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These Pyrex bowls are worth big bucks (if you know what to look for)

These Pyrex bowls are worth big bucks (if you know what to look for)
Posted at 7:40 AM, Jun 13, 2024

When you think of Pyrex, what typically comes to mind is the clear bakeware you received as a wedding shower or housewarming gift. It might be time for you to clean out your cabinets, though — and not just to restore order to your kitchen. Your vintage Pyrex glassware that’s gathering dust could actually be worth thousands of dollars! As if the beauty of Pyrex wasn’t breathtaking enough.

Even if you don’t own any vintage Pyrex yourself (in which case you should change that, ASAP), try to keep a sharp eye out at garage sales, estate sales, and while browsing the internet. We’ll explain why these sweet kitchen wares are so valued (and how you can score a bit of cash, too).

What is Pyrex?

Pyrex cookware was developed in the early 20th century by the company Corning Ware, according to Willow Wright of the Virginia vintage shop Urban Redeux. In the mid-1940s, they introduced the recognizable Pyrex Color Wave. This sturdy, nesting set of mixing bowls inspired the next four decades of bold, bright colors — and more than enough promotional and customized sets. Over 150 patterns were released before the line’s eventual discontinuation in 1985.

While the most valuable patterns lie in U.S. wares, overseas manufactures also make their foray into the colorful world. A glassmaker in England acquired the rights to production in 1921, while manufacturing in Australia picked up in the early 1960s. These versions differ slightly in appearance from their U.S. siblings — versions created in England are stamped with JA, while Australian versions have a different lip and are created under the name “Agee” or “Crown Pyrex.”

MORE: 9 vintage kitchen items that could be worth hundreds (or thousands) of dollars

The brand’s had quite the time to form a dedicated fan base. Today, consider browsing the countless Pyrex Facebook groups glassware devotees show off their recent purchases, discuss deals,  and initiate swaps. Scrolling through the #PyrexJunkie hashtag on Instagram, you’ll find thousands and thousands of posts — and counting — all about these baking dishes.

You might be quick to assume that only collectors are obsessed with this dishware, but you’d be mistaken. Vintage Pyrex is so prized that it holds a spot in the Corning Museum of Glass. 

How much is my Pyrex worth?

We’re all thinking the same thing: Is the Pyrex sitting in my basement worth any money? A few clues in the product’s design key us into the possible value: the condition and colorway.

You’ll want to try and find vintage dishes made between 1915 and 1970, as experts tell TODAY that these are the priciest of all. (They’re also freezer- and oven-safe!) Until 1970, the brand used a more durable type of glass that was harder to break (though,  most modern Pyrex can withstand multiple drops without too much damage). After 1970, however, manufacturers changed the formula for the glass and the dishes became more fragile.

Decorative patterns are also key to determining the glassware’s value. Lucky in Love, a sweet pink and green design, is prized for its rarity and promotional production. Wright notes that Amish Butterprint, Pink Gooseberry, Snowflake Blue, Crazy Daisy and Friendship are also considered valuable in the Pyrex community. At her antique store, she says that vivid shades of pink and turquoise sell faster than their muted counterparts. Original, full sets also fly off the shelves fairly quickly.

Pieces that have been hand washed and stored properly over the years will far out price a bowl or dish that has been mishandled and shows signs of dishwasher damage.  Harsh detergents and high temps of dishwashers cause major damage to the painted finish of the bowls.

Where to find vintage Pyrex

While some collectors prefer to scour estate sales and antique shops, you can also purchase Pyrex from online sellers. Vintage pieces are listed for up to  $15,000 on the reseller site eBay,  but the actual price depends on the design and rarity. The Lucky in Love colorway starts around a modest $25 for a simple set.

Looking for a way to use Pyrex on the regular? Darling coffee cups — with sweet designs on the rim and center of the mug — often go for $10 to $20 on the reseller platform. As Pyrex is known for its hardiness and longevity, you’ll likely be able to still use all of these  pieces in your own kitchen (although we’d understand why you might be a little hesitant).

MORE: Milk glass from your grandma could be worth more than you think

So just in case you needed another reason to clean out your kitchen cupboards, here it is: You could be sitting on a vintage Butterfly Gold-mine.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.