The question we get asked most often is, "What is the rarest color of sea glass?"
The rare-color chart can be found on our website under "about sea glass". You will find that red, orange, yellow, and black, top the list. Purple is also considered rare. There are parts of the world where it is easier to find these colors, than others. The west coast of California and in the Pacific Northwest are prime grounds for red, orange and yellow.
There is a beach called "Glass Beach" in Northern California which was the site of an old glass factory. There are still great pieces to be found there. Then also on the southern coast of England are beaches where rare colors, and multi-colored glass have been found.
Even on beaches where you mostly find green, brown and white, if you look carefully, you will see variations in those colors which are spectacular. The picture on this blog shows some really unusual colors that we found in Mallorca, Spain. At the time, the honey-colored piece just looked brown, and the pale blue one, looked white in the sunlight. When I got them home and cleaned them up, I saw just how unusual those colors where.
There are various tints of green and blue sea glass which are somewhat rare as well. The teal, aqua and cornflower blue are all hard to find. Sometimes you will only find one in five thousand pieces that will be that color. In the eleven pounds of sea glass that I brought back from Spain and the French Riviera, only two were Cornflower Blue and about 5 small pieces were Cobalt Blue sea glass.
In my opinion, the quality of piece matters just as much as the color. If it has shiny edges and hasn't developed that frosty look, then it's more like glass trash, than glass treasure. I have found some simple white pieces, that are so old that they are almost perfectly oval and very thick. That's when the quality of the pieces matters more than the color. Those are some that I have added to my private collection. Some of the black pieces are well over one hundred years old and most likely came from glass containers from Spanish Galleon ships between the late 1600s and early 1800s. They have a deep olive color when held up to the light. They are usually very thick and rounded. We were fortunate enough to find about 10 pieces of black sea glass in the Mediterranean, mostly in the water, not on the beaches.
So the next time you go sea glass hunting, check your pieces against the color chart and rarity chart on our Soul Shells website and see if you've found a "diamond in the rough!"