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What is the rarest color of sea glass?

About Sea Glass Colors and Where to Find Them

Many people want to know what the rare colors of sea glass are. Our Rare Color Chart can be found on our website under “about sea glass“. Orange is probably the rarest color of sea glass, followed by yellow, red, turquoise and black. Purple is also pretty rare, but there are parts of the world where it is easier to find these colors, than others. When my cousin traveled to the French Riviera, she found several pieces of purple.

The west coast of California and the northeast coast of England are prime grounds for red, orange and yellow. 

Multi from Seaham Beach

Glass Beach” in Northern California near Fort Bragg, was the site of an old glass factory, however, they no longer allow people to remove glass there. Even if you can’t take any, it’s still stunning to see.

We have also found some very rare sea glass on the northeast coast of England on Seaham Beach.

I haven’t had much luck finding teal, aqua or cornflower blue. Statistics state that one in five thousand pieces that will be that particular color. In the thirty pounds of sea glass that I brought back from Spain and the French Riviera, only two were Cornflower Blue and about 10 small pieces were Cobalt Blue sea glass. 

Multi-Colored Sea Glass

Seaham Beach in northeast England is the most famous beach in the world for finding “multis”. I found the purple and red striped piece, in the picture above, on Seaham Beach. The glass factory there used to push all the end-of-day glass over the cliff into the sea where it would tumble around and become rounded and frosty. That is why you’ll find more multi-colored glass there, than on regular beaches which usually consist of glass from old bottles.

If you look carefully at what appears to be mundane green, brown and white, you may see variations in those colors which are spectacular. The pictures below show some really unusual colors that we found Barcelona, Spain. I found the rainbow striped one when I started digging in the sand near where the waves were breaking. So many were washing up, that I thought for sure there would be some that had been buried. And boy did I hit the jackpot!

Sea Glass Pictured Below

I found all the pieces pictured below on the Mediterranean coast of Spain near Barcelona. We were there for 10 days and these were the best pieces we found. I had the round electric blue “button” made into a custom pendant. It was too perfect to sell.

Rare colors found on the Mediterranean coast of Spain

Rare Sea Glass Can Be Quality Over Color

Pendant made from the round blue piece I found in Spain (shown in the row of pictures above)

I also consider a piece rare if the shape is particularly nice, even if the color is somewhat ordinary. The blue piece above in the pendant is one such example that I found that piece near Barcelona (you can see the loose picture above in the row of images). I fell in love with it because it was almost perfectly round. So even though I have many blue pieces, I considered this one extra special. I sent it to a jeweler friend in Hawaii and she made this custom piece for me out of sterling silver. It symbolizes my children. a mermaid for my daughter and the waves for my surfer-son. It is priceless to me and I’m so glad I found someone who could make this unique piece.

I found this stunning periwinkle piece pictured below near Barcelona as well. The color and the fact that it was faceted made it quite rare. I’ve never seen anything like it! It was frosted (the picture below was when it was wet), so we know it had been in the sea for a while. I was able to fetch a pretty good price from a jeweler for that one.

Faceted periwinkle colored glass found in Spain

I have some greens that are rounded and nicely frosted, but then have a beautiful blue, with chips and rough edges which makes it less valuable. 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 round and very thick, like a large marble. That’s when the quality of the pieces matters more than the color. I have kept some of those for my private collection.

Black Glass

Some of the black sea glass pieces are well over three 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, and are usually very thick and rounded. We were fortunate enough to find about 10 pieces of black sea glass in the Mediterranean (Mallorca, Spain), mostly in the water, not on the beaches. You can read more about Black Glass on our page specially about that.

Selling Your Rare Sea Glass

If you would rather sell your best pieces of sea glass, than keep them, then it’s best to find a reputable group on Facebook. I work with several jewelers who know that my sea glass is authentic, and buy regularly from me. You can fetch a pretty penny for the good ones.

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!”

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