The weather is finally getting nice and you will now have the chance to spend some quality time on the Lake Michigan shores looking for beach glass and stones. Where do the different colors of beach glass come from? Beach glass is simply old glass products that have been thrown into the lake. It takes decades for broken glass to become beach glass. Some colors are more common than others as green, brown and white glass are still widely used today.
Common Colors: White, green and brown
Unique Colors: Olive greens and pale ambers
Somewhat Rare Colors: Seafood green ,light greens, pale aqua, amber and rarer greens
Rare and Ultra Rare Colors: Cobalt blue, lavender, aqua, light blue and lime green
Treasure Chest Colors: These pieces of glass are unique and usually maintain a pattern or shape of its original source (i.e. marbles, patterned glass, old glass tiles, bottle stoppers or multicolored glass)
You can use the below guide to find out possibly where the beach glass you find originated from . . . Enjoy!
Green glass usually comes from beer bottles, wine bottles or soda bottles. Thereare a wide range of shades and hues. Lots of red wines come in green bottles, Heineken or Rolling Rock beer.
Brown is an old and new color. Budweiser and other beers often come in brown bottles, but old Clorox and Lysol bottles were also brown.
White or clear glass can come anywhere from new soda bottles to an old pane of glass. You can usually determine how old the piece is by the thickness and any markings.
The seafoam green glass is not in wide use today. Before the 1960’s plastic was not widely used and glass was the best way to preserve and transport goods. Canning used to be done in green jars for example. The most common source of this lovely shade is from old Coca Cola bottles.
The colored glass of cobalt blue most commonly came from Vick’s Vapor Rub, Milk of Magnesia, Noxzema or different poison bottles. There were many items made from blue glass. This is one of the most desirable colors to find because it can be rare.
Lavender glass may come from a regular glass jar that was made with manganese. When World War I broke out the chemical could no longer be used and the replacement chemical that was used turned the glass lavender over a periodof time. It is exciting to find a lavender piece of glass because it actually dates the glass.
More rare colors to find:
The light blue or cornflower blue glass is usually pre 1900. This glass would more than likely be from Phillips, Milk of Magnesia bottles, Bromo Seltzer and Vick’s Vapor Rub. Light blue was used before printed labels were used. It was easier to read on the lighter color bottles. After labels were started to be adhered to the bottles were made darker.
Lime green glass is believed to be from lemon lime soda bottles from the mid 1900’s. Most lime green glass is not thick so it indicates that it is more relatively from a more modern glass source.
Teal or turquoise glass Turquoise or teal glass comes from Seltzer bottles or decorative glass wares. This shade is one of the rarest and oldest source. Some of the deep aqua glass could have been from old Ball canning jars or an insulator from electric poles from the 1900’s.
Red beach glassRuby red glass is commonly from Schlitz Beer bottles, kitchen wares, railroad lanterns or Avon products. Anchor Hocking Glass Company discovered a way to turn glass a red hue instead of traditional gold. True red color does use gold to turn the molten glass with a vivid red hue. That is why red glass is still very expensive today.
Glass of pink, green or yellow is often from the depression era glasswares. These wares were widely used in homes. These are great finds and also very rare.
Black beach glass is not truly black. Most black glass is actually a hint of another color. Because of the thickness and density of the glass very little glass passes through that makes it appear black. Black glass is usually found more commonly in Europe.
This glass was widely made by Fire King and commonly used in diners. Opaque glass is very dense and very little light will pass through it.
Opalized beach glass Opalized glass is commonly from decorative glasswares. Some glass appears more blue from the side and somewhat red-orange inpass through light. 1 in 50,000 pieces found will be opalized.
This glass first appears as a simple piece of seafoam but when exposed to a black light it becomes an amazing glowing treasure. UV or ultra violet glass was used in many housewares in the early 1900’s. It may be worth your while to invest in a black light because it may be fun to see the glass light up.
Last but not least is the ultra rare treasure of old marbles or frosted glass bottle stoppers. This would definitely be a great treasure!