of the glass become softened.
With a lot of tumbling, the glass will eventually lose all edges and corners and become rounded or oval.
Basically, there are two types of tumbled glass.
The first type is glass that's been put in a machine called a tumbler and mechanically tumbled for periods of time, usually with several other kinds of material.
Most commonly, these mechanical tumblers are used to produce those
beautifully shiny rocks that you find in crafts stores or rock hobby
But if you put glass in one of these mechanical tumblers, you can get a frosty or patinaed surface, that "soft" look.
We discuss the differences between artificial and genuine sea glass in greater detail later on in this article.
Another type of tumbled glass is glass that's been tumbled for long
periods of time
So, the two basic types of tumbled glass would be:
By usage, "tumbled glass" has come to mean artificially-produced "sea" glass, while the terms "sea glass" or "beach glass" mean the real thing.
There are very noticeable differences between artificially and
naturally tumbled sea glass. Here are some features of
Sea or beach glass that's of good
quality, on the other hand, has very rounded edges, no
corners, and a much frostier look.
The facets of the frosted surface of wave-tumbled sea glass reflect light in a distinctive way, causing more of a "glow" than is found in mechanically-tumbled glass.
Once you have collected genuine tumbled sea glass yourself for a time, you will be quick to see the differences between the two.
The best way to avoid scams is to buy from someone well-known in the relatively-small sea glass world. Ask around on social media for recommendations before buying.
See Mary McCarthy's detailed article Stop Buying Fake Sea Glass
|What would you think if you were to buy a sterling silver necklace or a gold watch and then found out - it wasn't made of silver or gold but was made with some much cheaper and common metal?|
There is a need for making a distinction between real surf-tumbled sea glass or beach glass and man-made tumbled glass.
The unfortunate truth is that sellers are misleading buyers by selling them what is called sea glass but is really imitation or fake sea glass - much lower quality and value.
A good grade of real, genuine, pure sea or beach glass, like gold or silver, is much more beautiful and costly than its imitators.
Don't be fooled by the false advertiser selling "sea glass" or "beach glass."
Check the pages of this site to see and understand what real sea glass is like.
For more information on real versus artificial tumbled sea glass, see the following pages on OdysseySeaGlass:
Not at all.
Where tumbled sea glass gets a bad name is from unscrupulous people passing off artificially-tumbled sea glass as genuine sea glass - as the real thing.
They lead you to believe their product is made with 100% real sea glass when in fact it's just an imitation.
This is especially important when it comes to rare and unusual colors and/or sea glass jewelry.
To sum it all up, advertisers need to clearly label their imitation sea glass as imitation, man-made, faux, or other terms that clearly tell you, the consumer, what you are getting!