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The secrets of beach glass and the best time to find it!

Submitted by: Linda Mickevicius, owner of Beach Bum Jewels

What is it about beach glass that attracts us? Is it the pretty sparkle we see as it is shining in the sun? The frosty look and feel? Beautiful colors? The thrill of the hunt?

For many of us, the allure of beach glass aka sea glass is all of the above. As we bend to pick up a beautiful pink shard, we wonder if it may have once been a Depression glass candy dish from another era or perhaps a shard of china from a sunken ship!

The question I am asked most often is which colors are the most rare? Most common? There are many rarity charts available out there but most of us, worldwide, agree on the most rare colors and the most common colors. The other colors in between vary by location/rarity!

• Very Rare: Orange~Red~Yellow~Turquoise

• Rare: Pink~Black~Teal~Gray

• In Between: Lime(UV glass)~Cornflower~Amethyst~HoneyAmber~Cobalt~Olive~Aqua

• Very Common: Seafoam~Bright Green~Brown~White

In addition to the colors above, there are many other cool finds on the beach!

• Bottle Stoppers~Marbles~Carnival Glass~ArtGlass~Milk Glass~Pottery~Glass toys~Dice~FrozenCharlottes~ and many more!

Other questions I am asked are…..

How does beach glass get its color?  Most beach glass is the same color as when it was in it’s first life; however, there are exceptions.A clear glass piece containing manganese will turn amethyst in color when exposed to the sun.More manganese, the more purple the glass gets!

Where does it all come from? Mostly, the glass has been discarded into the water on purpose. There are many dump sites and old factory sites all over the world that have become well known beach glass/sea glass beaches. Probably the most popular dump site in the U.S. is Glass Beach in Ft. Bragg, CA. Glass factories also account for much of the glass found on the beach. Sometimes glass has found its way into the water by accident. Homes that have fallen into the water through erosion and ship wrecks; however, these are less common than dumping grounds for trash!

Finally, everyone wants to know when is the best time to collect beach glass? Hunt during a full moon! After a storm! Be sure to check the high water line! Look for gravel wash! Though, Lake Michigan does not have low and high tides like the ocean it does have a slight variation that is affected by the moon. After a storm is usually a good time to check out the beach and in the spring and fall when the foot traffic is low! A well groomed beach does not produce much beach glass, so choose a beach with plenty of rocks. Small pieces are usually found along the waters edge but the high water line is where the larger pieces can sometimes be found.

You can see Linda’s beautiful beach glass jewelry and art at Beach Bum Jewels, located at 617 Franklin St. in Michigan City. More information at


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