Blue glass canning jars

One last vintage post for ya.

I stopped at a garage sale on my way home from breakfast this morning, and I found these four blue glass canning jars. I only paid $2 for all of them, which I consider a great deal. I am collecting blue glass jars to use for my wedding, so it’s always great to find them, especially at a low price!

But it got me thinking that I don’t know much about these jars (which are much beloved in the blogging world) so I did a little online research.

From what I can tell, unless you find a canning jar that is incredibly old or has a unique color (like amber or green), you’re probably not going to get rich collecting these jars. But the blue ones are worth more than the clear ones, and given their popularity with my generation, they are definitely worth finding and selling.

Here is an excerpt from a really good article I found. It’s a few years old, but I doubt the information has changed much since then:

If the jars are “Ball Perfect Masons” or “Ball Ideals” and blue in color they are probably worth in the neighborhood of $5 ea. This will be true of many (but not all) of the old blue or aqua colored Ball jars. If they are clear they will probably be worth $1-2 each.

As you can see from these Etsy listings, there’s a range in what people are selling them for, depending on size and quality.

I bought a whole box of jars from a woman at a craft fair who wanted to get rid of them at the end of the day. She sold all of them to me for $20. She also mentioned that collectors like the jars with lids, which might increase the value a little. You can see that reflected in some Ebay listings.

Dating them seems like it’s a little tricky, but from the articles I’ve read you can tell one made with a mold by the seams on the side. If the seams go all the way up to the top of the jar, then it was machine-made and a little newer. All of the jars I have appear to be machine made.

Some of them have numbers stamped on the bottom, but I don’t think that increases the value. Unless you have a number 13, which isn’t necessarily rarer, but more intriguing to buyers.

One of my jars has a bicentennial logo stamped on the side, so you can tell it was made in 1976. The others I would guess were made sometime between the ’30s and the ’60s.

Apparently there is a way to turn clear glass jars into blue ones if you’re looking to save money. I’m not sure how I feel about that (i.e. sending a bunch of fakes into the world), but it makes it clear that people really are crushing (ha) on blue glass lately.