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Collecting Sea Glass - Where our sea glass comes from.
Collecting Sea Glass

Where Does All Our Sea Glass Come From?

Sea glass color wheel

We began collecting sea glass on the OBX (Outer Banks of North Carolina) and amassed a sizable personal collection of sea glass during our 20+ year residency. We personally collected all of our sea glass in the first 10 years of making sea glass jewelry.

In the mid 90's we had 2 hurricanes hit the OBX back to back, not producing significant real estate damage or news attention but erasing our pebble beds and sloughs for more than 2 years. This was the time our business started to blossom and at this time we started to purchase and trade from reputable collectors.

What is jewelry quality? Pieces that are totally rounded, well frosted with no shiny spots or nicks. We certify our sea glass to include these values and more. We are considered experts in the sea glass field with over 25 years of experience in the market.

We have now have amassed a collection of jewelry quality sea glass in the 1000 pound range and have invested over 100K in providing the best sea glass in the world.

While this sounds like a lot of sea glass, it can takes 100's of pieces to find matching pairs, Remember......., we leave our glass just the way it was found on the beach. In acquiring so much glass over the years, we are able to offer such rare earring matches such are reds, oranges and multi colored glass on our site.

We will still purchase or trade sea glass, if you are interested, drop us an email.

A leader in the sea glass industry since the early 90's, By The Sea Jewelry is always striving to bring you new sea glass sources.


Purchasing Sea Glass

Our first large collection of glass not personally found was based out of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Sizable sea gems in a myriad of colors arrived to me by mail from a friend who's husband was a helicopter pilot for the border patrol.... we soon found others when her hubby was reassigned in San Diego.

Most of our best glass in these years came from Puerto Rico. One of my original signature designs (Our Original Wire Bezel Setting©) started with this glass as it was thick and not suited to set in a wire wrapped setting.

About this time, the selling of loose sea glass on the internet had started and we started purchasing from around the globe - Prince Edwards Island, California, Hawaii and just recently in the last 7 years England.


Our Favorite Sea Glass

Multi Color English Sea Glass

Seaham England - English Sea Glass is by far my favorite and now dominates my work. We have acquired a large collection of these rare incredible sea glass gems.

We were the FIRST company in the USA to incorporate this unaltered awesome sea glass into our jewelry. We have spent a great deal of time and money investing in our stock. We maintain the LARGEST collection of this fascinating sea glass in the country and it allows us to offer jewelry that is available no where else.

For some of our best multis and English glass, try looking in our Ultra Rare sections for Earrings and Pendants made from Multis. We also use Seaham glass in our Limited Edition pieces.


Seaham is a small coastal town in the North East of England not far from Sunderland and Newcastle in Durham County, famed for it's glass making history. Though glass making dates back to the Romans in this region , Victorian Era glass dating from the mid 1800's is a more likely source for this amazing Genuine Sea Glass.

Seaham is the home of the now famed Multi colored sea glass (or Multi's) and as far as we know, one of only two sources in the WORLD for mixed multi color NATURAL Sea Glass.

There were many glass companies throughout in this region but, due to tides, wind and geography, this small stretch of beach yields sea glass from Victorian Glass factories. These art glass factories around the Tyne and Wear River practiced many forms of decorative glassware and this tiny nook of a beach in Seaham, right in the downtown off the promenade of this quiet village provides some of the finest sea glass in the world.

The North Sea is as treacherous, turbulent and rocky. End Of Day Glass (or .....EndODay coined by us in 2004) is heavily frosted sea gems of distinctive quality. There are several types of glass from this area. Large rounded single colors or Bubbles and boulders, Fisheyes, Marbles, Flash glass and Multi's.


End Of Day Sea Glass (Art Sea Glass)

"End Of Day Glass" - (the term) came about while conversing with our Brit friend about the origins of this glass....She simply called it sea glass, but I knew it was unique and wanted to find out why this area produced such unusual sea glass.

When I described it as "Slag" Glass (a term I was familiar with having family in the NE Coal mining regions)........I was quickly told by my "friend" that "SLAG" was a derogatory name in the UK.....I then researched glass making and the term and I came up with in 2004 WAS "End Of Day Sea Glass".

End Of Day Sea Glass (or EndODay) is NOW the common and standard term for Multi Sea Glass from Seaham England.

Traditionally though, "End Of Day" glass in antique glass collecting is where glass frits (small bits of ground colored glass) are incorporated into and final end piece...producing a multi colored effect. English End Of Day sea glass is seldom like true "End Of Day Glass" in collecting.

Every piece of English Sea Glass we sell comes with a FULL in depth description of this unique area, history and source.


Types Of English Sea Glass (Seaham Sea Glass)

modern slag glassEnglish Sea GlassBoulders and Bubbles Usually single color pieces that started as huge lumps of slag glass. These were chipped out of vats and discarded whole to the sea.

The characteristics are that they are very round and usually very large (depending on how long they have been rolling around).

 Sea Glass NecklaceWe use bubbles in our minimal bezel setting and our NEW Deluxe Wire Bezel setting where a silver band is fashioned to the size of the glass then painstakingly burnished to enclose the glass. Bubbles are too round for most jewelry applications and tend to fracture when drilled. We also sell boulders in our Specimen Sea Glass Section.

Slag glass (above right) can still be purchased today from modern glass companies and is often used in aquariums for display.

 


Sea Glass PendantMulti's - There are various theories on how Multi's came to be. We incorrectly reported this glass to be purposefully mixed at the "End Of The Day'

This INCORRECT version is that that molten glass was mixed at the End Of The Day and either worked by glass workers as practice or simply combined in one vat as waste is now widely spread on the internet to describe Seaham Sea glass, but is inaccurate.

Multi Seaham Sea GlassSince first acquiring this glass and posting the term End Of Day (or EndoDay) sea glass, we have consulted with many glassmakers, both in England and the United States. Our correction the to END OF DAY description is as follows:

Glass in it's raw form is a pale green. In most glass making, colorants are used make glass different hues. Blue glass is created from Cobalt (the mineral), Red glass using 14K gold and on and on.....

In glass production, the colorant is added when the glass is molten or flowing. Raw silica and soda is an offcolor greenish white. The minerals added to glass when it is flowing are: Cobalt for blue , Gold for red , Copper for greens, and various mineral oxides

A crucible near the kiln is used for the mixing of the mineral and glass. These layers build up on the sides of the crucible. This crucible is usually not cleaned in between batches, production types or even weeks. The various colors become layered on the sides of the crucible. When the crucible IS cleaned and discarded (in the Seaham Sea glass case) into nearby tributaries and into the sea, these fascinating sea glass gems result.

No where in the world can this type of sea glass be found other than this small region.

The best Multi's are those with 3 or more colors, and our favorites are cross sectioned pieces (shown left Above) where the colors are cross sectioned inside the glass instead of layered one on top of another.

The rarest Seaham Multis we have seen have a rainbow of hues and layers!


Glass Pontil IllustrationFisheyes (as they are called in Seaham) or Pontil pieces (as I refer to them) is usually clear glass used to tip a punty or pontil rod (the metal rod used to gather glass in the kiln).

Clear glass was the cheapest and therefore predominates the fisheyes found in this area, however, occasionally brightly colored fisheyes bases are found.

We have several in our personal collection where the bases are hues of aqua and blue, light blues and greens.

In a fisheye piece, you can see how the glass was pulled before being snapped off for final finishing. The Center of the glass remained hot and therefore stretched more as the outside cooled and was more stable.

Most fisheye or pontil pieces from Seaham have this characteristic though many are just a hint of color on a tip of white.

It is many years of glass knowledge that led me to this discovery and though this is just a theory,,,,they may have originated in a different way.

Another possibility is the result of a "stringer". Stringers are used in decorative glass making to apply intricate glass designs. Just like a punty, stringer bases are cheap glasses fused to more colorful and expensive glass. The tips of the stringers would be melted and applied to the object at hand.

I firmly though believe that due the thickness of most Fisheyes or Pontil pieces, that they were indeed punty tips. Unfortunately, the affirmation of this knowledge has passed with the generation of glass makers that produced these discards.

 


Flash GlassFlash Glass Vase

Flash Glass - So popular in Victorian English windows Flash Glass is where one color of glass is layered on top of another, then carved to reveal a contrasting pattern.

Flash glass was also used in decorative house wares (right - Victorian Glass Vase) such as vases and bowls.

Flash sea glass in distinctly 2 colors (rarely 3) and an even usually flat surface. We also collect Flash Sea Glass from Southern England.


Sea Glass DumpEnd Of Day Glass DumpOther Pieces - Other fascinating specimens can be found there, items called Whimsies or Friggers in glass making were usually items made by workers at the end of the day to practice their trade.

Items such as glass canes and pipes (impractical but pretty), pitchy dobbers (flat pressed glass used in hop scotch) and glass dumps (paper weights with designs blown inside - our personal find of a sea glass flower dump right) as they were made with glass that would have been "dumped" into the sea. Pieces of failed attempts of these items can sometimes be found on the beaches in this area.


codd bottleMarbles -also abound on this beach and originate mainly from Codd bottles. These bottles had an internal marble that was pushed to the top of the bottle by the carbonation, thus sealing the opening. These were also made locally, Villa Pop, a Sunderland company who started making soda in the late 1800's, made codd bottles from 1900 to 1912, which gives those marbles a direct date.


Seaham EnglandThe wares that were made in this factories in and around Seaham varied throughout time.

As a decorative or art glass factory which yielded incredible colors of glass in pinks, baby blues in the Deco Period to specimens of Victorian decorative artifacts can be seen at The National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

In later years, less glamorous objects such as New Castle Ale bottles (a vivid green unlike common green found in the states), Television Tubes, producing a thick gray blue sea glass, and more common colors such as olives and ambers that have distinct color unlike any found anywhere else in the world.

Though the bottle factory also produced the common colors of sea glass, the quality is far better than any we have every seen because of the conditions of the North Sea.


THIS CONTENT IS PROPERTY OF BY THE SEA JEWELRY - SANDYFEAT ENT INC. AND MAY NOT BE USED IN WHOLE OR IN PART UNLESS PERSMISSION IS FIRST OBTAINED.


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