Advertisement

See the super simple method for dating and valuing antique Mason jars

Mason jars are molded glass jars primarily used to store food. Mason jars have a rubber ring on the inside of the screw-top lid that creates an air-tight seal. They get their name from their inventor John Landis Mason who patented the jars in 1858, as explained by Wikipedia . Mason jars are also referred to as Ball jars since the Ball Corporation produced many glass canning jars based on Mason’s idea.
Though commercial canning and changes in the way people consume food has changed since Landis invented the Mason jar, the jars have not gone completely out of style. Some people still use them to preserve foodstuffs. Other people admire them for reasons of whimsy, as the jars are a visible reminder of by-gone days. The appreciation for Mason jars has led to the creation of a market, albeit niche, for collectible Mason jars.
Advertisement
If you collect Mason jars, here’s how you can tell how old your jars are and if they hold any value.
Check the logoThe earliest logo on Ball jars says BBGMC. BBGMC stands for Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, the company that initially made the jars in Buffalo, N.Y., starting in 1884. A jar with “BALL” in block letters means the jar is probably also from the late 1800s. Check out the chart here and compare the logo on your collectible Mason jar to the chart to get an idea of the piece’s age. According to Country Living, a jar from the late 1800s should fetch you at least $100.
Do your research
Once you know approximately when your jar was made based on the logo, a blog post from Minnetrista, a museum that has a great collection of Indiana-related ephemera, recommends doing a little additional legwork to determine the piece’s age and value. Many of the museum’s pieces are cataloged and viewable online. Visit the Minnetrista Heritage Collection and do a keyword search on “Ball jar.” That will bring up all the jars in the museum’s collection. You can compare your jar to the results. Visiting the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar and Bottle Club website and clicking on “When was my Ball jar made?” is another option.
Advertisement
Find comparable pieces
Ball was one of the most prolific makers of Mason jars. If you aren’t trying to value a Ball jar, Country Living has a list of valuable jars from other brands such as Kerr, Columbia and Bartow that can be helpful in your search to learn more about your collectible.
Share on Facebook

 
Recommended
Advertisement
Advertisement