How to Tell Real Sea Glass from Fake

Sea glass bracelet designs

Sea glass originally comes from bottles and jars and other glass products that get thrown or lost overboard or are intentionally thrown in to the ocean. As they are tossed around on the waves, they break and them are smoothed by the waves and sand. This can take many, many years to happen. In fact, many of the glass pieces have been tumbled around for decades before they become sea glass which eventually are made into sea glass necklaces, bracelets and other types of sea glass charms. Years ago, pretty much everything came in glass jars and bottles. Nowadays the same products are marketed in plastic containers, usually. They didn’t really understand trash disposal either so when they were done with the bottle or jar, they would simply bury it in the sand or throw it into the sea. Because of the switch over from using glass so much to plastic, sea glass is becoming more unique and increasingly harder to find.

How to Tell if You are Buying the Real Thing
If you are looking for sea glass necklaces or other sea glass jewelry, you’ll want to make sure that it is genuine.

The main way to be sure of this is to look for the small ‘C’ shapes that should form on the surface. This is caused by the sand rock grinding down on it. It is part of what accounts for its frosted look and cannot be replicated by man made means. There are various levels of which the glass is etched, depending on where the glass is found. Some lakes still create a certain kind of sea glass but those will have smaller etchings on them.

Before being made into sea glass necklaces, the materials already should have crystal formations over the whole piece. This is not salt residue. It is created because of the years of exposure to water.

Older sea glass will usually be thicker and its shape will have more curvature. Newer sea glass is likely to be a lot thinner.

If you look closely at your sea glass necklace or whatever piece you hold, you’ll notice that there are small bubbles that are stagnant in the piece.

How to Tell if You are Looking at a Fake
There are plenty of companies and people that will market their fake sea glass as the real thing in order to lure tourists and people who aren’t up on their sea glass knowledge. Here are a few things you can look for to see if it’s fake.

If they are selling the glass for very cheap prices, then you can pretty much guarantee that they are fakes. Distributors can’t buy sea glass for cheap so they wouldn’t be able to make any profit if they sold them cheaply. In fact, they would end up paying for people to buy them, which would defeat the purpose.

Real sea glass is pretty rough to the touch so if you feel a piece of glass that is smooth in appearance and texture, it is probably an artificial product that has been frosted in a man made tumbler.

However, there is such a thing as too rough as well. If the glass is too rough then it is probably fake as well. These are the kind that are usually sold in bags together at craft stores and places like that.

Similar Shapes
It takes hundreds of real sea glass pieces to be able to find some that are similar in shapes and size so if you see several shapes that are the same shape and color, they are probably man made.

There are various other ways that you can tell genuine sea glass from faux replications but these are the main things you can look for. The best thing to do when you are looking at sea glass from a private seller is to ask them questions. The best question to ask if where they get the sea glass from. A real sea glass seller will be excited to tell you about their collections and what they go through to find authentic sea glass. A fake sea glass seller will give you a general answer such as buying it from an estate auction or flea markets, etc.

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