One of nature's best gifts from the Cape is sea glass. It is the ultimate in recycling as sea glass is old discarded bottles that the waves in the ocean have tumbled over and over on the sand and rocks to create smooth-edge gems. And, gems they are ~ once found all over Cape beaches - they are now quite hard to find. This is mostly because we have done a better job of recycling our own bottles and not throwing them overboard and because most soft drinks are now sold in cans or plastic instead of glass bottles, but it is also because many people coming to the Cape love to find and collect them.
When I am on the Cape - it is a daily morning meditation, walking the long expanse of the beach - head down looking for that glint in the sand. Genuine sea glass - also called ocean glass or mermaid's tears comes in many colors ranging from common to very rare. Below are some of the colors and the types of bottles they have come from.
White - Variety of clear bottles - most common
Brown - Various beer bottles - common
Olive Green - Various wine bottles - common
Kelly Green - Various beer bottles - fairly rare
Blue-Green - Old Coke bottles - fairly rare
Cobalt Blue - Old medicine bottles - very rare
Lavender - WWII window glass - very rare
You will find many shops on the Cape that sells sea glass but be warned ~ much of it is fake sea glass made by modern glass tumbled in a glass tumbler or worse - plastic. Search out for the real thing which is frosted glass, smooth edged and always irregular-shaped.
When my aunt passed away 15 years ago, she left a 50–year collection of Cape Cod beach glass. Though intrigued by the worn beauty of the pieces, I was not sure what to do with the buckets of genuine seaglass. But years later, the simple gift has turned into two collections of sophisticated jewelry that have gained critical aclaim (New England’s Finest in Yankee Magazine) and have been featured in over 20 museums and fine galleries across the country, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian, and The American Museum of Natural History.
I like the statement it makes on many levels about recycling and the simple beauty in nature, mixed with sterling silver to create an elegant piece of jewelry. I love helping nature recycle these ocean gems…what once was rejected is now revered and we get a second chance to see its beauty.
The Nauset Collection and The Nobska Collection of SeaGlassWear, are only handcrafted from genuine sea glass and can be found here: http://www.seaglasswear.com
I am a designer and Cape native who loves cottage style, simple, small house living and guiding people to the hidden treasures