Sea Glass from Lincoln City, Oregon - What is It?

by Cindy Rader
(Juneau, Alaska)

Lump of Sea Glass - What is It?

Lump of Sea Glass - What is It?

~ sea glass identification question submitted by Santelices in Miami, Florida 


What is this large sea glass from Lincoln City, Oregon?

I found this fairly large piece of sea glass on a beach in Lincoln City, Oregon. 

It is quite rough and has sand trapped inside. 

Could you help me determine what it could have once been. 

I have included pictures of both sides of the glass.

~ sea glass identification question submitted by Santelices in Miami, Florida 


Usually, when beach glass has sand trapped inside, it has been melted in a campfire or bonfire.

Sometimes there is a cavity left inside or the sand may be embedded in the glass.

Usually the glass is very uneven; however, if it was melted long ago and has been tumbling around in the surf during that time, it can become pretty well rounded and smooth.

Sea glass that has been melted is called "firemelt" or "bonfire glass."

Although your piece is much larger than what would normally be found, you can be almost certain that is bonfire glass. Very interesting and unique find!

~ David from Odyssey Sea Glass

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Comments for Sea Glass from Lincoln City, Oregon - What is It?

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Feb 03, 2015
Fire melt, bonfire glass, and campfires.
by: David and Lin from OdysseySeaGlass

Definitely bonfire glass, also called firemelt.

Here is one of the ways a hunk of beach glass like this could be formed:

Some beaches have round cement rings in the sand where you are allowed to build a fire.

People throw broken bottles into them in the daytime, concentrating the glass shards in a very specific area.

When you build a nice hot fire at night, the glass shards melt together somewhat and the sand sticks to them.

If water is thrown on the fire to put it out, the glass crystallizes and cracks.

The next time a hot fire is built, the process happens again.

That would produce a chunk of sea glass like the one in the photo. What could happen further?

Possibly, in the next big storm, the waves overun the fire ring, the glass is sucked out by the tide and currents, and the tumbling starts.

The glass can then be very tumbled and rounded and some very interesting (but usually kind of ugly) beach glass pieces are formed.

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