Seaglassing     Prince Edward Island, Canada
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Finding Seaglass

What is seaglass?

raw sea glass

Sea glass is discarded bottles and broken glass that has been left on the beach or tossed into the ocean. Glass becomes seaglass only after years of washing back and forth in the sand and salt water. It can take between 10-40 years for seaglass to tumble smooth by the waves and the sand washing back and forth with the tides. Glass bottles, milk jugs, glass insulators, perfume and face cream jars all made by man then carelessly tossed away; some thrown over board at sea while other seaglass has made it's way from shipwrecks at sea.

frosted seafoam green coke bottles

The cycle of sea glass begins with bottles being tossed on/into the sea, then broken, then tumbled by surf. Back in the 1950' & 60's coastal residents would bury their garbage in the back yard or it was tossed in the ocean. Often beach parties left behind remains of broken bottles and ships at sea discarded glass and pottery either from wrecks or just tossing it overboard, it's sad to say but "the sea was a large dump."

seaglass find on beach

Ocean tumbled glass found on the beach today are what we call seaglass. Seaglass is becoming harder to find with all the plastic being used today. Many artisans use seaglass today in their crafts. Seaglass can be rated either quality or rare pieces. The rare being cobalt blue, red and orange, while the quality being well frosted with smooth edges..

How do I find seaglass?

treasure map Ten Best Seaglass Hunting Tips
  1. Don't walk too fast
  2. If you are several people, walk two or three paces apart so you can cover more ground
  3. Many people search the high tide line; this will be the spot where you see a small to large line of debris, seaweed, etc. However, it is not unusual to find glass higher than the tide line or just at the point where the waves are ending "at this moment".
  4. Sweep your eyes right and left looking 2-3 paces in front of you, where you stand a better chance of seeing the glass SHINE.
  5. If it is sunny, sometimes it is best to have the sun at your back
  6. Don't get fooled by shells and other rocks
  7. On the other hand, don't discard what appears to be a dark stone - it might be BLACK SEAGLASS
  8. When you pick up a piece of glass, check if the edges are sharp - rough pieces are not desirable unless unusual in colour.
  9. When you find a piece, stop walking while you examine it. You may have a tendency to keep walking and might miss another good find. Or a piece under foot.
  10. When your eyes focus on a treasure, you might be 3-4 paces away and keep your eyes on it as you walk up. Sometimes it is a good idea to take a few steps back after finding a piece to see if you missed anything else.

Where can I find seaglass on PEI?

aerial view of Souris Beach
You can find glass on any beach in PEI. Conversely, you could find no glass on any beach in PEI. The seaglass hunt is at the mercy of the wind and the tides. My best suggestion is to head to the beach early in the morning to find the overnight shards on the beach before any one else does. There is one beach, however, that seems to yield seaglass regularly. That is in Souris Provincial Park, on the Northeast tip of the Island, not far from the terminal for the ferry to the Magdalen Islands. See map above.

Watch a short video on seaglassing PEI

Ana was 3 on the hunt Sea Glass Hunter on the shores of PEI.

Wire Wrap your own Seaglass

wire wrapped piece of seaglass
Wire wrap your own seaglass pendant or key chain ($15 pp)

Prince Edward Island Artisans of Sea Glass