How Sea Glass Can Be Used as Jewelry
For many thousands of years, human beings have used body decoration as a means of representing status and identity, and more recently, often simply for personal decoration. Jewelry was often restricted to the elites of a society, and different gems and precious metals represented nobility, royalty, or tribal leadership around the world. In fact, some of the oldest jewelry dates back to 40,000 years: polished ostrich egg shells made up the beads on that piece of jewelry, and today, many gems such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies make up jewelry, along with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. Sea glass, meanwhile, does not come from the earth like gems or metals. Instead, sea glass is partially man-made, being made of glass items thrown into the ocean that, over time, became polished and ground into shape by currents of sea water. Such jewelry may sound like a cheap concept at first; broken glass from the ocean? But in fact, different types of sea glass wedding jewelry are very popular today, and natural sea glass can make for earrings, an authentic sea glass pendant, sea glass necklaces, and more, and types of sea glass wedding jewelry exist for many interested brides. An outdoor beach wedding, for example, is a great place for types of sea glass wedding jewelry, or bridal sea glass jewelry may match the color scheme of an indoor wedding. What kind of sea glass is out there?
Origins of Sea Glass
Where do the different types of sea glass wedding jewelry come from? Sea glass is not a purely natural material. Instead, over the many centuries, humanity has tossed its trash into the ocean as a liquid landfill, and this often involved glass products ranging from broken windows to medicine or drink bottles and beyond. Interestingly, sea glass production is actually declining, because “going green” initiatives call for increased rate of recycling, and that includes glass. Existing glass in the ocean from previous trash dumps, however, can often be found, and over time, these pieces of glass tumble and wash around in the water and get ground into shape, and they may even be sifted through sand or other sediments and be refined further. Glass making dates back to 2000 BC in Mesopotamia, and ever since, sea glass has been produced by the world’s oceans. As of 2007, the North American Sea Glass Association formed as a formal organization and has nearly 90 members.
What might different types of sea glass wedding jewelry look like? Triangular shapes are the most common, based on how the bits of glass are ground up in the ocean’s water, and due to the different compositions of different glass products, the colors of sea glass will vary in shades and rarity. Blue, green, and aqua stand as among the most common sea glass colors, appearing in every 50 to 100 pieces of sea glass, and they are popular choices for different types of sea glass wedding jewelry today. More rare colors may include red or even orange, or pink or purple. Orange sea glass is among the rarest, appearing in about one in every 10,000 pieces. This can greatly impact the price of some sea glass pieces, due to their shape, quality, and rare color. Although all sea glass starts out as mundane glass trash being thrown into the ocean, great prices can be charged for rare, attractive pieces, showing just how fond people are of jewelry.
What can be made with sea glass? These pieces can be worked into most types of jewelry that regular, carved gems might be, and they can make for distinctive alternatives to diamonds, sapphires, or rubies. Sea glass pieces can be expertly carved and set into a ring, like a regular gem could, and sea glass can also be worked into a necklace or pendant. In fact, several pieces of sea glass may be used to make one necklace if so desired. Sea glass can also be used as earrings or decorative beads on a bridal dress, just like how pearls are sometimes used in such a manner. Sea glass can be very on-theme for a beach wedding, but it can look great anywhere.