By far, one of the most sought after colours of Sea Glass is Ruby Red. You can usually tell when someone has found one beach combing because there will be shouts of joy coming from the lucky sea glass lover. Many Avid Sea Glass enthusiast look for years without finding a single piece.
Long before Plastic was the vessel of choice, glass had to be made to be affordable to for all income levels. While the Working Class had a demand for simple mass-produced glass vessels; the Wealthy had the ability to purchase more intricately designed pieces.
In the late 1800’s, many different colours of glass were being experimented with varying success. Red Glass was found to be vibrant enough to be used for Elegant Victorian era style lamps & stained glass windows.
Bohemian style Ruby Glass would be a prime example. High quality intricate designs required many hours of details to be added by highly trained glass blowers. A clear glass vessel would be covered with a thin layer of Ruby Red glass then a Glass Artist would hand detail designs in the hot glass mix revealing the clear glass below in the designs.
While it was used in artwork as well as stained glass in the late 1800’s, it was used before that in dark rugged bottles as far back at the 1500’s.
Red was a colour that could be made with a couple of different metals in the slag glass, but one of the most interesting is Gold.
Adding a precious metal, such as Gold, to the hot molten mix wasn’t for the main stream glassware. Gold mixed in the vessels colour code meant that only the upper Aristocracy, such as Kings, Queens, Dukes & Duchesses could afford such extravagance.
In the more main stream (affordable) pieces, red paint would be used instead of expensive red slag and could be done by someone other than a glass artist.
Red Glass was also very well used for signal lights on shipping and fishing vessels as well emergency beacons. Many mariners have relied on this emergency colour to guide them through the storms and the fog.
Red Sea Glass is definitely one with a great story to tell. With less than 1 in every 5000 pieces of sea glass being this vibrant colour, red sea glass is a rarity to be treasured. ❤
No matter what is found on the beach, each piece of Ocean Treasure has a story and meaning to the right person. Enjoy the hunt, feel the breeze on your face, the sand beneath your feet and discover the story behind that special lost piece of history.