This is a question I asked myself when I first found a piece. I spotted one, like a green juicy jelly bean, glistening amongst the pebbles on a Scottish beach.
It may have started off as a discarded beer or soft drinks bottle and ended up in the sea after being washed downstream from rivers. Or tossed overboard by inconsiderate humans from ships and boats. Sea glass can also be from old car windscreens, headlamps, jam jars, windows etc.
It then gets broken up- both physically against rocks and chemically by the salty water. It will become smooth and acquire that characteristic "frosty" look after many decades being tumbled in the sea before it gets washed ashore , usually after a heavy storm. Rough, rocky shorelines will transform the glass better than a sandy one. This long term weathering, oxidation and exposure to UV light interact with the chemicals in the glass and affect the eventual colour.
Clear / Milky -most commonly found -2 in 3 pieces. (milk bottles, jam jars) .....I've found lots in this colour.
Brown - 1 in 2..... (usually from beer medicine bottles, jars) Lots of this too!
Green - 1 in 5 ( beer bottles)..... Found in abundance in the UK, what does this say about us?!
Sea foam and Soft blue - 1 in 50 (soft drinks, remember the old "Coca Cola" bottles?) One of my favourites to find.
Amber - 1 in 25 .... Found the teensiest pieces.....
Pink - 1 in 1000.... In my dreams!
Purple & Cobalt - 1 in 250 Could be from old ink bottles.....found a few bits but not many.
Orange -1 in 10k (sometimes from warning lights & some tableware in the Art Deco times)....Not found any yet!
Red- 1 in 5k.....should stand out in the beach crowd, but I've yet to see any.
Yellow 1 - 3k...... I've actually found a small haul of this, or could be classed as amber colour - In North Wales.
Sea glass is becoming harder to find, due to manufacturers producing plastic rather than glass (this happened in the 1960's) , also us (responsible) humans do recycle our glass now. (yay!)
I just love the thrill of finding it and wondering where it originated from and what it originally was.Recycling and repurposing it into something nice to wear like a necklace or earrings is a very enjoyable process for me, keeps me quiet for many hours!
Fun fact : This amazing beach in Fort Bragg, California is made entirely of sea glass!
However, it's unlawful to take any sea glass off this beach now. I'd still love to see it though!
Have you found any sea glass on your trips to the beach? If so, what were your favourite colours to find? I'd love to hear in the comments below!
Happy glassing everyone,