I’m a sucker for jadeite green. Initially it was just the color that appealed to me, the perfect mint green in my opinion, but now, it has made its way as a personal collection of the actual glassware. Jadeite or Jade-ite is a type of glass made of jade-green opaque milk glass. It made its first appearance in the 1930’s, with its hay day in the 1940’s and 1950’s. There is some reproduction glass still being made today as this type of glass was made popular again by Martha Stewart in the late 1990’s. My personal collection has grown over the last two years, starting with a reproduction bowl I found at Home Goods. Now it consists of a variety of pieces, both reproduction and original by a mix of makers. As of today, it also includes a new-to-me set of jadeite saucers.
What I found: vintage shell jadeite saucers
On an antiquing outing with Tim, I came across 4 Shell Jadeite Saucers, priced $5 per saucer. I actually don’t own any Shell pieces, so these will add some variety to my collection. Saucers are probably the easiest piece of Jadeite to come by and relatively inexpensive. Vintage Jadeite has a pretty limited number of saucer styles, including Shell, a scalloped edge pattern, Swirl, similar to shell, but no scalloped edge, Jane Ray, a ribbed pattern, Alice, a decorative floral pattern, Sheaves of Wheat, a simple pattern with a wheat plant detail, Charm, a simple square shaped dish, and restaurant ware, a simple, no decoration pattern that was usually a thicker glass. I find Jane Ray and Alice to be the most common. I paired a Jane Ray teacup with the saucers in the photo below.
What to look for when buying Jadeite
The price of the saucers varies with the pattern, maker and most importantly condition. I always inspect any jadeite for chips, cracks or flea-bites (another word for a very small chip). Sometimes they can also have little white marks in the glass or discoloration. Check edges, those are the most likely spots to find an issue. I like to run my finger and finger nail around the edge, which helps giveaway any small knicks. I have bought a lot of my Jadeite online, so I always try to inspect photos well, or even ask the seller if there are any issues, if it’s not stated. If I do end up buying something with an issue, I usually alert the seller and work with them on price if they weren’t up front about the problem. For the most part, I try to get my glassware without any chips, cracks or visible issues.
What are they worth?
The jadeite saucers were in good shape, and for $5 a piece it was a pretty good deal. I don’t come across Jadeite often when shopping in Portland and when I do the prices are usually pretty extreme. I always compare the prices to listings I find online before I purchase. If I find a piece at a reasonable price in a store, I’ll snag it. Looking these shell jadeite saucers up, I could find them for a similar price on ebay, but I’d have to pay on top of that for shipping. That made it a good deal in the store, plus I was able to inspect the condition first hand.
For $20, I came home with a matching set of 4 jadeite saucers. Tea anyone?
Find out More about Jadeite
Be in formed before you buy! For Jadeite buying tips, check out my related post, 6 Things to Avoid When Buying Jadeite Glass to help you identify common issues with the glassware before you purchase.
Do you collect Jadeite? Share some of your favorite pieces or deals you found!