Sea Glass Blog

Genuine vs. Artificial Sea Glass

I have been wanting to write about genuine vs. artificial sea glass for a long time.

Last week someone forwarded an article to me from the web about using a cement mixer to make your own sea glass. This was not only appalling to me but I knew then more that ever it was time to write and publish this article.

With more and more people tumbling their own glass using more high tech methods, I feel it is important to educate the public about the difference between genuine and artificial sea glass.

 

As beautiful as this piece is this is ARTIFICIAL glass Notice there are no markings and you can see right through it

As beautiful as this piece is this is ARTIFICIAL glass

Notice there are no markings and you can see right through it

An old friend of my husbands gave him this large glass egg a few years ago, he said it was sea glass from Mexico. We knew right away it was not genuine sea glass.

GENUINE sea glass that we found in the Greek Islands, September 2011 Notice the crystallization, pitting and letter C's

GENUINE sea glass that we found in the Greek Islands, September 2011

Notice the crystallization, pitting and letter C's

This is genuine sea glass.

Glass is made with soda and lime. A hydration starts when the glass is tumbled in water for long periods of time. This will form a crystallization on the glass making it appear frosty. You will also notice like on the piece in the photo above the letter C in patterns.

A cement mixer or a tumbler cannot achieve this look, only mother nature herself can.

Holding the glass up to the light is a tell tale sign. If it is clear it is not genuine sea glass. If it is artificial sea glass you will be able to see right through it like the turquoise egg in the first photo.

As people get more and more devious about making their own tumbled glass and calling it sea glass you will have to be more and more careful who you are purchasing your sea glass from.

Price is one way to tell, if someone is selling it by the pound or kilo at a small price then you can assume it is fake. Beware of perfect square pieces especially if they are matching.

A rare piece of red sea glass can sell  upwards from $100-$300.

Sometimes, people question the authenticity of my sea glass because the pieces look so close in size and shape. What they do not know is that many many hours are spent matching the pieces and that most of the time it is an illusion because of the matching colors and sizes.


Make sure the person or company you are buying from are reliable sellers, do not be afraid to ask questions about the origin of the sea glass or when it was found. A true sea glass collector knows the answer to these questions.

Genuine sea glass has a certain feel to it. It is not actually smooth to the touch, and you can feel the frost.

I hope this has given you a little more insight on this subject. Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any more questions that you may have.