People love purchasing antique items, especially if they can be used. Pink depression glass is one of those beloved antique items. However, what do you need to know about pink depression glass before you start collecting it?
Pink depression glass was made from 1930 to the mid-1940s. Although it was originally cheap and often given out for free, pink is one of the most popular colors for depression glass and is worth up to $200. Pink depression glass is thin and often has scratches, chips, and cracks in it.
Although pink depression glass may seem uninteresting to many, it is quite fascinating, especially when you consider how popular it has been since it was originally made. All that you need to know before you start collecting pink depression glass is included below.
What Is Pink Depression Glass?
Pink depression glass is one color that is found in antique glassware dinner pieces that were made during The Depression Era in the United States and Canada. Depression glass overall was made from 1929 to 1939, although some pieces were still made afterward.
Pink depression glass was made by machines rather than by hand, and it was extremely cheap to make. For this reason, pink depression glass, as well as the other colors, was given out for free or .25 cents. The saucers, cups, cream and sugar containers, goblets, teacups, pitchers, bowls, and trays that pink depression glass make up are now valued by collectors and antique enthusiasts. (Source)
Depression glass was made in a variety of colors, including:
- Light Blue
- Cobalt Blue
- White (Milk Glass)
Pink was one of the most popular colors of depression glass. People loved the vibrant hue that added a relatively subtle feminine touch to the table and the meal. There are also a variety of shades available for pink depression glass, and people liked that they had options to choose from. To this day, pink is still one of the most popular colors of depression glass. (Source)
What Era is Pink Depression Glass From?
Pink depression glass was made during the Great Depression Era, from 1930 to 1937. Although the Great Depression Era lasted from 1929 to 1933, depression glass, including the pink varieties, were still sold until 1937, as people were still struggling financially and were looking for cheap dishware.
However, pink depression glass is still made, even though it is no longer called depression glass, as it was not made during the Great Depression Era.
What Year Did Pink Depression Glass Come Out?
Pink depression glass was released in 1930, one year after the Great Depression Era started. However, the different patterns that pink depression glass was available in came out in different years. For example, the Mayfair pattern was manufactured from 1931 to 1937. (Source)
The Mayfair and Princess patterns were incredibly popular depression glass patterns, and dishes that have the Mayfair pattern can be extremely valuable depending on the color of the glass. The Princess depression glass pattern was made from 1931 to 1934, and many of these patterned dishes were pink.
A variety of different companies released pink depression glass, but these companies released the colored glass at different times and in different patterns and shades. Overall, pink depression glass was released in 1930 and soon became extremely popular.
Who Made Pink Depression Glass?
Many different companies made pink depression glass, especially because it was an extremely popular color. Because many people loved this color of glass, there was a large market that glass companies could use to make money.
The following companies manufactured pink depression glass for varying amounts of time and patterns:
- Macbeth Evans Glass Company
- Anchor Hocking Glass Company (otherwise known as the Hocking Glass Company. The name changed in 1937.)
- Hazel-Atlas Glass Company
- Indiana Glass Company
- Federal Glass Company
- Jeannette Glass Company
Does Pink Depression Glass Glow?
Pink depression glass does not glow because it doesn’t have any uranium embedded in it. Typically, the only depression glass that glows is clear, yellow, or green depression glass. (Source)
Clear, yellow, or green depression glass often has uranium embedded inside the glass itself, so it glows when it is dark. However, pink depression glass doesn’t have uranium embedded, so it doesn’t glow in the dark.
Pink depression glass typically has a large amount of vibrant pigment in it, so even if pink glass did have uranium embedded inside, it likely wouldn’t show very well in the dark. However, that result would vary depending on the hue of pink glass you have.
How Do I Know If My Pink Depression Glass is Real?
You can determine whether or not pink depression glass is authentic by looking at the pattern, seam, bottom of the dishes, trim, etched details, and the shapes in the details in the glass. Pink depression glass comes in a variety of pink shades from extremely light pink to an almost purple-pink color. (Source)
Pink depression glass that is authentic often has floral or geometric patterns. It can be difficult to determine whether or not your pink depression glass is authentic by looking at the pattern on the glass, as pink depression glass was made in more than 100 different patterns, but the patterns will often have flaws in them because they were hand-etched.
Authentic pink depression glass often has bubbles trapped within the glass, and will usually have lines on the side and bottom of the glass. The bubbles in authentic pink depression glass will be extremely small, so look at your pieces from all angles. The line on the side of the glass is the seam. Oftentimes, modern glass doesn’t have an apparent seam. However, authentic depression glass does have a seam. (Source)
Pink depression glass will have lines on the bottom of the pitcher, cup, tray, or other pieces of glassware. When depression glass was dried during the Great Depression Era, it was dried on thin strands of straw, as it was a cheap material that allowed the glass to cool quickly. The thin strands of straw left lines on the bottom of the glass.
If your pink depression glass is thin, then it is likely authentic. Manufacturers didn’t want to waste materials, so all glassware was thin. Because it was so cheap, people didn’t complain about the thickness. Because the glass is so thin and old, authentic pink depression glass will likely have scratches and chips on both the interior and exterior of the glass.
Depression glass was used every day, so there will most likely be some damage to all pieces of authentic pink depression glass. If your pink depression glass is flawless and doesn’t have bubbles or lines, then it is not authentic and was made in modern times with modern techniques.
Does Pink Depression Glass Have Any Value?
Pink depression glass does have value to collectors and people who love antiques. However, it is not as valuable as other antique items because when it was manufactured originally, it was not valuable and was extremely common. The rarer an item is, the more valuable it will be.
Pink depression glass is one of the most valuable colors of depression glass. However, it loses value because it is extremely common. The color was popular in the Great Depression Era and in modern times, so many pieces are still available today. Blue depression glass is also extremely popular nowadays, but rarer colors of depression glass such as topaz and red are more valuable.
The more rare a pattern of pink depression glass is, the more valuable it will be. If you want to determine if your pink depression glass is authentic and how valuable it is, use The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass by Gene and Cathy Florence or the Kovels Antique Price Guide.
The condition of your pink depression glass influences how valuable it really is. If your pink depression glass has a large number of chips, nicks, and scratches, it will not be extremely valuable because of the amount of damage it has sustained. However, if it only has a small number of chips, scratches, and nicks, it will be more valuable. If your pink depression glass has been cracked and repaired, it likely won’t be valuable.
Small pink depression glass items, like teacups and cream pitchers, don’t have a lot of value because of their size and how common they are. However, large items like fruit bowls and serving trays are more valuable because they are more rare.
Is It Safe to Eat Off Pink Depression Glass?
It is perfectly safe to eat off of pink depression glass, even if it has a small amount of uranium in it, which is unlikely. Depression glass was made to be used and eaten off of, so companies made sure that it was safe to use. Pink depression glass is still safe to use nowadays. (Source)
Uranium that is inside of depression glass is embedded into the interior of the glass, not the exterior. Because of the small amount of the chemical inside the glass and where it is located, you won’t get uranium poisoning if you eat off of depression glass with uranium in it. However, as pink depression glass doesn’t have uranium in it, you can definitely use it without the worry of getting sick. (Source)
What Is the Most Valuable Pink Depression Glass?
The most valuable pink depression glass varies depending on the rarity of the item and the pattern. Large items like fruit bowls and serving trays are more valuable than plates and teacups. Large pink depression glass items can sell for $100 to $200 each. (Source)
While that may be less than what you are expecting to get for an antique item, remember that pink depression was extremely cheap and common when it was first released, so it is not extremely valuable.
The rarer a pattern of pink depression glass is, the more valuable the piece will be. Some valuable pink depression glass patterns include:
- American Sweetheart
- Royal Lace
The Cameo pattern was the 3rd most popular pattern that pink depression glass had. It was made from 1930 to 1934 by the Anchor Hocking Glass Company. This pattern is also sometimes called “Ballerina” or “Dancing Girl”, and can be identified by the pattern of a string of pearls. Pink depression glass that has the Cameo pattern is rare because it was only produced for a few years, so the pieces still left are limited. (Source)
Pink depression with the Mayfair pattern is somewhat valuable, as this pattern was common. As with other depression glass items, the larger and more unique items are generally worth a lot more than plates and bowls.
American Sweetheart Pattern
The American Sweetheart pattern is one of the most commonly seen patterns, especially when it comes to pink depression glass. Pink depression glass with the American Sweetheart pattern is not extremely valuable because many pieces are still left.
The Princess pattern is popular among collectors, but pink depression glass that has this pattern is not extremely valuable because it was relatively common in the Great Depression Era. Depression glass that has the Princess pattern has a distinguished scalloped pattern, so it is easy to determine whether or not your pink depression glass has the Princess pattern on the exterior.
Royal Lace Pattern
Pink depression glass with the Royal Lace pattern is relatively rare, so you will be able to sell it for a relatively large amount of money. However, this is not the most valuable pattern that pink depression glass is found in, so you likely won’t be able to sell it for over $100. The Royal Lace pattern was manufactured by the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company. However, blue Royal Lace depression glassware is worth more than the pink. (Source)