Is Blue Depression Glass Worth Anything? | Antique Answers (2022)

You might have seen blue glass plates or cups lying around in your Grandmother’s attic or at a garage sale and wondered if they are valuable pieces. This type of glassware is called depression glass, and it is a popular antique with a rich history.

Blue depression glass is typically worth about $10-$70 for an individual piece—larger items or full sets can be worth over $200. Certain designs, brands, and colors of glass are more desirable than others. Blue Mayfair pieces, for example, can be worth several hundred dollars.

It can be hard to tell whether an antique has much value or not, but knowing more about depression glassware can help one pick out a rare, priceless gem of blue glass.

Is Blue Depression Glass Worth Anything? | Antique Answers (1)

Blue Depression Glass Worth

Blue depression glass is typically worth about $10-$70 for an individual piece, such as a single plate or cup, but larger items (like a pitcher) or full sets can be worth over $200. However, if your piece is a reproduction, it will be rendered practically worthless. Authentic pieces will have several signs that prove authenticity, including:

  • Noticable seams in the glass
  • Scratching from utensils
  • Greasy rather than squeaky feel
  • Feels lighter and less sturdy
  • Lines along the bottom from production

Another major factor that can affect the worth of your antique is the condition. It is common to find chips and cracks in old glassware, so pieces that have maintained mint conditions will be worth more. Collectors also steer clear of “sick” glass, which is glass that has been clouded by being washed in a dishwasher.

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Today, depression glass is a highly collectible item. Different collectors might favor different brands, specific items, or colors. It is popular to seek out more unusual serving dishes like unique platters, coffee servers, butter dishes, or cake plates. One unique item is furniture coasters that were made to keep tables and chairs from marking carpets or floors. Some serving dishes were designed in a shape like a violin or a heart. What draws many depression glass collectors’ attention is the uniqueness of a piece.

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Some collectors are interested in building up a matching collection, others like to mix and match patterns together. Many collectors continue to use the pieces they purchase, while many keep them on display in their homes, preserving their life for many years to come.

Who Made Blue Depression Glass?

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Depression glass was manufactured between 1920 and 1950 during the Great Depression and was meant to be affordable and produced in mass quantities. Previously, glassware had always been hand-cut and therefore only affordable to the wealthy. Not only is it quite pretty, but was a symbol of hope during Great Depression, as the common family could finally afford to adorn their home with glassware.

There were many different companies who manufactured these notable blue pieces, but some of the most well-known include:

  • Hazel Atlas Glass Company
  • Hocking Glass Company
  • Lancaster Glass Company
  • U.S. Glass Company
  • L. E. Smith Glass Company
  • Federal Glass Company
  • Indiana Glass Company
  • MacBeth-Evans Glass Company
  • Jeanette Glass Company
  • Imperial Glass Company

While many companies made depression glass in the blue color, Hazel Atlas Glass Company sold some of the most popular patterns in what they called “Ritz Blue”.

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What Is Cobalt Blue Depression Glass?

Cobalt blue glass is a deep blue color that comes from cobalt oxide that is mixed into the glass mixture. Copper and nickel contain small amounts of cobalt, which is the metal that produces this striking color. After creating this royal blue color in the glass, the glass would then be crushed up into a powder known as “smalt,” which would be used to color the larger batch of glass.

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Both Hocking Glass Co. and Hazel Atlas Glass Co. produced pieces in cobalt blue, which included Shirley Temple pieces and the popular Modernton and Royal Lace designs.

The earliest known cobalt blue glass piece came way before the era of the Great Depression. A small lump was discovered by archeologists in ancient Mesopotamia dating as far back as 2000 BC. About 500 years later, Egyptians began using it in pottery.

The Chinese were also fans of the striking color, as they used cobalt blue smalt glazes in their porcelain for the Chinese Dynasty. Later, the popularity of this look arrived in Europe as well.

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What Is the Old Blue Glass Called?

The old blue glass is called depression glass. This look is easily manufactured and reproduced, so there are many different types of glassware, like blown or decorative glassware, that may have a similar coloring to the blue depression glass, so just because a piece of glassware is old, does not necessarily mean that it is bonified depression glass.

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One major giveaway to depression glass is the purpose of the piece. Depression glass was meant to look beautiful and be functional at the same time. Consumers of these glassware sets were almost always people who planned to use them in their home for eating and serving meals, so it is rare to find depression glass that is purely decorative—for example, a vase or an abstract art piece.

What Is Vintage Blue Glass Called?

The vintage blue glass is known as depression glass or cobalt glass. Sometimes depression glass is confused with pressed glass or Carnival glass. Pressed glass refers only to a method that was used to decorate bowls or plates with a pattern. So some depression glass might also be pressed glass, but not all depression glass is pressed.

Carnival glass is multicolored glassware that had very intricate patterns on it. Carnival glass was produced earlier in the 20th century before depression glass and was sold as individual pieces, unlike depression glass which almost always sold in sets.

Interestingly, some food manufacturers wanted to boost their sales, so they would often include a piece of glassware in food boxes. When purchasing a box of oats, flour, or laundry detergent it, wouldn’t be rare to open it up and find a glass mug perfectly padded within the product. Some movie theatres or mechanic shops even joined in with this popular trend, offering depression glass pieces as a premium to their customers.

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When Was Cobalt Blue Glass Popular?

Cobalt blue glass wasn’t first invented during the Great Depression. It has actually been considered a treasure since ancient times. Researchers have discovered ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian pieces made of or containing cobalt blue glass.

When industrialization made the production of this glass easier in the 1800s, cobalt blue glass became more commonplace in the average household. It was made into utilitarian bottles that held tinctures or medicines.

The Hazel Atlas Glass Co. again made the glass more desirable when they produced several glassware sets in the color. The most popular colors during the production era were yellow, amber, green, and blue.

Is Blue Depression Glass Worth Anything? | Antique Answers (10)

Today, pink depression glass is the most valuable, followed by blue, then green. Some colors were produced in small batches like lavender and tangerine. The rarity of the color typically increases the value of the piece.

Does Blue Depression Glass Glow

Originally the green depression glass and Vaseline glass contained small amounts of uranium oxide which causes the glass to glow when placed under a UV light. Because the blue glass doesn’t contain any uranium, it does not glow.

The uranium oxide was added to the glass to give it that fluorescent green or yellow color. Each company had a different name for this unique color like jasmine, mustard, golden gree, citron, and Florentine.

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Some say that it is dangerous to eat from these dishes due to the radioactive nature of uranium, but the amount that seeps through the glass is so insignificant, that there isn’t any harm in eating from these pieces.

FAQs

Is Blue Depression Glass Worth Anything? | Antique Answers? ›

Blue depression glass is typically worth about $10-$70 for an individual piece, such as a single plate or cup, but larger items (like a pitcher) or full sets can be worth over $200. However, if your piece is a reproduction, it will be rendered practically worthless.

Is blue depression glass worth anything? ›

Blue Mayfair pieces, however, are highly sought-after and can be worth several hundred dollars. The most sought after pattern of Depression glass is arguably Royal Lace, which was made by the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company.

What color depression glass is most valuable? ›

Pink glass is most valuable, followed by blue and green. Rare colors such as tangerine and lavender are also worth more than common colors like yellow and amber. If you stumble upon an extremely rare piece like the red ruby Aladdin Beehive Lamp, expect to pay $800 or more!

How can you tell if colored glass is valuable? ›

Look for pink, blue and green glassware

Pink, green and blue are the most valuable colors of depression glass. Pink tends to be the most valuable because it is more rare. Yellow and amber colored depression glass is more common and therefore less valuable.

How do you authenticate depression glass? ›

Look for tiny bubbles on the surface of the glass.

Check the piece very closely, and look at it from all angles. If it is a real piece of depression glass, there will be a scattering of small bubbles. The bubbles are about the size of a full stop at the end of a sentence.

What is the most sought after vintage glassware? ›

10 Most Expensive and Valuable Glassware?
No.NamePrice
1Antique Marigold Carnival Glass Round Bowl$300
2Antique Jardiniere Bowl$450
3Antique Grape Leaves Bowl$590
4Art Nouveau Vase in Pink Mouth$1,340
6 more rows

What is the rarest glass? ›

Gray sea glass is ultra rare because of its scarcity. There are several shades of gray sea glass, the darker being the most desired.

How much can I sell my depression glass for? ›

Although depression glass had low production costs, has it gained any value over the years? Most depression glass pieces can be purchased or sold for anything between $10 and $100, with rarer pieces selling for $100-$250. The actual price of the depression glass piece depends on its color, condition, and rarity.

How do you identify cobalt blue glass? ›

Cobalt blue glass is normally a deep rich blue like the vase on the left. It is made by incorporating cobalt oxide in the molten glass mixture. Most blue glass is given its color either from cobalt oxide or from copper oxide added to the molten glass. Copper is a more delicate colorant than cobalt.

What color carnival glass is most valuable? ›

While there are many beautiful colors of carnival glass, some are rarer than others. One of the rarest and most valuable colors is purple. Other rare colors include red, orange and yellow. These colors are less common because they were difficult to produce during the time period when carnival glass was made.

Is there an app to identify glassware? ›

CamFind can bring visual search to Glass, using artificial intelligence to recognize images. It combines that with crowdsourcing, where humans can correct the identification of images.

Is there an app to help identify antiques? ›

Find out how valuable your antiques are with ValueMyStuff. Find out how valuable your antiques are with ValueMyStuff.

Which is more valuable cut glass or pressed glass? ›

Cut glass is almost always more valuable than pressed glass and these tips will help you decipher between the two like a pro. When looking at a piece of glass use your senses. You need to feel the glass to be able to get an idea of its quality.

Will depression glass increase in value? ›

The value of Depression glass has been rising steadily in recent years.

How many colors of depression glass are there? ›

Common colors are clear (crystal), pink, pale blue, green, and amber. Less common colors include yellow (canary), ultramarine, jadeite (opaque pale green), delphite (opaque pale blue), cobalt blue, red (ruby and royal ruby), black, amethyst, monax, and white (milk glass). Some depression glass is uranium glass.

What are the different colors of depression glass? ›

Depression glass, as it came to be known, was produced in a wide range of bright colors—pink, pale blue, green, amber, and less common colors like canary, ultramarine, jadeite, delphite (opaque pale blue), cobalt blue, red, black, amethyst, monax, white (milk glass), and even fluorescent uranium glass that glows under ...

What knick knacks are worth money? ›

  • Pokemon Cards. Collectible cards are hot. ...
  • Kenner Star Wars Toys. ...
  • Sports Trading Cards. ...
  • Magic: The Gathering Cards. ...
  • Colorful Pyrex Dishes. ...
  • First-Edition and Out-of-Print Books. ...
  • Iconic Magazine Issues. ...
  • Mid-Century Modern Furniture.
Mar 11, 2021

Is Seaglass worth money? ›

Prices can vary widely, from pennies per piece for small pieces in odd shapes with chips and flaws (sometimes called “roughs”) to flawless, nicely shaped, jewelry quality pieces that might sell for $5-10 each if they are rare colors like deep aqua or cobalt blue.

Is Vaseline glass worth any money? ›

Vaseline Glass Values

Many individual pieces of Vaseline glass sell in the range of $20 to $50, but they can be worth more or less depending on a number of factors. The condition of the piece is very important, with scratches, chips, and repairs having a negative effect on value.

How can I find out what my antiques are worth? ›

"In addition to online services and search engines, it is possible to find out how much your antiques are worth by simply asking an antique dealer or an appraiser at an auction house, for instance," Martin says.

Does anyone buy depression glass? ›

Depression glass is widely collected the world over and many patterns are still plentiful enough to keep prices reasonable. There's also a color and pattern available to suit every taste.

What is the difference between carnival glass and depression glass? ›

Both carnival and depression glass are colored. However, carnival glass features an iridescent, multicolored look, whereas depression glass has more of a simple, single-colored, transparent look. Carnival glass was made to inexpensively mimic glass made by the Tiffany Company.

Is there a blue depression glass? ›

This type of glassware is called depression glass, and it is a popular antique with a rich history. Blue depression glass is typically worth about $10-$70 for an individual piece—larger items or full sets can be worth over $200. Certain designs, brands, and colors of glass are more desirable than others.

What years are considered depression glass? ›

Depression glass is glassware made in the period 1929–1939, often clear or colored translucent machine-made glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around the time of the Great Depression.

Is Vaseline glass worth any money? ›

Vaseline Glass Values

Many individual pieces of Vaseline glass sell in the range of $20 to $50, but they can be worth more or less depending on a number of factors. The condition of the piece is very important, with scratches, chips, and repairs having a negative effect on value.

Does depression glass have markings? ›

If you're trying to determine the value of Depression glass you own, the first step is usually identifying the pattern and/or manufacturer. Some pieces of this type of glassware are marked, but the vast majority of dinnerware pieces are not so you will have to do some research to move forward with valuation.

Videos

1. How to Score Valuable Depression, Murano & Slag Glass | Your Thrift Shop Finds Valued | Ask Dr. Lori
(Dr. Lori)
2. Glass Haul - Deep Dive into Uranium and Opalescent Glass
(The NICHE Lady)
3. Value of Cookie Jar Antiques
(ExpertVillage Leaf Group)
4. Thrift Shop Haul & Reselling Tips | Depression Glass, Jewelry, Beatles Lunch Box, More by Dr. Lori
(Dr. Lori)
5. From Fingers to Flatware: January 2021 Parallel Program - Silverplate
(Michigan Depression Glass Society)
6. URANIUM GLASS VS DEPRESSION GLASS
(MaLee Productions)

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