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From Panama to You: How I Collect and Sort Sea Glass

From Panama to You: How I Collect and Sort Sea Glass


I’ve shared a lot about the origins of sea glass over the years, but I’ve never shared how the glass gets from the beach, to my workshop, and into its dainty gold setting before I ship it off to you.


The journey of your sea glass jewelry starts on the beaches of Panama, sometimes taking a boat to beaches where conditions are just right. Because it is difficult for me to get there, I usually spend 6-8 hours at a time collecting. Once I get the bags of treasures home, I carefully wash and sun dry all the pieces I collected.  Then begins the fun of sorting. It may sound simple, but it’s actually quite a process: 


First, I remove all the pieces that have large cracks or chips. The remaining "jewelry grade" pieces I sort by color, laying out piles of different shades. Then I go through each shade and sort into different sizes and shapes. First priority goes to earring pairs. They usually aren't exact matches (sisters, not twins), but I try to get them generally the same size and overall shape. Once I’ve paired up the earring sets, I select necklace pendants and bracelet pieces.  Whatever sea glass is left over at the end of the sorting process, I save to mix in with the next haul. 


Collecting sea glass to make jewelry is a big, never ending puzzle. It’s tedious, meditative work, and I love it.  But you know what makes it even better?  When I see you beautiful people wearing your one-of-a-kind jewelry, and when I see you connecting with the story of the glass.

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