A Sea Glass Festival on Cape Cod

I’ve been collecting sea glass for years, as did my mother before me. It’s a passive hobby, one that can easily be combined with a gentle stroll along the beach. It does require an eagle eye, however, and the ability to grab and go, lest a wave roll in and wash away a treasure. My husband is not very good at it, and often grouses at me for spying the tiniest of glass fragments well-polished by the sea that simply elude him. At any rate, I have a pretty good collection after all these years, which I keep in a jar on the window sill in the living room of our inn on Cape Cod.

Little did I know, though, that there is an actual association of sea glass collectors and that they hold an annual convention. This year it is being held right here on Cape Cod in October. Who knew?! The North American Sea Glass Association (NASGA) Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 9th and 10th at the Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis, MA. The event is open to the public for a $5.00 daily fee.

Established in 2004, NASGA was formed in part to educate the collector as to the properties of pure natural beach sea glass. In addition to the annual convention, they publish a newsletter twice a year, and have a website that offers a wealth of information for collectors and enthusiasts alike, including links to purveyors of all things sea glass.

Recently, I read an interesting article on sea glass published in Parade magazine, which offered up the following tidbits of info regarding the rarity of various colors.

  • Greens and browns are common.
  • Blues are harder to find, but not impossible. Cobalt or conrflower blues crop up once in every 250-500 pieces.
  • Aqua and seafoam are rarer.
  • Most purples were originally clear; the manganese in them slowly oxidized into the rarer hue.
  • Scarce are true yellows, oranges, and red.

While recycling efforts have reduced the availability of naturally occurring sea glass, I will continue to pursue the art of collecting, hoping to one day score my holy grail-a true shard of cranberry glass from the shores of Cape Cod Bay. Until then, I will amuse myself with Richard La Motte’s self -published tome, “Pure Sea Glass”.