how to collect jadeite

House & Home

February 4, 2016

it’s been a looooong time since i did a post about picking, flea marketing, junking, hoarding etc.
i am a collector…a minimalist collector. ok no i’m not. i love collections. i love having something little to hunt for while i’m searching for a big piece so i don’t walk away a loser. however a lot of the things that i love to collect are now super popular and getting a little more difficult to find.
you can thank martha stewart for making jadeite so stinking hard to find. you used to be able to find bits and pieces at thrift shops. which we walked to barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. but now you have to be a little more creative to find the elusive green glassware. i thought i would share a few tips and tricks on how to collect jadeite as well as my favorite places to pick up some repro (new) jadeite.


my collection is a mix of picked, found, bought in bulk and new pieces. i used to be a purist and say vintage only but i couldn’t resist a vintage cake stand or casserole dish. fire king jadeite is the most popular product produced by anchor hocking from about 1940-1970’s (wikipedia). while fire king is the most popular it does not necessarily mean that it has to be “fire king” to be authentic. jadeite refers to the color of green milk glass product and many companies throughout the 40’s and 50’s produced their own shade, pattern etc. one of my favorites to collect is the restaurant wear because it is super heavy and thick like what you would find in a 50’s diner. i have also found that it is the hardest to find. a great resource to find out more about your patterns and varieties is doit101 collectables. i do not stick to a particular pattern or shade because i find them all interesting.
jadeite3fireking 2000 repro sticker

one more little tidbit out in the wild you may find pieces that are marked “fire king 2000” these are reissued pieces recreated for a retailer. i can’t say which one because i have been told both meijer as well as restoration hardware (big difference) this is still issued by anchor hocking but it is not a true “vintage” but it’s still cool and fun to have some of the pieces to mix in to your collection “pie plates, square casserole dish”.
jadeite4backside of fire king 2000 piece

ok so where to start collecting? if you are after the vintage the first tip i have is look in bins. yes. look in bins. i have found numerous tea cups at off the beaten path thrift shops in the bins. sometimes you’ll find just a saucer and it will match a cup you found earlier. you have to be willing to sort through all the glassware bins and shelves and i usually can find one or two of the more common pieces.
jadeite2fire king diner mug

for more difficult or hard to find pieces i have found that flea markets are the best place to find authentic pieces at a decent price. i was lucky enough to score a whole stack of dinner plates this summer from one vendor. because i bought the entire stack she sold them to me at $8 a plate (that is a killer deal). i have also found many cool pieces by not skipping the “junk” booths. at flea markets it’s easy to get sidetracked by the well designed and curated booths but if you are collecting and looking for a deal do not skip the booths that are just bunches of tables with stuff on them. you can usually find a piece or two there among other well priced treasures.

if you are in a flea market dessert like michigan is in the winter go check out antique stores. the prices will most likely be higher but again if a vendor has just one or two pieces in their booth it’s likely a decent price. i also leave information for what i’m looking for. a vendor called me from one of the stores i visit and had a whole collection she let me come and buy from. that was a lot of fun.

there is always etsy and ebay and craiglist to search on but i like the thrill of finding it myself “in the wild”.

there are a few retailers that are producing repros of jadeite that is fun to mix in to your collection. i don’t mind buying a few of these pieces because i feel comfortable using them because they are replaceable. if i broke my vintage diner plates i would be so devastated. some great places to pick up some new pieces are target, world market, fishs eddy, shopterrain and anthropologie.

hope this helps! if you want to share your collection on instagram i would love to see it today! tag me @binksandthebadhousewife!
jadeite1my borderline complete collection. i have more goodies stocked away in other cupboards 🙂

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  1. Erika says:

    I’ve just started trying to collect milk glass and I want some jadeite. Do you have a post on milk glass too?

  2. Brittin Rogers says:

    So funny that I just came across this and I too have combined my collie collection with my jadeite collection!!!

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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