Sea glass is rare
Whilst sea glass can be found along the shores of the Mornington Peninsula, the increased popularity of looking for sea glass, the end of coastal dumping by our seaside towns in the past and the introduction of plastics has made these little marine gems more difficult to find in the present day.
Sea Glass from the Mornington Peninsula
We have photographed a colour range below to give you an idea of our likelihood of finding certain colours based on our local beachcombing experience. Please note the harder to find and very rare to find are often found as extremely small shards so it can be difficult for us to offer jewellery with locally found glass in these rarer colour ranges. Aside from a collector point of view, this is the main reason we source these rarer colours from overseas so we can offer a broader range of colours in our jewellery design.
Colours likely to find- green, brown and white
Common glass sources: alcohol, bitters, medicine, milk, soft drink, food jars, windows, windshields, tableware, vases
Colours somewhat likely to find- honey amber, seafoam, pale green, soft blue, pale aqua and rarer greens
Common glass sources: alcohol, mineral water, soft drink, fruit jars, medicine, baking powder
Colours harder to find- black, purple, grey, cobalt blue, cornflower blue, ice blue, aquamarine, citron, lime green, teal, grey and milk glass
Common glass sources: tableware, vases, alcohol, medicine, poison, insulators, depression era glassware, food containers, cosmetic jars, ink
Colours very rare to find- red, orange, yellow, pink and turquoise
Common glass sources: depression era glassware, art glass, stained glass, warning lights, vases, perfume, decorative bottles
(Glass Source Reference: Richard LaMotte, 2009)
While colour is a useful guide, level of frosting, thickness, shape and level of markings are also important characteristics in assessing the quality of genuine sea glass. However, whilst a colour may or may not be considered rare in the sea glass collecting world, if it connects with you then it is perfect!
Sea Glass from International Shores
Our overseas collection of genuine sea glass is sourced from reputable collectors mostly from the United States and England. The multi coloured sea glass, in particular, has an interesting story. During the Victorian Era, dating from the mid 1800’s, the North East of England became famed for its glass making history. Excess glass during the glass making process was cut off and collected near the kiln during the course of the day. Colours would become mixed and layered and then at the end of the day would get tossed out into the Northern Sea. For many years these beautiful multi coloured gems have been washing up along local shores. Multi coloured sea glass is considered extremely rare in the sea glass-collecting world!
For the history buffs…
Most sea glass on the Mornington Peninsula comes from bottles as they were more frequently tossed away after use from the 1800s onwards. The rarer colours generally come from tableware which was not produced in the same numbers as bottles and not likely to be discarded unless broken or no longer needed. The most common colours are from thinner mass produced bottles that were produced after the 1920s and continue to be made until this current day. Thicker, older shards of sea glass in colours such as black, grey, purple, dark green and brown can be found on the Peninsula indicating glass dating back to the 1800s to early 1900s. Before the production of glass bottles became automated, thicker bottles were designed to be reused, survive shipping and to protect the contents from spoilage by sunlight. Sea glass shards with bubbles can also be found on the Peninsula, once again indicating older glass made before mass bottle production.