Jadeite Frequently Asked Questions
Jadeite is a great find at estate sales in Olympia, Gig Harbor, and Tacoma. This glass tableware is made of Jade-green opaque milk glass. It was first manufactured in the United States in the 1930s and was produced by McKee, Jeannette, and Anchor Hocking. There’s great interest in this glassware, so let’s clear up a few frequently asked questions.
How did it all start?
Jadeite started in the early 1930s and was marketed as an inexpensive alternative to earthenware. Manufacturers added green to their dishes to add a bit of color in hopes that it would brighten up homes during the difficult depression years.
The first company to begin manufacturing this green glass tableware was McKee. In 1932 they discovered they could add green glass scraps to their signature milk glass formula to create a gorgeous shade of green. This green was initially called “Jade” and later “Jadeite.”
Why are there so many different spellings?
Because green glass was produced by three different manufacturers, each had its spin on spelling.
McKee was the first and branded theirs “Jadeite.” The second was Jeannette's Jadite, which came in both a dark and light shade of green. These early pieces are marked with the letter “J” in a triangle.
Finally, Fire-Kink by Anchor Hocking created its own line called “Jade-ite. This brand also featured new green glass included Restaurant ware, which is heavier than commercial pieces and is a hard-to-find collector’s favorite.
How do you know it’s the real deal?
Not all green glasses and dishware are the real deal. Because Jadeite is so popular, brands like Crate and Barrel and even Martha Stewart have modern brands, a new collector needs to be wary.
To determine whether you have an authentic piece flip the piece over to look for a company name. Those made by Fire-King/Anchor Hocking are marked with “Fire-King, McKee is marked with “McK,” and Jeannette with a “J” in a triangle.
Color is also an important indicator. If the piece is anything other than a light jade green, it isn't jadeite. The exact shade of green varies from one brand to the next, and some may even have slight swirls visible.
Why are there Varying Shades
Because there was little quality control, you will find Jadeite pieces will vary in color with some pieces be a lighter green than others.
What are some of the most valuable pieces?
Most pieces range from $30 - $125 apiece, but some go for several hundred. One of which is the And highly sought-after Anchor Hocking Fire-King Jade-ite ball jug. It debuted in the 1940s, but very few were produced.
It’s valued at around $400 today.
A full set of the 48-ounce canisters for coffee, flour, and tea, made my McKee are valued at $750.
How Can I get Started?
Jadeite is gaining popularity, and if you’re looking to add to your collection or get started, check out our upcoming estate sales to see if we have any to offer. We also recommend you check out local antique shops and flea markets!
These venues are all led by experts in the field of vintage collectables and will have the best advice and guidance to offer.