This page is to help those who purchase sea glass, either as raw material for creating or as jewelry available on this website, to identify genuine, authentic, pure, natural, real sea glass from artificially manufactured and recycled glass created to simulate beach glass.
As an artist who works exclusively in genuine sea glass that is found on the shore and used as is, unaltered by processing in a rock tumbler or an acid bath, it distresses me that it is difficult for consumers to know whether the sea glass they are purchasing is genuine or artificial sea glass that is often passed off as the real thing.
Much like artisans who work with precious or semiprecious stones, artisans who work in sea glass have a need to self regulate the industry in order protect the best interests of both artisans and consumers. Genuine beach glass is a disappearing "natural" resource that will continue to go up in value as supplies dwindle and its popularity grows.
Genuine seaglass, especially any color other than white, brown or Kelly green, is very hard to find. One expert estimates that the extremely rare colors of jewelry grade sea glass may be as scarce as one in ten thousand pieces of sea glass collected!! It takes many hours of back-stressing searching to find even a few pounds of sea glass on most beaches.
To circumvent this labor intensive, luck-driven process of finding beach glass, some are choosing to make their own faux sea glass. While artificially tumbled glass has a market and it can be quite lovely, there is something fundamentally wrong with misrepresenting it as genuine beach glass found along a shore. And several rather unscrupulous sellers are attempting to cash in on it's popularity by marketing their artificial sea glass as the real deal.
Suspect artificially created beach glass if pound lots of rare colors are being offered at ridiculously low prices. A half a pound of genuine sea glass in any color other than white, brown or Kelly green will typically sell for between $60 and $100 or more. Whereas, you can find mesh bags of artificial sea glass at Michael's for under five dollars.
For lovers and collectors of the genuine article, sea glass holds a mystique, charm and potency that simply cannot be captured by imitations. For those who care, it is a big deal to be sold artificial sea glass as the real thing.
An excellent resource for information about sea glass is Richard Lamotte's Pure Sea Glass
It is fascinating and Celia Pearson's photographs are simply stunning.