~ The wondrous transition from glass to sea glass ~
Historically it was glass containers that had provided us with the means to carry and transport our perishables. Because of this, a big part of our trash base was glass and it ended up in the oceans, lakes and water sources around us.
Glass is a substance that is never harmful to our water environments. Glass does not grow bacteria, or leach chemicals when it breaks down. The water simply breaks it into smaller and smaller pieces as it is tossed around by variable currents coming into contact with rocks and the sea bed. After years and years the glass begins to transform into sea glass. A smooth frosted sea glass begins to emerge as the glass slowly oxidizes along its journey back to its original form, sand.
The transformation from glass to sea glass takes many many years.
High quality, “jewelry grade” sea glass takes a minimum of twenty years to oxidize, frost and break down leaving no harsh edges. The most beautiful and sought after pieces of sea glass are a hundred years old or even older. It is hard to place the age of a piece of sea glass once found, but typically the thicker the sea glass the older it is.
Sea glass can be distinguished by its beautiful characteristics when viewed under a microscope. The history of the sea glass seems to pop out at you under the magnified light. Small "C" shaped pitting usually occurs from the natural effect of tumbling in the water. This effect cannot happen from artificial means of tumbling or sandblasting, only time in the ocean. Each piece of sea glass tells a story depending on where the sea glass tumbled, how many rocks it hit, and how many smooth or rocky beaches it has passed in its long lifetime. Some sea glass will be heavily frosted, others will seem to be less frosted but just as smooth.
© SimpleSeaGlass 2013