How to Find Sea Glass

Did you know that I collect sea glass?

Yup! It’s a little hobby of mine that I indulge in whenever I visit a beach. How about I tell you a bit about it?

What is Sea Glass?


sea glass definition

Sea glass is glass that has been tumbled around in sale water until it’s smooth and frosted (wikipedia says that glass tumbled in fresh water is called ‘beach glass’- I actually collect both types).

The color of the glass is determined by the original color of the glass, as well as some slight chemical changes in color that can occur during the weathering. Some colors are quite rare, with the most common being white, green and brown.

sea glass colors

The shape is determined by how the glass broke and tumbled. Although many pieces are rounded squares and triangles, you can sometimes identify pieces from their original glass: like a neck of a bottle.

neck of a bottle

Sea glass occurs naturally on beaches. However, there is a lot of artificial sea glass used in jewelry and sold in craft stores. Artificial sea glass is made by tumbling glass in a machine, and does not have the randomness or true weathering of genuine sea glass.

How do you find Sea Glass?

For a long time, I’ve been just picking up pieces as I come across them on beaches. It’s very hit-or-miss… sea glass requires a collection of conditions (specific ocean currents, a source of glass…) to turn up on the beach.

This year, I decided to do a little research to increase my odds of finding sea glass. I checked out the beach guides on Odyssey Sea Glass to see if there was a good beach near me.

And there was! Malabar beach near Sydney, Australia was reported to be sea glass heaven. So I went, and here is what I got:

pile of sea glass

I actually had to stop myself because there was SO much!

Tips for Collecting Sea Glass

Would you like to start a sea glass collection of your own? Here are some tips:

  • When you visit a new area, google to see if there are any beaches nearby with good sea glass track records. (don’t forget to also find a yarn store when traveling!)
  • Bring a little baggie to store your finds
  • Do a bit of research to see which colors of glass are rare, or decide which color is your favorite. It will help you narrow your pickings if you’re overwhelmed with choice!
  • Search Pinterest for ‘Sea Glass’: you’ll get lots of ideas for storage and craft projects!

And above all, enjoy! It’s not worth collecting if it’s not fun!

8 replies on “How to Find Sea Glass

  • Alex

    Aww I always pick up sea glass too! Though I’ve never gone out of my way to look for it, and I know I’ve misplaced a lot of it over the years, I only have a few pieces around at the moment. It’s just so dang pretty.

  • jill

    I have done this for years since my boys were little. They always loved to find turquoise sea glass because it seemed to be the rarest color. We hunted on the California coast at Goat Rock. So nice sitting there in a section of little tumbledrocks and sea glass. I picked out rocks for stud earrings. We would take our favorite selections and put them in a flat shell or white stone bowl on the bathroom counter where we could touch them and think about the great day we collected them.

  • Roxy

    I just read a beautiful story about us being like seaglass, being relentlessly thrown around until we are a beautiful being. So I have a quest to go seaglass hunting tomorrow! I’m from Sydney and glad to have come across your post I hope I find some in Malabar tomorrow! Was it any particular corner of the beach or just all along? xo

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