Orange Sea Glass

By Rebecca Ruger

orange sea glass

The Holy Grail of sea glass, orange sea glass is considered by most to be the rarest of colors. You likely know several people who have never found even one piece or have only found one piece. (And you don’t want to be that person who sadly informs the happy sea glass hunter that what they’ve found is actually amber glass, not orange—a common mistake.)

pieces of orange beach glass

Why is orange glass so rare? It had limited uses, as in, it wasn’t mass produced as bottles or jars or containers—the origins of the vast majority of our sea glass. It was made as art glass, and more decorative items and, of course, as tail lights for cars and boats.

davenport orange sea glass

Decorative glass has a much smaller chance of becoming refuse and thus finding its way into our lakes and oceans.

orange sea glass

The chemical element cadmium, together with selenium, can be added to a glass recipe to produce shades of orange. Silver compounds can also result in orange glass. As with most glass coloring processes, an additive’s resulting color is usually dependent upon the heating and cooling process.

orange glass items

The Viking Glass company, which began as the New Martinsville Glass Company in 1901 in Virginia, added orange glass to their product line in 1964, calling it persimmon. Viking produced hobnail glass items, art glass, ashtrays, vases and many other items in persimmon over the next few decades. Fenton Glass produced many ornamental glass pieces in orange as well, including marigold carnival glass items and their own version of hobnail glass in orange.

orange beach glass

To some sea glass hunters, discovering an orange shard remains still on the bucket list of colors to find. But take heart, even though orange glassware was possibly the least color ever produced, the number of items manufactured was in the millions!

This article appeared in the Glassing Magazine September/October 2018 issue.

Watch videos about all the colors of sea and beach glass

Learn more about sea and beach glass colors:

where does sea glass get its color


    I found a beautiful piece this week on Hornsea beach.

    Rachel Barton September 29, 2023

    I was just gifted the most stunning orange sea glass ring. It glows magically under uv light. ✨🧡✨ It felt like I won the sea glass jewelry lottery.

    Merry July 24, 2023

    You can either believe this or not, but my husband found a piece of orange on a beach on the east coast of Scotland—and then I found one on a beach to the south the same day.

    Jen June 01, 2023

    I found the most beautiful orange sea glass from Rock Sound. I have been collecting for about 20 yrs. I have about 1000 pieces. My 1st! Very beautiful. Rock Sound Eleuthera

    Jo Ann Praught May 14, 2023

    I have a piece that I still can’t tell if orange sea glass or plastic. I’ve tried all tests I can think of but still inconclusive

    Sally July 16, 2022

    Orange sea glass is super powerful. Was just talking on the beach with my girlfriend about how rare orange seaglass is and I promise on everything one washed up right next to me. So overwhelmed with joy and magick and salt vibes 🧡🧡

    Avalon Pont Lezica January 28, 2022

    I love the beach and the beach loves me and it’s always been good to me and I love this app and I love orange sea glass I’ve been a collector for years and years ever since I was a little boy Burnin Up by the sea by Santa Monica and Venice in Malibu😎😘😍👻

    Christopher Romero February 27, 2021

    Leave a comment

    All comments are moderated before being published