The summer season is upon us and the retailers are selling Sea Glass Jewelry! Except, that often it isn't GENUINE sea glass jewelry:( It is tumbled glass or even worse, just jewelry in colors closely resembling sea glass. That is fine, but why can't they call it something else??
In Richard LaMotte's book: Pure Sea Glass, he explains about the weathering process that sea glass goes through. As sodium hydroxide leaches from the surface of the glass, water binds with the glass and the corrosion begins.
As the weathering process takes place, the surface of the glass develops a powdery appearance. The more soda and lime in the glass, the more pitting you will notice. Sometimes tiny flakes of glass are extracted, leaving little "C" marks on the surface of the glass.
In the stores, when you see the shiny and perfectly uniformly shaped jewelry, it isn't sea glass. Of all people, I should know what the real thing looks like, right? BUT, I was walking the beach in sea glass hunting mode, when all of a sudden this gorgeous aqua thing popped into my line of vision!
I shouted to my friend "Is this sea glass?" Something didn't seem right, but it was at the water's edge and was the right color. We jumped with delight. The color was amazing:)
It wasn't until I got home and I realized the "sea glass" was still shiny! DARN!!!! I wanted that to be real SO BAD!!!!!
It can take DECADES for a piece of sea glass to obtain it's "cooked" appearance without any sharp edges. That is why when I find a piece of sea glass, I consider it a treasure:))
The photo above shows glass at the start of the process where it is sharp and shiny, through different stages until the bottom right piece, which is gently frosted and rounded.