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I have a lot of old, vintage canning jars. I love the history they carry as well as their charm and character. While it is okay to use them for storage or even as a refrigerator container, you should never process old jars in a canner. Plus, the old fashioned sealing method is not reliable. 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.

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 tothis 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 inthere 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 inthis item once boasted a rubber lid.

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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.

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Buyer beware: Reproductions abound. Buffalo jars are rare and old. If you have a mason jar with this logo, it was manufactured between and See if your jar has block letters. Ball began using block letters for the logo on their jars inand continued using this type of logo until The major difference between the lettering on these jars and newer jars is the lettering on the older jars is simple printing rather than cursive or stylized lettering.

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Check for the first Ball script logo. InBall introduced their first logo that used cursive lettering. This is also when Ball began underlining their logo. Between an the Ball logo was relatively straight rather than angled toward the upper right side of the jar.

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Look for the 3-L logo. The Ball logo has remained relatively standard since the first script logo was introduced, but there have been a number of small variations that can be used to date the jar. The 3-L logo, for instance, was only used between and This logo is called the 3-L logo because the decorative loop at the end of the logo looks like a third L in the Ball name. Look for the dropped A. Between an the A in the word Ball had an ascender at the beginning that looked like it should connect with the B.

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At this time, Ball also adopted the 2-L style logo, where the decorative loop on the end of the name was dropped. Look for a Ball jar without an underscore. Check for the looped B.

This moves into the to age range. Look for the B connected to the underscore. This indicates a date range between and today. Part 2 of Look for Christmas lettering.

Jan 20, - How old are the mason jars you have? Its fun to discover. See more ideas about Mason jars, Ball jars and Vintage mason jars pins. Jul 19,   To date an old Ball mason jar, look at the logo on the jar. If the logo is an insignia made up of the letters BBGMC, the jar was made between and If the logo is written using block letters, the jar was likely made between and %. Dating a Ball Mason Jar Ball mason jars are still being produced up to this day and there are no signs of stopping soon. But if you're one of the lucky ones to have found an old Ball mason jar, or if you are an avid collector of such items, then dating these things is very important. The logo will tell you how to date Ball mason jars.

Check for identifying words. Over the years, Ball has introduced a variety of different jars that can be identified with certain words that are printed on the jars. Some of these words were used for many years, but the style often changed every couple years. See if your jar is an off-size. There are a few oddly sized Ball mason jars that were produced at very specific times, so the size of the jar can be used to date its production.

In the s and early s, Ball produced ounce 1. Use the color to get an idea of the age. Ball created a number of colored mason jars over the years, and while the most common is blue, there were also jars produced in other colors as well, such as green and yellow. Blue glass Ball jars were produced in the late s and early s, but the company stopped producing these in There were also some brown amber jars produced in the s, but most of the jars produced after the s were made of clear glass.

Inspect the jar for mistakes. There have been a number of mason jars produced over the years that have spelling errors and other mistakes printed on the jars, and these can be compared with reference materials to date the jars. If you find a jar with an error, find a copy of the Redbook a price guide for fruit jar collectors to determine the age and price of the jar based on the error.

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Check for upside-down writing. Ball jars that have an upside-down logo are actually upside-down jars that were designed to function as coffee dispensers. These were manufactured between and Part 3 of Ignore the patent year. Ball mason jars were produced for many years with the year printed on them, but this is no indication of the age of jar itself.

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Rather, is the year that John Mason was granted a patent for his mason jar design, and the Ball company used this patent year on many jars. Ignore the patent date.

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This was another patent date that was printed on many mason jars, and that has no bearing on the year of production. In fact, Ball used this patent date on their jars well into the s, so this year cannot be used to accurately date a Ball jar. Ignore the mold number on the jar.

The logo is the best way to date the jars because the Ball logo changed throughout the years. Click here for a handy chart that gives dates for the different logos used. Note that the numbers on the bottom refer to mold numbers and not to model numbers. To get a little more help in determining the age of your jar, visit the Minnetrista Heritage Collection and do a keyword search on "Ball jar." Match your jar to one of those listed and check the dates. You can also go to the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar and Bottle Club website, click on "When was my Ball jar made?" and follow the instructions. Mar 24,   For example, jars that say " Masons Patent". These jars were not created in ! The Ball brothers were simply referencing the original patent that was obtained by John Mason in Another variation is the patent, which is also not indicative of the date of your jar.

Many Ball mason jars have a number printed on the bottom of the jar, but this is a mold number that does not indicate the year of production.

Rather, the mold number tells you where the jar was positioned on the glass-making machine that was used to produce it.

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It may be worth something, but that will be determined by the size, color, age, and top. Check for jars with descriptions or pictures that match yours and see what they've sold for in the past by searching "Completed Listings".

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Not Helpful 3 Helpful I have a Mason Jar with the word Perfect mispelled as Perfeot. Is this a fake or reproduction? This is not a reproduction. You will find some jars with errors like that on them. Not Helpful 8 Helpful Not Helpful 13 Helpful I have a half gallon, ball blue, ideal wire side, with the dropped A. Any value? The dropped a without an underline is quite uncommon. If it has an underline, it is common. Not Helpful 1 Helpful Those gripper ridges were first applied to jars in by Brockway, then Ball.

They help you grip the jar. Not Helpful 10 Helpful I have a half gallon aqua mason jar with Mason's N Patent Nov 30th on it.

Is this a rare jar? I'm afraid your jar is not rare. There are many of them for sale online, and are not hard to find. Not Helpful 5 Helpful Most of the square jars were made starting in the 's. More modern made jars are a rounded square shape. Not Helpful 2 Helpful Some people collect these because they believe they are scarce. It is a myth that they were destroyed by superstitious moonshiners or housewives.

This story was started by retailers trying to inflate the prices. Not Helpful 6 Helpful I have an old ball canning jar that says "Sanitary Sure Seal" on the front below the word Ball. How old is it?

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If the jar is blue, then it's like from the early s. More specifically, the jar is probably from between and The price of the jar will depend on the size and the condition. On 13, the bottom of the Ball Perfect Mason jar the 1 is backwards. Is this common? Errors in the molds are common in old jars because of how the molds were created.

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. Aug 25,   The Collector's Ultimate Guide to Canning Jars. 1. CORK-TOP JAR. This unmarked, mid- s model featured cork, which did little to preserve its contents. The unique topper makes it of note 2. UPSIDE-DOWN JAR BY BALL. Issued only from to , this jar could double as a dispenser for a Author: Joshua Lyon.

Not Helpful 1 Helpful 5. Unanswered Questions. How do I tell the age of my half gallon mason jar?

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Have blue jar, Atlas, strong shoulder on front of jar? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit a Tip All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Related wikiHows. More References 4. About This Article.

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