Most valuable marbles to collect

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Most valuable marbles to collect

Image courtesy: flickr. Marbles have been around since early times. Various civilizations used them for recreation, like they are used in modern times. Although not as many people play marble games as before, they are still popular in different parts of the world. Aside from being used for playing, they are also made into a collection, especially the vintage pieces, which are pricier than their modern counterparts.

Vintage marbles are only limited in number, which is why they are more expensive. If you want to start making them part of your collection, you should know how to identify vintage marbles. Watch this video, summarizing a book on collecting antique marbles and identifying them by Paul Baumann:.

Here are some ways to determine if a marble is vintage or not:. Most vintage marbles were made by hand through the process called glassblowing. During this procedure, a stick is used where the marble is attached.

Once done, the stick is broken on its end. This leaves a tiny rough patch on the marble, which is known as the pontil. Although most new marbles are made by machine therefore leaving them without pontil, there are still those that are handmade. That being said, the pontil is just one of the factors to consider when determining if the marble is vintage or not. Other factors must still be considered in order to arrive with the right conclusion.

Vintage marbles are typically more attractive and brighter than modern ones because they were individually made, compared to the new ones that were made in high quantities. This may be a little challenging for new collectors, but experienced collectors would be able to tell the difference.

If you know one, you may want to get their help. Moreover, you may check on books that specialize on antique marbles. There are specific marble patterns that were made during a certain period or from specific countries. Familiarizing yourself with these could help. Other ways to improve your knowledge in this area is by attending marble collector events.

You may also join marble collector organizations in order to connect and learn with people of the same interest who could impart their knowledge and experience to you.

See if your marble looks like any of them:. Vintage marbles are usually not perfectly made. Since they were made by hand, it was difficult for glassblowers to come up with a perfect one.

Vintage and Antique Marbles

This may not be the case with modern marbles. They are done precisely and flawlessly because they are made by machines that were designed for this task.Computer games are a favorite with children today, and games like Ringer, Marble Arch, Lagging, etc. Today, these vintage marbles are collected rather than played with. HobbyZeal's collection of marbles reveals some secrets on how to identify antique marbles for your collection!

The exact origin of the marble still remains a mystery.

most valuable marbles to collect

Marbles have been rolling through history since thousands of years ago. In the earlier times, Egyptians believed the animal-bone-made marbles were a type of spiritual medium. Other civilizations used them for recreational purposes. In an excavation near Mohenjo-daro, various balls of stone were found.

The Roman poet, Ovid, focuses on marbles in his poem, Nux. Cretan and Roman children loved marbles, and it is said Caesar Augustus played with marbles himself. Would you like to write for us? Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. Get in touch with us and we'll talk In the earlier days, marbles were made from stones by cleansing them with running water to get a smooth surface. However, for a long time, marbles were being made from clay, stone, and glass.

They were produced in bulk between and in Germany and the United States. As it required no special technical knowledge, they were easy and cheap to produce. Mass production for clay marbles started when Sam Dyke of Akron, Ohio, invented a machine in to speed up the process of making marbles. As they lack an eye-appeal, collectors prefer glass or china marbles to clay ones.

Besides clay, stones like Agates, Alabaster, Limestone, etc. These marbles were preferred over the clay ones as they were catchy. These are the most sought after type of marbles. Handmade glass marbles were invented in Lauscha, Germany, in the late s and were produced till the early 20th century.

The beautiful colors, ribbons, and patterns, made them popular among children in the 18th and 19th centuries. Glass marbles are famous among marble collectors today. These guidelines will help you identify rare antique marbles and add them to your collection! However, some vintage glass marbles could be from the transition period when machines were introduced in marble-making. In such cases, the antique marbles could be machine-made.

Take a second opinion if you are in doubt. If you are presented with a perfect marble as an antique, think twice before buying. Block with over pictures of different marbles is an excellent guide to refer to. Glass Quality: Earlier, marbles were collected and used for playing games; therefore, high quality glass was used in old glass marbles.Collecting marbles is a game, and the person with the greatest skill is the winner. Winning at marble collecting requires practice and knowledge and is not child's play.

Identifying rare marbles requires playing with the big boys by reading their books, attending marble shows and shopping where you can engage in conversation with collectors with knowledge. Some basic knowledge can get you started collecting rare marbles, but building on the basics will keep your interest and broaden the potential for developing a valuable collection, since rarity is a value factor along with size and condition.

Learn some general information for collecting marbles. Not all marbles are glass, so recognize crockery, Benningtons, stoneware, china, agates and even wooden marbles. Glass marbles are handmade or machine made, and may be old sulphides with figurines in the center, or may be imports from Mexico or China.

The knowledge of rarity and value is what builds a quality marble collection. Watch for unusual sizes of marbles. Two inches and larger and one-half inch or less are sizes that may make an ordinary marble a rare one. Bennington pottery marbles are brown or blue or a combination of brown and blue, and are common in small sizes. Robert Block considers Benningtons over two inches in diameter as too rare to value, and crockery marbles over two inches as non-existent. Look for single pontil handmade art glass marbles, as these marbles were at the top of the cane, and there was only one for each cane that produced several marbles with two pontil marks.

Collect matching pairs or twins. Find handmade marbles that likely came from the same cane. After many years of trading and playing for keeps, pairs of marbles are uncommon. Even rarer are large marbles from the same cane. Mike Adams wrote about twins found in recent years: "The rarity is off the charts. Find marbles in the original box, in a game or with the original bag. Marble accessories help date the marbles and sometimes identify them, so they have historical and monetary value.

Marbles with original accessories are rarer and have added value.

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Look for artistic merit and little damage. Bright colors in controlled designs are rarer and more desirable than muddy colors with seediness, or tiny bubbles throughout the glass. Damage is common in marbles, since they were toys. Check damage with a magnifying glass or loupe, as there may be internal fractures and eyelashes or half moon fractures not easily seen.

Consider size and condition as well as scarcity to identify rare marbles. Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration.

She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a s home. By: Linda Richard Updated April 12, Share It. Things You'll Need. About the Author. Photo Credits.We can split marbles into two varieties — handmade and machine made. As you might expect, handmade examples are rarer. These are made from glass and were mainly produced in Europe Germany specifically from the s up until the start of the first world war.

While significantly more common than handmade pieces, there are still some sought after varieties from this era this is largely dependent on the materials used. Agate marbles were chiefly produced in Germany and the US and are among the most valuable on the market. The fine dust kicked up by the grinding machines used in the production process often gave the workers tuberculosis, killing them young.

Marble Pictures and Prices for Collectors

End of day marbles are made from the leftover cuts from other marbles picked up off the factory floor. They often display varied patterns and colours. Generally speaking, the wider the variety the more valuable the marble. This type is, for many collectors, the Holy Grail. Sulphide marbles which feature animals and other figures inside clear glass are very rare, as they have not been produced for around years. Rarer still are those featuring human figures. Created by glassblower Nicholas Lutz in his Massachusetts workshop in the s, they are characterised by their use of gold colour crystals in alternating bands.

Keep an eye out for the rare sub-variety featuring two rather than four bands. These can sell for thousands of dollars. Sign up for all the latest collecting news, expert blogs and auction lots from around the world.

All activity on JustCollecting is rewarded with exclusive points which can be used to spend on amazing products, special discounts and entry into monthly competitions. Toggle navigation. LOG IN. How to identify valuable marbles. Prior to the introduction of machine made marbles, almost all were hand-blown. Fortunately help is at hand, with our crash course in recognising valuable marbles.

A brief history We can split marbles into two varieties — handmade and machine made. Machine production began in the US in the early s.

In the s marble production moved to the Far East these are largely worthless. What should I look for?Many people were first introduced to marbles on the playground as children.

But for, their love of the classic playground accessory extends beyond childhood. The prices of the most expensive marble are affected by several factors. Vintage marbles are especially popular with collectors, though custom marbles sometimes made with rare materials can also command impressive price tags. Aesthetics are also highly important — in general, the more beautiful and eye-catching, the higher the price.

This Black and White Navarre Marble is roughly 1 and a half inches in diameter. It also looks slightly different when viewed from above — such variances in appearance can make a marble more desirable.

It was also listed in mint condition. Given that some of the other most expensive marbles have sold for higher prices in worse condition, whoever nabbed this marble got a great deal! With this marble, the onionskin pattern is blended with mica speckles.

Mica is a thin, silicon-like mineral that is sometimes used to accent different marbles. Cheaper marbles often mimic patterns of mica specks, but authentic mica has a distinctive luster.

most valuable marbles to collect

Although the desig n on this marble may seem a bit weathered from the photo, sulfide marbles actually look quite brilliant in person. Painted sulfide marbles are quite rare — most vintage marbles are made from agate, granite, or glass.

The sulfide figure within the marble is painted is the main reason it sold at the price it did, as figures within these marbles are typically monochromatic.

Like the sulfide figure marble, this marble sold for a price due to its craftsmanship. Pontil marbles are also known as transitional marbles, as the particular production technique associated with them was invented during a time when marble production was shifting from handmade to automated. The marble is notable for its contrasted colors — blue, white, yellow, black, and even hints of purple.

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Both the onionskin and blizzard patterns are coveted by collectors, and the blend of unusual colors in this marble also contributed to its final price. It was sold in The marble is made from hand-blown glass and features a wide range of colors that blend smoothly with little color clashing. To the average person, 10k may be a bit much for a single marble.

most valuable marbles to collect

Created circathis marble is in incredible condition for its age. Confetti is a common pattern on cheaper marbles, but the pattern is often created with paint. The auction house it was sold at outright stated it was the rarest marble to ever enter their auction house. After the marble sold, many collectors noticed similar looking marbles floating around the market.

However, these marbles were cheaper quality galaxy pattern marbles manufactured by Vacor De Mexico.

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They lacked the genuine mica flakes and the smooth texture of a more expensive marble — but a few collectors briefly felt rich anyway! Although red and blue are common colors for this pattern, the marble sold for a high price due to its age and lack of a twisting pattern. Since pink is a rare marble color, many collectors had their eye on the marble before the start of the auction. The particular pattern on the marble, the Lutz, is also a sought after pattern.

This particular marble is made by the Christensen Agate company. Marbles made Christensen Agate company are some of the most sought-after and most expensive marbles around.

Today, it remains a hit with marble collectors who associate its products with the golden age of marbles. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.It can take years to gain enough experience to become an expert in vintage marbles, but having just a small interest in marble collecting and old marbles can get a decent collection started. Knowing the value of vintage collectible marbles often is a key component when buying marbles, because even though you may be building your marble collection just for fun, there is an investment aspect to it, too.

While you may not be an expert in collectible marbles, there are several key things you can look for to help you determine the general value of vintage collectible marbles.

Check the condition of the marble. Look for pits and internal fractures with a loupe or magnifying glass. A dull marble is not usually as valuable as the same marble that is still shiny. Condition is directly related to the value of vintage collectible marbles.

Many marble sellers do not know that there is a difference in value and the asking price. Check the size. Look for specific colors or styles. Find handmade marbles that contain swirls, or opaque marbles that are machine-made from a specific company.

Akro Agate and Christensen are two companies that made machine marbles that can be identified by color or style. Find multi-colored marbles with clear distinctive lines. Look for marbles with four colors and clear divisions between the colors.

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Also check for marbles that are pleasing to the artistic eye. Vintage marble prices and value often relate to artistic merit. A collector is more likely to find value in machine-made marbles that are opaque, too. Many of the cat's eye marbles you'll find are recent imports that contain poor-quality glass with fine bubbles, and will not build a valuable collection.

Look for older or vintage cat's eye marbles, like nine veins, which be worth collecting. Check for vintage collectible marbles with shapes inside them. Learn to look for shapes in marbles. Common shapes are the number nine and the turkey head. Corkscrews are a specific shape, as are handmade swirls, but marbles often have a heart shape or something that makes them more valuable than they would be without the shape. Look closely for hearts, ducks, or people shapes within the glass.

Determine value by combining these steps. Check condition, size, color, multi-colors, artistic merit and shapes within the glass marbles to arrive at a value for vintage collectible marbles.

The maker is helpful, but not essential, to determining value. Before making a purchase for a marble collection, consider each of these factors mentally or with a checklist. Once you are home, check the Internet or marble books to see comparable marbles and marble values of vintage collectible marbles. Do this a few times and you will be able to value marbles to see if the price is high or fair, or if you are getting a steal. This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.

To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below. By: Contributor Updated April 12, Share It. Things You'll Need. About the Author. Photo Credits.Marbles are simply little spherical balls used by children and adults to play a range of games.

Marbles have always been popular. Aggies, for example, are marbles made of agate while some alleys are made of alabaster.

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Over the years, increasingly intricate and beautiful marbles have become available; as a result, collectors have become interested in finding rare or interesting examples. Although marbles can be affordable for all collector budgets, avid collectors know that prices can range into the thousands of dollars. Note that unscrupulous dealers have been known to reproduce marbles and sell them as old or antique.

This "blizzard" onionskin type with suspended bits of mica was the top-selling marble in the Morphy Auction, March sale. This rare 4-panel onionskin type with suspended bits of mica was a top-selling marble in the Morphy Auction, March sale.

Includes two Solitaire boards and one standard marble game. One of the Solitaire marble boards comes with common, solid opaque marbles and other comes in original box with no marbles. Marbles are part of a wide variety Lots of toys, trains, die-cast vehicles and figures that was auctioned Live on eBay October 26, This is from a sampling of items that were auctioned by Apple Tree Auction Center.

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Prices shown are the completed auctions, along with the price estimates from the auction house. Barbara Crews. White solid core with dark maroon bands.

most valuable marbles to collect

Original surface. Lot of 25, possibly made by Akro Agate Company. Lot includes approximately 56 marbles. Condition: 9. Indian Mag Lite Marble Deep cobalt blue with strong outer bands of yellow, blue, white, purple, green and orange.


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