Polished and frosted by the physical and chemical weathering of salt water, the most beautiful sea glass is often decades in the making. In recent years sea glass has been difficult to find on the Jersey Shore, a welcome indication that less waste glass is finding its way into the ocean. Environmental-protection efforts, the greater use of lighter and less expensive containers, and the nickel deposit levied on beer and soda bottles likely all play a part.
I was surprised, then, that sea glass was so easy to find on the beach of Conference House Park, on the southern tip of Staten Island. (It's also the southernmost point of New York State, marked by a literal "South Pole.") Shown here is the booty of not-especially-diligent beachcombing, in green, white, and the less common pale blue. (Red and amber are rarer still.) Of these, the two pieces of white sea glass may have been longest in the water: They have the heaviness and squared-off shape of old medicine bottles.
Conference House Park, Tottenville, Staten Island