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The Many Colors of Ball Jars


When we bring home a box of jars from an auction or a garage sale, they are usually really dirty. I'm mean mouse-nest, caked-on dirty. Sometimes I don't even want to know what I'm cleaning off. But after I soak and scrub them and hold them up to the window, I'm amazed. The subtle variations in color is fascinating!


Ball is famous for their blue jars, but that blue can go from a nice aqua green to a bouncy cornflower blue. The clear jars can be crystal clear, or smoky gray, or even a little yellow (my favorite find). The best way to determine a jar's color is to look at the base where the glass is thickest.

If you find something unusual, like amber or forest green, that just might be a valuable jar. Collectors have been known to pay thousands of dollars for rare colors.

We found this jar at a flea market last weekend. Most jars are blue or clear, so the green immediately caught our eyes. Then we noticed a brown/amber swirl running through it. That's even more rare, so we grabbed it. We paid $8 and it turns out to be worth $50-100. Not only is it beautiful, it's worth a little money.


But honestly, my favorite part of our collection is my pints on the kitchen window sill. As I continue to clean and go through jars for our etsy store, I'm looking for variations of color and intensity to add to the ledge. I'm only keeping one of each color, so duplicates will be for sale in the store.

What's your favorite jar color?