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Sea Glass Jewelry : History in the Sand

Feature Designer

Sea tumbled glass has got to be the most rewarding of finds for beachcombers who also happen to be jewelry artisans.The glass and pottery shards, smoothed and etched by repeated wave action are sometimes called mermaid's tears.

That they can be made into beautifully esthetic jewelry can be seen in Rita's creations, the artisan behind Sea Glass Designs on Etsy. Rita comes from my home province, Nova Scotia.

The green bottle top pendant modeled here is just one example of how she has made use of her finds from our beaches. The pieces are used just as they are. The range of glass and pottery shards are quite varied and have so much character. Rita wisely keeps embellishments to a minimum, better to showcase the glass.

Nova Scotia has a long history, about 400 years of bustling naval, shipping and fishing activities. The glass could have come from litter carelessly thrown overboard. But Nova Scotia is also known as the one of the shipwreck capitals of North America. The stormy, foggy and sometimes treacherous conditions off our coast have resulted in an estimated 10,000 wrecks littering the sea floor around the province.  Some of the debris do make it to shore as little pieces of history in the sand.

The rarest colours are orange and red. I previously blogged on a lovely creation made from a red sea glass. Black too is an uncommon colour - these pieces are from pre-1860 bottles which were originally olive-green. So next time you go walking along a sea or lake shore, keep a look out for naturally tumbled glass.

Photos with kind permission from Rita.

Wikipedia : Sea Glass
CNN : Strolling the Shore for Sea Glass
Canadian Geographic : Treacherous waters
Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia
The Beading Gem's Journal


  1. I've collected beach glass all my life, but of course (not jewellery maker) have done nothing more exciting with it than stash my treasures, sorted by colour, in clear glass bottles on the windowsill where they catch the light beautifully. Rita does lovely work -- and as you say, with the kind of long maritime history we've got in Atlantic Canada, what more appropriate source of Sea Glass jeweller? Lovely.

  2. I am land-locked, myself, so beach glass has an exotic appeal to me. The featured necklace is beautiful, I just love that bright emeralg green.

    Thanks again for sharing these lovely pieces with us. It's so nice to just click once to find gorgeous selections from so many varied artists.

    jewellery by erin

    etsy ©:

  3. That emerald green bottle top pendant is also my favourite - it was a brilliant use of this odd shaped piece. I enjoy sharing all these creations with readers.

  4. The bottle top pendant is SO great... So simple but it just might be my favourite of all the sea glass jewellery I've seen! And, very wonderfully, I have a beach right outside my front door that's great for beach glass!!


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