Could you tell just by looking at a piece of Pyrex that what you have is vintage and/or valuable? An antique dealer would probably tell you that the untrained eye can pass over many important details that distinguish a valuable antique from less valuable modern Pyrex. Vintage Pyrex has really become a collector’s item as of the last few decades, as something special from the past.
One way to tell if a Pyrex piece is valuable and antique is if the word “PYREX” is capitalized with other words circling it. The circle logo ended in the 1960s. Embossed logos and signatures are good indicators of antiquity. The rarer kinds of Pyrex have specific patterns from special editions.
Do you remember your mom or grandmother talking about needing to get quality cookware for their kitchens? Or maybe they told you that you could only put certain glass in the oven and that you had to turn it over and make sure that it had the brand name, Pyrex, on it before using it for baking. Did you know that those old dishes you’ve seen in people’s houses have actually become quite rare and valuable to collect after the 1980s when the company switched to soda glass?
How Was Pyrex Made?
Pyrex was the first of its kind in many ways, pioneering glassware made to be able to withstand the high temperatures of an oven and the rapid change in temperatures of cooling down quickly. Normal glass would have cracked, but Pyrex was made to withstand that shock. But, before Pyrex, there was Schott.
The expansion borosilicate glass used in vintage Pyrex was originally invented by Otto Schott in the late 1800s in Jena Germany. His company used the glass for telescope and microscope lenses, but it soon developed further and was eventually made into cookware for consumers. It became available for household use before the US entered the war.
Pyrex was invented in 1915 as a low-expansion glass for heating and backing. The company originally produced pie pans, so they changed the name a bit to add an “X” and an “R” and thus, Pyrex was born out of its parent company: Corning Consumer Products Company.
Tough Pyrex was used for cookware and pie dishes, and the glass has even been used for large telescope lenses at times because of its low expansion properties. A lens was created for the California Institute of Technology’s observatory. When the lens was created, the 200″ lens took 1 year to cool off after creation and was nearly lost in a flood, but it now sits safely in a museum for glass. (Source)
How Can I Tell if My Pyrex Is Vintage?
The color and patterns on the glass can help you know if the Pyrex is vintage, as those factors indicate when and where the Pyrex was created and if it was made with a special matching set. Another thing to help identify a vintage piece is the stamps with the logos and the markings on the bottom of the glass.
Pyrex has changed its logo and formatting throughout the years. You might turn over a piece of vintage glass to see the PYREX trademark signature in all caps. This distinguishes it as vintage or European in make. At the bottom of the glass, the mark should also indicate the location and time it was produced.
The markings will typically be embossed for Pyrex’s opal bakeware rather than cut into like with incised. In the early days, the name Pyrex was encircled by the auxiliary information making a circle around the logo, but in the later versions of Pyrex, starting in the 1960s, the circular or monogrammed look gave way to a square formation with the brand name in larger letters and additional information followed in smaller font.
Early backstamps in the included things like “T.M. REG.” and “U.S. PAT. OFF.” without any model numbers circling around the main company name. Later, in 1950, the marking included information about the location it was made, model numbers, the registered trademark symbol “®”, and quantity of liquid it could hold. (Source)
Is Vintage Pyrex Worth Money?
Yes, vintage Pyrex is worth a good bit of money if you’re looking to sell them. Some pieces are more valuable than others. Sets of vintage Pyrex in good condition can be very valuable for collectors. For instance, a 1972-1979 set of four butterfly gold bowls without lids is selling for $163.69 on Etsy. These bowls are fairly unique, and they come in various shades of yellow and white to be used for mixing.
You can get a good idea of how much your Pyrex is worth by looking on antiques or hobby sites, or places like Facebook Marketplace and eBay to see what’s already selling and how much they’re asking, but you won’t be able to see what collectors are looking for.
Vintage Pyrex is something that can be found anywhere from thrift stores to antique shows, and it even will be resold online. Many collectors or antique dealers will visit local thrift stores and find valuable pieces that they can buy for very little money and resell for what it’s actually worth. The reason that not all Pyrex pieces are rare is because the company only ran a few sets for a limited time, or even made some pieces specially for their employees.
Is Vintage Pyrex Valuable?
Vintage Pyrex is valuable and highly sought after because it’s old. The vintage PYREX, spelled with all caps, is different from Pyrex made after the 1980s when the company moved away from making the pieces from heat shock-resistant glass and began using regular soda glass, but the old PYREX and some European PYREX (all caps), have been made with the old borosilicate glass, which sets them apart from modern Pyrex.
What Is The Most Valuable Vintage Pyrex?
The most valuable Pyrex is usually not for sale, but if you have the right one, you can sell it for a lot of money. According to Vintage Cookbook Lover a small vintage Pyrex dish with gold stars on the side and a lid sold for $5,655. It was called “Oh My Stars”, and apparently was a very unique dish that got it ranked number 1 on the list of most expensive dishes.
Another Pyrex piece was sold in 2021 for about $4950 on eBay, but currently, it does not appear that that dish is being sold on the market.
A rare Pyrex casserole dish with the lid sold for $2,551. It was called “RARE Pyrex NEW MEXICO w/ Lid (Southwest) AS-IS in Yellow with Gold 043 Casserole”. This dish is also not currently on the market, but if it does come back up for sale, there’s sure to be some competition amongst collectors to get it.
Another expensive Pyrex casserole dish sold for a whopping $2,375 labeled as “Spring Blossom Green”.
What Are the Most Valuable Pyrex Patterns?
Pyrex has created many patterns and designs over the years for their glassware, but some patterns are much more popular than others.
Lucky in Love: This is the rarest and coincidentally the most sought-after piece. The pattern has been reproduced and printed on newer dishes. It has a stylized grass background with hearts as flower heads on some of the stems of grass. Someone purchased a dish for $4,000 in 2015, but recently they haven’t been seen on the market.
Balloons: This pattern was a 50s promotional pattern, and thus, there weren’t very many of them sold. The Cinderella Chip and Dip casserole dish features prints of various air balloons stretching over the sides of the dish. Balloon-patterned pieces can be purchased for $250-$490.
Blue Barcode: This pattern is found on a set of casserole dishes that came in two different kinds of sets. They were promotional items sold in 1966 and are typically valued at around $100.
Atomic Eyes: The blue eye pattern was thought to be a promotional item, which makes them a rare pattern to find as well. The Hot ‘N’ Cold Chip and Dip Set bowls can go for $450-$1,125. It’s not certain when they were released, but they were thought to have been sold sometime in the 1950s.
Golden Gooseberry: These bowls were made in the late ’50s to mid-’60s. A set of 4 can go for $270-$350.
Orange Butterprint: Orange or Pumpkin Butterprint Cinderella bowls can come in sets of 4. The complete set is very rare and sought after. The full set could go for up to $500 or more.
Should I Buy Pyrex?
Pyrex has been known to be durable and safe for baking for years. My grandmother recommended it to my mom as something to buy for a wedding present because it’s so durable. She also mentioned that Pyrex was always the brand name that was known for quality durability.
The only competition for Pyrex was the German brand, Schott, which used the borosilicate glass before Pyrex did. Some people prefer Schott over Pyrex as it is thinner and maybe even less likely to break, depending on which Pyrex you have.
Should I Buy Vintage Pyrex?
Many of the vintage Pyrex dishes are highly durable and were made from the same borosilicate glass, but in the 1980s the glass was changed to soda-lime glass, which is less durable. There have been rumors going around that the newer glass will shatter when moved from one temperature to another. The borosilicate glass was thermal-shock resistant and less likely to shatter with extreme temperature changes.
The difference between the vintage PYREX and the modern Pyrex is significant enough to make buyers want it. Many people prefer the vintage over the new not just for memory’s sake, but also because the old ones were made with better glass. So, whether it’s for personal use or for collecting, that really makes the difference for some antique collectors.
Are Old Pyrex Bowls Worth Anything?
Vintage Pyrex bowls are sought after, especially in matching sets. A real collector can tell if a set is complete or not. The bowls are both decorative and usable. If you own a set or even just a single bowl that is in mint condition, it could sell for as much as $900—a set of bowls has gone for $1,800.
They are valuable if you have the right one, and especially if you can encounter a decently priced promotional bowl. Those can be tremendously valuable.
Which Pyrex Dishes Are Valuable?
What makes Pyrex dishes valuable is the patterns, color, condition it’s in, whether it was a promotional or special item only released for a certain time, and if they come with the original lid. The following are some examples of valuable Pyrex dishes.
Early American bowls are a bit difficult to find, but a set of 4 can be sold for $350. They were created and produced from 1962 to 1971. Different variations of the sets exist, but they are still a hot find.
Individual Casseroles sets are rare, and good finds, if one is lucky enough to pass them by. Collectors frequently call them “pixies” and they made them in several colors.
A 1970s Vintage Pyrex Corning Ware fall edition can be sold for around $700, and a set of 4 Shenandoah Nesting bowls can go for $318.
Which Pyrex Bowls Are Valuable?
Pyrex sometimes gave away dishes or bowls to their employees that were unique and never produced again. If you can find a bowl like that or one that’s a less common find, you’re in luck. You can probably fetch a decent price for something like that.
- The Pumpkin Butterprint or Orange Cinderella bowls as a set of 4 can go for $350 if they are in good condition.
- A single 1950’s Turquoise Needlepoint Pattern vintage mixing bowl can be bought for $127.
- The vintage gold yellow white Pyrex snowflake bowl set is valuable. They can go for $175 when sold as a set in good condition.
- A set of turquoise mixing bowls are quite valuable, and they are rare to find in good condition. A whole set could be sold for as much as $300.