Like so many other things that are copied, sea glass has now come under the same attack. It’s not so much a problem that it’s being copied, it’s a problem because there are some unscrupulous people who sell it as authentic sea glass to unknowing buyers. While some people don’t care if what they purchase is real or not, because the just like the item, some do care. More than that, sellers of authentic sea glass care.
Sellers care because authentic sea glass is more valuable than faux or fake sea glass. It’s harder to find. If they search it out themselves they’re spending hours and hours on the hunt for it. If they purchase it from another source it’s costly. Each piece of real sea glass is an original. For those that make fake or “tumbled” glass all they need is a tumbler, some ceramic pellets and some glass. They turn on the tumbler, walk away, come back later and voila, they have “sea glass”.
As I mentioned above, tumbling sea glass isn’t the problem, it’s how it’s sold. I’ll use the craft site etsy as an example. There are some 43,000 results for a search for “sea glass jewelry” on etsy. Problem is that some of those 43,000 results are for products that have nothing to do with sea glass. This means that man made faux or tumbled glass shows up in the same results as those who sell authentic sea glass. It’s not fair to sellers.
My word of wisdom is for you to learn about the differences between real and fake sea glass. Make sure you know before you spend your money.