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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The myriad shades of green sea glass

After all these years of looking at sea glass, it seems to me that there are more distinct shades of green sea glass than any other color.

"Common" kelly or "Heineken" green
Of course, it may be that I am simply extremely compulsive about sorting my sea glass into piles that seem (at least to my eye) to be the exact same color.

Most of us hear about "green" sea glass, and we immediately think about the common kelly green (sometimes dubbed "Heineken green" because it's the color used for that brewery's bottles), but there is just SO much more to green sea glass.

So far, I have identified about 30-odd distinct shades of green. I am sure there could be many more, but I am trying not to go completely overboard here.

It's not easy to sort a color down to such a detailed level, because (at least for me) you have to learn to distinguish between "distinct colors" and what simply amounts to small variations in the color density of the same color. Most of the time, though, you learn where colors are "distinct" and how there can be "gray-toned olive" and "yellow-toned olive" and the two really look nothing alike.

This deep bluish teal green shade is actually quite rare
I expect that some of my obsession with colors in sea glass is actually "inherited" from one of my other favorite hobbies, stamp collecting. For stamp collectors, being able to recognize slight differences in the color of a stamp (from different printings and ink batches) can mean the difference between owning a 50-cent stamp and a $50 stamp. As I have been a stamp collector since I was a kid-- and many of those years a pretty "serious" collector-- I learned at an early age to pay close attention to colors and nuances. And there is little doubt that some of this is now "rubbing off" when I sort sea glass.

Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself if it is really "important" that I pay so much attention to sorting by color.

I suppose it has become more important because I sell sea glass. If a jeweler I am working with is trying to make a pair of matching earrings... or a bracelet with multiple pieces of glass... it becomes pretty important that the colors he or she uses aren't going to be glaringly different.

That's the "logical" explanation. Bottom line, though, is that I am just having fun doing this sorting!

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1960 vintage Danish national now living in the Pacific Northwest... active in the global HSP community; active beach comber and sea glass collector; lifetime collector of postage stamps from Scandinavia; writer and consultant, primarily to the metaphysics and self-help industries, writer at OM Times magazine; artist who doodles on rocks; eBay & Etsy entrepreneur and studio and production assistant at Radio Nahmaste.

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