Sea glass – Mermaid’s tears


Sea glass collecting has become a favorite hobby and past time of beach goers for years.  Mermaid’s Tears was a folklore term for sea glass.  The legend tells us that when a a seaman has lost his life at sea, a mermaid weeps and her tears touch the sand and turn to glass.  Very romantic!  I have just recently become hooked on finding sea glass.  I am not doing too good at it diving as I find it super hard to find.  I also tend to get distracted easy by a marine creature.  I have heard the Hollywood and Jupiter beaches have some nice treasures to be found closer to shore.  Everyday I have my favorite purple sea glass bracelet I wear on my right wrist that keeps me closer to the ocean and my key west bracelet on my left wrist.

Many people fill large jars, bowls or urns with all the colorful glass pieces that they find on shore.  Many craft artists will create gorgeous pieces of jewelry, stained glass collages or other decorative pieces from the treasures they find.  Best time to collect sea glass is at low tide after a storm.  Most ocean-created mermaid tears are just common bottles for beer, milk, Noxema, Vicks, Coca Cola, 7-Up.  You name it.  Add to that centuries-old art glass, tableware, pottery. Glass is substantially sand to begin with, so over the years, the salt water, the tides, washing over rocks and sand, the pounding forces of the ocean have broken and worn down the shards to unique, one-of-a-kind shapes and sizes.

At our store Scentsations, we carry many unique treasures created from sea glass and also tumbled glass.  Most are one of a kind and handmade.  We feature Mexican and American artists.  It is always nice to take home a treasure, made in the USA!

Some people use artificial methods to create the tumbled look of sea glass, also called craft glass.  As a general rule, craft glass is much more expensive as the artists value their works higher.  Both are very pretty and fashionable, it just depends on the budget you have.  Online you can find them under the Mermaid’s Tears heading in the jewelry section.

There are a few reason why natural sea glass is getting harder to find.  As society becomes more conscious about pollution, there is less.  People also tend to recycle more now.  Lastly, plastic has replaced a lot of glass items in the world so sea glass is harder to find because there is less glass being thrown away.

The color of sea glass will vary depending on it’s original source.  Most sea glass comes from old bottles, but it can also come from jars, plates, windows, windshields, ceramics or pottery.  At present we have some gorgeous, one of a kind, handmade orange and milk glass jewelry items in stock.  Also a nice blue green creamy glass.

The most common colors are kelly green, blue and a purply clear color.  The colors will come from old beer, soda or juice bottles.  The clear or white glass comes from old windshields, plates, drinking glasses and light globes.

Jade and amber are less common and used to come from old medicine bottles, bleach bottles and liquor bottles.  Lime green colors will come from old 1960 soda bottles. Ice or soft blue came from old medicine bottles, ink bottles and fruit jars from the late 29th and early 20th centuries.  In average, these colors are found about once for every 25 to 100 pieces of sea glass found.

Purple sea glass is very uncommon, as is citron, opaque white (from milk glass), cobalt and cornflower blue (from early Milk of Magnesia bottles, poison bottles, artwork, and Bromo-Seltzer and Vicks VapoRub containers), and aqua (from Ball Mason jars and 19th century glass bottles). These colors are found once for every 200 to 1,000 pieces found.

Depression Era plates produce a gray or pink glass while yellow would come from old Vaseline containers.

Super rare and hard to find are red sea glass pieces.  People value these much higher due to the rarity and color variation.  They came from old car tail lights, nautical lights, dinner plates or even old Schlitz bottles.  Generally only seen one in every 5000 pieces.

Orange is the hardest to find, only one in about 10000 pieces.   I have some beautiful orange tumbled glass items in stock right now.  Stop by today or visit us online to see all the great Mermaid’s tears we have to offer!

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About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
This entry was posted in Florida Diving, Technical tips, info, or other useful thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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