Carpinteria Sea Glass Festival

Carpinteria Sea Glass Festival

Kiona Gross
PO Box 539
Carpinteria, CA 93014

(404) 396-7008


What is Sea Glass?

Sea glass (also referred to as Mermaid’s Tears) is broken glass that somehow found its way into the sea and later washed up on the beach after years or even decades of being tumbled, “frosted”, and pitted by the constant churning of water, salt, and sand. Collecting it is growing as a hobby, and sea glass festivals are cropping up all over the country. At the same time, sea glass is becoming more rare, as we continue to package more goods in plastic and communities maintain efforts to keep our beaches and waterways clean. A collector rates a piece of sea glass by size, shape, relative visible wear, thickness, patterning, and color. More valuable pieces tend to be older, larger, and more rare in color.

What Colors Are There?

Sea Glass comes in pretty much every color. Different colors, however, are more rare than others and can even be more rare in one area than others. Green, brown, and white are the most commonly found colors around the world. The more rare colors are red, purple, lavender, yellow, pink, gray, and dark (cobalt) blue.

Sea Glass or Tumbled Glass?

There’s a difference? Yes. There’s a difference. Do you care? Well, that’s up to you, but most collectors are only interested in the real stuff. Genuine sea glass is broken, littered or lost glass that has been tumbled and worn down in the ocean (sometimes a lake) and picked up off a shore. Often, bottles are thrown into the water, washed down a storm drain, or fell off some cliff-side dumpsite decades ago. Sea glass is technically litter and unusable as it was originally intended, as a bottle or something else. Tumbled glass is a material that is manufactured with a rock tumbler. Usable bottles and other glass items are broken and tumbled in a machine filled with a solution, generally water and salt, to give the pieces a “sea glass-like” look.


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