Top 4 reasons to keep Grandma's Pyrex and How to spot a good vintage buy

There is nothing prettier to me than a Simple Buttercream Iced Cake on a Jadeite Cake Stand. 

The Bold, Jade color makes the cake pop and gives it just a little added class! I am a Dish Collector and love the thrill of hunting for Vintage and Antique pieces. I started my love affair with dishes years ago when my Grandma gave me her Pink Gooseberry Pyrex Cinderella Bowls as a birthday gift. From that point on, it has been a never ending hunt to find more! I love China plates with flowers and Pink & Blue Pyrex pieces the most and will pick them up whenever I see them. However, my favorite set will always be the Pink Gooseberry Bowls my Grandma gave me!  Here are my top 5 reasons to keep Grandma's dishes and How to spot a good vintage buy!

  1. Durability Have you ever noticed that vintage and antique dishes are usually heavy and well made? It's crazy to me that I have dishes that are over 60 years old and they hold up better than some of my newer pieces. Why is this? Back then it was about quality and not quantity. Lots of companies produced handmade or hand molded items. Now items are mass produced and they have lost their unique durability. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dishes made today but it seems like vintage and antique pieces were just better made and made to last. 
  2. Sentimental Value I know... maybe you're not into collecting dishes or you simply don't have the space to keep a whole set of China. Before you donate them all, pick out one or two items that you think you would use and keep them. Maybe it's a small mixing bowl that you remember Grandma using or maybe it's a tea cup you can use for tea in the mornings! In the moment you might not think much about pitching everything but later it might surprise you that you enjoy using something that your Grandma used everyday. Honestly, You don't need to keep everything but one or two items surely won't take up to much space and is a great way to remember them by.
  3. Think Green We love to find ways to re use or re-purpose as many items as we can to cut down on waste. While we aren't perfect, (We just started recycling)  I think it's great to be able to keep items out of landfills that could be used. Before you throw it away, make sure you can't use it for what it was made for or re-purpose it into something else. With dishes some people turn broken pieces into jewelry, stepping stones, ornaments the possibilities are endless! I'm not saying this is the cure all for waste, obviously it's not but I like to think this is helping in some way! 
  4. Value I'm sure if you're reading this post about Vintage and Antique Dishware you have probably seen articles about some being worth a decent amount of money. While this in true in some cases (Yes, there is a piece of Pyrex that sold for over $2,000 on Ebay!!) most are simply not going to be valued for such high prices. Read that again. You may go into antique malls or look on online sites and see someone asking high prices for Pyrex pieces but that doesn't mean they are truly valued at that amount or selling for that. The most "high value" piece I own is a Starburst. It's stunning and one of the prettiest pieces I own but even with that one, it is worth less than $250. Most pieces really shouldn't be priced more than $20 and even more should be less than that. The key to the value is finding older pieces, promotional items or one of a kinds/low produced amounts in very good condition.

How to spot a good vintage buy

I love walking into antique malls or an auction. The smells of old leather and books, hearing metal clank when someone is looking at antique tools or an auctioneer calling bids... It's like heaven to me! If I had the time, I could spend all day in some antique malls digging through booths! When I am hunting for Vintage Dishes here are some of my tips on spotting a good buy.
  • Paint loss or paint damage Never put Vintage or Antique dishes in the dish washer. If they didn't have a dishwasher when it was made, it's best to hand wash only. When I am hunting for Pyrex, the dish should be shiny and never have a chalky feel to it. If it is chalky it means it has gone through the dishwasher. Sometimes you can bring a dish back to life if it's going to be used for display only by taking a paper towel and rubbing baby oil on the dish. This won't make it perfect but if you're just using it to display, it's doable. Watch your prices when purchasing something with dishwasher damage. In most cases these items shouldn't be going for top price. 
  • Scratches Some scratches in the paint aren't always immediately noticeable. The best way to see if a Pyrex dish has scratches is to hold it up to a light. Some scratches are small and look like little pin holes, most collectors call them flea bites. Holding the dish up to a light will help you determine if the piece has scratches. 
  • Color Most of the high value Pyrex is brightly colored, not all but a good majority will be brightly colored. Patterns that are in colors that are different than the original for example Orange or Pink Amish Butterprint will be more valuable that the Original Aqua Amish Butter print. This is because the orange/pink weren't produced as much as the the aqua. Any time you can find a promotional piece for a good price, it's a good buy!
  • Research The best way to spot a good vintage buy is by doing your own research! There are plenty of books and resources online with loads of great information on determining which piece you have, value, date produced etc. I will link a few of my favorite resources here below. I have used all of these in my dish collecting journey! These are outside sources but are not affiliate links. Just my recommendations not based on compensation :)
Amazon Pyrex Passion Book

Pyrex Love Website

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  1. Love your post! I too am new to blogging and would love to connect. You can find my blog the is all about my three things I love most in life: entertaining, marketing, and spending money! I've subscribed to your posts, hope you will do the same! ~Kathy


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