How to tell old Pyrex from really old Pyrex

A vintage post for your Monday morning:

One of the very first items that piqued my interest in collecting and selling vintage items was a Pyrex bowl. My mom was already selling items in an antique mall, and she had been looking for the green bowl that went with the Pyrex primary colors set of mixing bowls. She had the other three, but wanted the fourth. I spotted it in someone else’s booth, and bought it for her for Christmas.

Then, around the same time I was at a flea market, and someone was selling a complete set for, I think, $75. That was a lot of money for me to pay for anything at a flea market, but something about those bowls just sucked me in. I wanted them, and I wasn’t going to leave that day without them.

So, by Christmas, we both had our own full sets. I still have those bowls. They are some of my favorite pieces, and I will never sell them. When someone asked me what I’d take with me if my house were burning down, I responded that I’d probably run out with a Pyrex bowl under each arm.

Anyway, the point I am finally getting to is that sometimes when people are new to collecting Pyrex, they want to know how much pieces are worth and how old they are. I found some information on Pyrex Love that I found really helpful, and I just thought I would share it. The primary color set of mixing bowls was first produced in the 1940s. Then newer versions were sold up until the ’70s. You can tell a ’40s set in two ways. First, the stamp on the bottom is simpler and has no number on it.

Later sets look like this.

The older bowls are also a little bit thicker. It’s kind of hard to tell from this photo, but the older bowl is on the outside, and when you put it next to a newer one it’s definitely thicker.

I’m getting pickier about the Pyrex pieces I buy just because there are so many out there in poor quality, and they don’t sell for much. I only buy them if they have no chips or cracks (a few scratches are OK), the patterns are in good shape, the patterns are fairly attractive to me, and they don’t show any signs of having been put in the dishwasher. Usually you can tell right away when this has happened because the paint is extremely faded. Most pieces I sell are $10 or less, but those primary bowls are different. I would put them closer to $20, and up to $100 for a set.

And if you want that green bowl, it’s here!