Companies experimented with numerous types of closures, many of which were very detailed, unusual, and impractical. Unique closures might not have been favored by yesteryear's homemaker, but they are a hot commodity among today's collector. Collectors Weekly notes some types of closures include the following:. Canning jars come in a variety of colors besides clear glass.
The most unusual of these are worth more money than the common colors. According to Collectors Weekly , clear glass and aqua jars are quite common, but the following colors are rarer and more valuable:. Color can be difficult to describe.
What is light blue to one person may seem aquamarine to another. You can see a variety of colors on the Hoosier Jar Color Page. This can help you identify the jar you have more accurately. Many jars are quart-sized with some being pint or jelly jars. Larger canning jars are unusual, and fewer have survived over the years. These can go for much higher prices at auction, depending on other factors.
Age is an important factor in the evaluation of canning jars, especially since they are made of glass and breakable. Generally, the older the jar, the more it is worth. Here are some tips to help you figure the age of your jar:. How the jar is shaped can make a difference in the value.
Square jars, for example, date as far back as the s. Although they took up less space in the pantry, they were never as popular as the regular canning jars and so are a little rare - making them a little higher in value. Other unusual designs can add to value as well. Of course, the better the condition of the jar, the more it will be worth.
Chips and cracks will diminish the value of old canning jars significantly, while a jar in good condition with its original lid will be worth the most. Many factors can affect the value of old canning jars, but ultimately, rare jars in good condition will fetch the most money. If you think you have an unusual jar that may be valuable, consider having it professionally appraised.
That's the only sure way to determine whether you have a pretty piece of canning history or a functional treasure from yesteryear. According to Country Living , an upside-down Ball canning jar designed to rest on its lid is relatively rare and made between and Country Living also notes that a unique design, called the Willoughby Stopple, is especially valuable because it proved to be defective. Embossing Many canning jars feature the manufacturer's name or the patent date embossed on the glass.
Closures There are a variety of closures for canning jars from zinc lids to the modern screw-on lids. This unmarked, mid- s model featured cork, which did little to preserve its contents. The unique topper makes it of note today.
Issued only from to , this jar could double as a dispenser for a coffee grinder. The short production window gives it considerable cache. The amber hue is more than just decorative. When it was produced in , there was a misconception that the dark shade prevented spoilage.
In the common green shade, this wire bale model commands a respectable rate. This piece sports a unique glass liner just inside the metal lid. Prior to this detail, Hero users often com- plained about food going bad. Released in , this item once boasted a rubber lid.
When heated, it would melt to create a seal. Missing the topper cuts the price in half. The lid of this s jar made in Canada has a metal band with a glass top—the result of the government deem- ing it unsanitary for metal to directly touch canned foods. Manganese added to the jars created a purple tint when exposed to the sun. The color was initially an error, but manufacturers began selling the popular shade in This s style was known for its lever tops.
Buyer beware: Reproductions abound.
Sometimes the story accuses ordinary housewives of having done the same thing if they were especially superstitious. Most myths and legends are based on a kernel of truth, and this may be no exception to the rule. However, keep in mind that fruit jars cost money, and the average farmer or housewife, often continually stretched to the limit with their household budget, would have never destroyed a jar merely because of the number on the bottom.
Most home canners would pay little or no attention to the markings in the first place. Some dedicated and experienced antique jar collectors will state that they think the number 13 jars are just as common as jars as those with other numbers. There is a definitely noticeable difference in the numbers of marked jars compared to the other numbers — they ARE somewhat less common.
Of course, value is a very subjective thing and many collectors may not agree with my opinion on this subject. These commemorative jars are being produced in a lighter, brighter blue color— not quite the same shade as the original jars. These jars as being sold in sets of 6, and come in pint size only as of this writing. They are being sold along with modern screw bands and lids. The glass is a bit thinner and lighter than the original Ball Perfect Mason types.
The purple jars are made in pint and quart sizes. As time goes on, however, their provenance might be somewhat less obvious to beginning fruit jar collectors. According to the Ardagh Group website, they are made by that glass manufacturing company for distributor Jarden Home Brands. Here is an article about the newer jars being made by Ardagh:. They are being sold in packs of four.
There are a few differences between the new ones and the old originals which can be easily seen. The new pint jars appear to be very slightly lighter in weight than the older ones, but this may not hold true on all jars , since there was some variability in the older jars. Out of curiosity, I weighed a new jar and old one, and the new jar weighed For information on values, you might check out the Redbookjars. This covers info on many brands of fruit jars besides Ball:. It is unlike my other mason jars.
What age, etc? I have a wide mouth half-gallon jar with the registered trademark symbol, says Genuine Sculptured Glass on the bottom, but is missing the B on the Ball logo. Is this a common mishap? Hi Charlotte, Yes, it is pretty common to see embossing on a bottle or jar which is very faint or partly illegible.
There are likely other reasons. Hope this helps, David. Any info anyone might be able to share would be great. Any idea? I have an antique canning jar that holds almost 8 cups that I think might be rare because I have searched online and Ebay and have never seen one like it due to the unusual LOGO. It is round, clear uncolored glass, wider circumference at the bottom and a regular-mouth lid will fit the narrower top.
Would you know 1 if this jar is rare? I would like to refrigerate cold juice or leftover liquid coffee in it, if it has no lead in it. Thank you so much for your time and knowledge. Hi Dianne, Your jar is not rare, but it is certainly not that common either. It is a type that shows up occasionally at antique jar and bottle shows and on ebay. The quart is the most common and valued less, the pint and half gallon are scarcer and valued somewhat more.
I found two examples on ebay [at the time this was posted], one pint and one half gallon. BTW, fruit jars were virtually never made with lead in the glass formula. Lead glass was the typical glass used for tableware such as sugar bowls, spooners, tumblers, wine glasses, vases, mugs etc. That said, since most glass was made with some percentage of cullet broken and scrap glass there is always a tiny chance the cullet used might have contained small traces of lead……but even if there was any, it would certainly not be enough to cause any concerns.
Can anyone tell me about a 3 pint blue Ball jar? The jar has grips but no measurements. The jar is clear. Good luck on hearing anything from those corporations. I strongly doubt if you will ever hear from them. I have sent inquiries to other glass companies with no responses. To be fair, email inquiries may end up in the inbox of someone in an office who simply has no useful information concerning questions of company history and certain jars made many decades ago.
That said, there may be info out there somewhere that could help with dating. Take care and thanks for your post. Also, thank you for including a link to your jar you are asking about. Best regards, David. Fruit Jar Annual is updated every years and contains info on most jars including circa dates. Most of the info is from Standard Fruit Jar Reference which was last published in The Red Book of Fruit Jars is updated each year and has some info on many jars and an approximate value but does not always give dates of manufacture.
You could probably visit your local library and have them borrow a copy for you to search. Hope this helps. Hi Medolark, Thank you very much for your post and info. Hopefully Stephen and other collectors can come up with better info from studying the information published there. Take care, David. My friend inherited some Ball jars from her mother in Minnesota. We have not been able to find anything on one clear glass wide-mouth jar in particular. The markings on the bottom are: 1st line: 2nd line: Ball 9 and 3rd line: A The front has markings from 2 thru 12 oz.
The Ball logo is post Do you know where might I be able to find information on this jar or where I can find more of them? One of the treasures I stumbled upon was a jar. It is the old shaped Mason fruit jar. It is the very light blue color that has been described as the classic Mason jar shade of blue. It has the rough seams and there are bubbles in the glass.
The part where the lid screws on is rough as well. The lettering on the jar is raised. The bottom of the jar has the mold number A-3 on it. There are no other markings in it. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks in advance. I will publish my reply here also]. Hi Davina, Thanks for taking the time to send me the pics! Hope this helps! Further research on this jar shows that the Ball logo is post I think this jar may be one of these.
I have several Ball jars that are off size and I cannot locate seals and rings or lids to purchase. They hold approximately 8 oz. Are the seals and rings still available? There are no grooves for a rings to screw onto. Is there some other type of seal available? Thank you for any information you can share. What you may have are jelly jars that were made to seal with paraffin. Some had a metal cover that just sat on top of the glass with a lip that went down the side of the jar just enough to not slide off.
Irregular screw sizing. Any info would be appreciated. For those who still preserve, do not use older flat lids to process with. The rubber from the jar lids deteriorated in the water bath and the jars did not stay sealed. I just refrigerated and ate the beans and threw all the lids away. And thanks for the hints on the lids. Good advice!
Those older lids are only good for collecting and displaying with the older jars, but definitely not actually using them for canning! I bought some at a garage sale and the lady gave me a ton of lids but only 3 bands. I found 1 box on ebay of bands but cant find any more in fo on these. One box of lids says v 63 arro on it all the others say They are no longer available but I have picked up a number of boxes at yard sales and vintage sales.
Today I found a Ball jar in an old cellar…. Both Ball and Mason are in cursive. Any idea where I can find more information on this? Thank you for your time. Nan, I believe there are several jars known that fit that description. I have a Ball Perfect Mason jar that is different from all others I have seen. It is logo 7, so to It is clear. Oddly, the mold number is not on the bottom. It is a number 7. There is no number on the bottom. Everything else looks normal.
Does anyone know when they made that jar? I have some blue jars which are in the Logo 5 category according to the chart. Laurie, in my opinion there is very little significance. Hundreds of different molds were used to produce those jars and sometimes the mold cutter engraved the lettering in slightly different positions relative to the top line of text.
I want to comment on your message about the unlucky number 13 blue ball mason jars. I run into old moonshine stills all the time. I rarely find one without broken glass all over the place. Of course some blue glass still remains and the most common number I find broken to hell and back is the The old timers, God rest they souls, swore every 13 was broken as soon as their hands touched it. Everyone around here broke them, my grandmother remembers her grandfather breaking whole cases of unlucky jars simply cuz they had 13 stamped on the bottom.
Hi Nathaniel, Thank you very much for your post! That is very interesting and I appreciate it. I would love to hear from more people who have comments or information on this subject as well. Thank you for this comprehensive information.
I appreciate you sharing your knowledge! I found a blue jar in my woods that seems to fit the model description. I want to be sure I found an original, not a replica. Also, the older jars tend to be somewhat thicker, heavier glass than the new, modern Ball jars. I saw them at Meijer and Walmart. You could show a picture of the timeline….
Hi Misty, I had two links to that chart posted on this article, but I have now inserted the chart itself on my page. I hope this will be of help to collectors. I also hope everyone will follow the link to the entire article written by Karen M. Vincent, which includes more detail and context in addition to the chart. Hi Christine, May I ask who told you? I mean, an antique dealer, a fruit jar collector, a friend? There are lots of rumors and stories that float around the country for many years, sometimes passed down from older people, and sometimes they have truth in them, sometimes not.
Your guess is as good as mine! I have a blue Ball perfect mason jar with what looks like a capital I with a line underneath it. No numbers. Hello, I have just got a collection of jars house dates back to s and a lot of jars. Is this jar made in ? Perhaps someone else has more definitive info for you. While cleaning my mother-in-laws basement I found a glass bottle with grape and grape vine designs on it. Did Ball make glass bottles? Thanks Sue. Hi Sue, Yes, Ball made huge quantities of bottles of various types besides their better-known canning jars.
Hi David! Today I just found a blue number 13 jar in a basement ,but the number is in Roman numerals. My boss told me to research it but I am not finding anything! I found you. My grandfather gave me this jar with Ball perfect mason made in usa A9. He was in 2nd World War. Can you share some details about the a9 series please. This will give me more history about. Thanks and brgs. Thanks for any info in advance!
Joshua, yes, some jars from the Root Glass Company were acquired and re-tooled. There are probably other examples as well. Hello David, I am hoping you are able to cast some light on my mystery Ball jar. It is a pint size clear class, squared with waffle grid and a flat rectangular space on one side. I am trying to find a zinc lid for this charmer but a regular standard lid is too large. If so, what sort of lid might I need to find for it?
It certainly is from the zinc lid era and the threads on the top are spaced such that all commercially-made-for-market tin lids I have ever seen would be more closely spaced. I have SO many of these great old grid jars that I used for pantry storage already…I guess I just really love a challenge. Bless your heart for any time you have left over to address the inquiries you receive on your site. Best, Kathy. Hopefully someone who collects them can chime in and offer more info for you.
I have a couple ball perfect mason jars from era with severe offset where the p in perfect is over the s and o. I understand the word was purposely indented. Thank you in advance for any information. Hi, I have 2 pale blue jars. No other markings. The only info I found was a comment from someone that said he thinks they were made between and Is this accurate? Thanks for all your work on answering others questions. That jar factory was purchased by Ball Bros Glass Company in and closed down in That jar is listed as I recently found some mason jars in an old barn and after cleaning them up they have no markings on bottom but a number 2 under perfect mason and one had number 3.
These are larger size mason jars. Why no response? There are thousands of different jars known and I do not have info on every one. Please send pics to my email address noted on bottom right of any page on this site and I will see if I can be of any help. However, no guarantees. Thanks for your patience. I have a half gallon Ball Perfect Mason on front and 2 on bottom.
Would it be rare or valeuable? Renee, your average quart and half gallon Ball Perfect Masons in the most common aqua or Ball Blue colors are typically valued at around 1 to 2 dollars each. The older types of BPM that date from the ss in aqua or blue were made in the hundreds of millions over many years, so they are considered extremely common. They are found with various mold numbers on the bottom. I have a blue ball jar without a number on the bottom.
Would you happen to know what that means? Liz, all Ball jars are not necessarily marked with mold numbers. Hi Medolark, Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I will edit my text shortly to help reduce confusion on the exact wording on those later colored jars. But vintage jars are great on your pantry shelf to hold grain, etc. If you have a Ball jar, you can date most of them just by looking at the logo. Every few years, the Ball Manufacturing Co changed the logo and if you compare yours to a reliable chart, you know how old it is.
All you need is a chart like the one below. At one point, I found what claimed to be the original source and linked to it here. But in the last 6 months or so, that site went down and never came back. The URL no longer works. So if someone does know the original source, please reply in the comments so I can relink. Thanks bunches! Your guess is as good as mine.
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