I found my first piece of sea glass in 1987 on Maria's Beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico. The surf was huge that day and the beach was pretty much swept clean of any treasures. As I was walking along the shoreline a huge set of waves rolled in and a piece of cobalt blue sea glass flew out of the frothy bright white seafoam and landed right in front of me. From that moment on I became a full time professional beachcomber! After the swell died down it left behind seashells and sea glass galore.
I lived in Rincon, Puerto Rico for fifteen years. While living there I spent my time making jewelry and exploring the beaches and mountains of the island. It was during explorations of dry streams beds and eroded hillsides that I discovered that most of the sea glass found on the islands beaches comes from glass that was lost or discarded on land.
I found the pieces of glass in the above image in dry stream beds and on hillsides on the west coast of the island. These glass pieces are glassy yet they are not sharp and show signs of exposure to the elements.
Traditionally garbage in Puerto Rico was disposed of in makeshift community vertederos ( garbage dumps ) and to some extent this practice continues to this day. During the rainy season debris is washed down hillsides and into rivers and streams that carry it out to sea. During this process glass becomes softened as the soft edges become abraded from being washed over dirt on land and it becomes tumbled as it journeys down a stream or river. By the time it gets to sea it has been pre-tumbled by the forces of nature.
In Puerto Rico the best places to collect sea glass are on beaches that are near a river mouth. In Rincon a spot called Rivermouth is well known for having an abundance of sea glass. Rivermouth is actually the name of a surf break and the sea glass spot that is often referred to as Rivermouth is a tide pool between Antonio's Beach and Rivermouth. While living in Puerto Rico I roamed this stretch of beach just about everyday. On most days I rarely encountered another beachcomber. Much of the jewelry available on my website is made with sea glass that I collected from the beaches of Rincon, Puerto Rico.