Jadeite is made of beautiful green milk glass and you will find it in old homes and antique malls across the United States and Canada. It was first made in the 1930s and the most popular items were dishware and kitchenware. Although collectors love Jadeite, it was designed as an everyday utilitarian product for the kitchen. As with other products, they added green to the glass to brighten people up during the depression.
Jadeite was made by different companies and there is some disagreement as to what counts as vintage. Some collectors say that any Jadeite is vintage as long as it is made in the United States. Others say that it must be made by one of the three primary companies that produced it: McKee, Jeannette, or Anchor.
In addition to kitchenware, you can find Jadeite in lamps, furniture, jewelry, and more. It is durable and lasts a long time so many pieces are still intact today. Continue reading to learn how to tell if Jadeite is vintage.
Look for the Imprinted Name on the Piece
The three glass makers are McKee, Jeanette, and Anchor Hocking. If you examine the piece, you can look for the identifying imprint of one of these companies. McKee has the letters McK on the bottom. Jeanette has the letter J in a triangle, and Anchor Hocking will have Fire King Oven Glass imprinted on the piece. If you find a piece with any of these three brands, it is definitely a vintage piece.
The thing to remember is that not every piece was branded. Some were promotional pieces and others just didn’t get branded. If it is branded, you can be sure that it is vintage Jadeite. Some pieces that are not branded are also Jadeite so you will need to investigate further before you decide.
Look at the Construction
When you are looking at a piece of vintage Jadeite, it is heavier and more compact than modern products. You might also find that it glows in the dark. Early on, the companies used uranium when they made these pieces and as a result, it made them glow. When World War II started, they needed the uranium for weapons so companies stopped making it. If your piece glows, it was probably made using uranium, which makes it vintage.
Consult Expert Information
If you are serious about Jadeite, you should learn all you can about how to identify vintage pieces. It isn’t too hard to learn and there are so many resources available to you. One resource is the book that is considered the collector’s bible: Jadeite: Identification and Price Guide by Keller and Ross. This book will teach you everything you need to know about the makers, the pieces, the patterns, and the value.
You can also go to eBay and Etsy to learn from sellers. This is a great way to see different pieces and look through pictures and descriptions. You can also go to antique shops and flea markets. You will find a lot of knowledgeable collectors who have been working with Jadeite and other collector’s items for many years. This is a great source of information for you.
If you simply want to buy or sell one piece of Jadeite, you can drop it off with one of the sellers at a flea market. They may charge you a commission but they will sell the item for you. This way, you do not need to spend a lot of time on the topic.
Jadeite is popular because it is a pretty green color and it is sturdy, durable glass. It works well for many different products and people love to collect Jadeite pieces. Most Jadeite was made by one of the three major companies: McKee, Jeanette, or Anchor Hocking. You can look for their symbols on your pieces to identify vintage Jadeite.