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If you haven’t already, look through your grandparents or parents’ kitchen cabinets for Pyrex dishes. I’m talking about the retro, patterned cookware from the 1940s to 1980s. So, what’s the rage about? Vintage Pyrex collections have sold for anywhere from $100 to $22,000! Not to say that you’ll get that much, but it’s worth a try to get something.
Leave it to TikTok to bring back consumers’ love of Pyrex. Videos with the hashtag “vintage Pyrex” have over 27 million views, so clearly consumers are in search of collectible pieces to try to strike it rich. Below, I’ll break down what styles are most coveted.
Want to fan out with other collectors? There’s a Pyrex Passion Facebook group for that. While the Krazy Coupon Lady app does have Pyrex deals, you won’t get the vintage ones (but saving money on new models helps!).
Text HACKS to 57299 for money tips and tricks.
What is Pyrex, exactly?
Pyrex is a brand name for a type of glassware (borosilicate glass) that’s known for its durability and resistance to temperature changes. It was introduced by Corning Incorporated in 1915, but it wasn’t originally for cooking. It was actually developed in 1909 as railroad lantern globes. The temperature-resistant glass started getting marketed to consumers in 1915. This happened after the wife of a Corning scientist found that the glass was perfect for baking. Leave it to women to make history.
Check the Pyrex Pattern Library to match your find.
The Corning Museum of Glass’ Pyrex Pattern Library is a great resource because there are over 100 patterns listed, so you can see if yours is there. You can even search by color or theme. The library listings are organized from 1945 to 1986.
Additionally, the website Pyrex Collector has a chronological list sorted by year, name, and pattern. Check out videos on Instagram with #pyrexlove, #pyrexoriginal, or #pyrexcollector. The Pyrex hashtag on Instagram has about 1M posts!
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The value is often based on desirability and condition.
Just because you find a piece of Pyrex in grandma’s basement, doesn’t mean that you hit the jackpot. As for value, it truly is in the eye of the beholder (or auctioneer). However the Valuable Antique Detector has a handy list of some of the most valuable Pyrex patterns and selling prices.
One tip to judge its authenticity is to look for the Pyrex stamp (aka manufacturer’s mark, symbol, or logo) at the bottom or the side of the dish. Depending on the decade it was made, you may also see these markings or symbols:
- Size of the container
- U.S. Pat. Off.
- T.M. Reg.
- Flower/Fire symbol
- Made in USA
- Oven Ware
- 3- or 4-digit code (it corresponds to a specific dish size, i.e., 403 (2.5 quart), 404 (4 quart)
But, hey, I’m not a Pyrex inspector. Ask an official Pyrex expert if you think that you have an item of value
Condition and Types
Make sure your Pyrex is in good condition (no stains or chips) and has all of its original parts (like lids). Some of the most common collectibles have these patterns, shades, or unique qualities:
- Clear, tinted glass
- Limited editions
- Samples that were never mass marketed
- Special promotional pieces
- Ombre sets
- Solid colors
As for specific types, look for styles like these:
- Nested mixing bowls
- Casserole dishes
- Serving sets (i.e., chip and dip)
- Butter dish
Sell your vintage finds on Etsy, eBay, or on auction sites.
Sites like eBay allow you to auction off your rare Pyrex. As of writing this article, the highest listing is $5,000 for a 4-piece dish and lid set of the Blue Cornflower design. Even Goodwill has items listed for sale.
Look online, at garage sales, and vintage shops for vintage Pyrex.
No Pyrex laying around your house? No worries. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to start collecting items. Thrift shops, garage sales, and estate sales are great places to start to look for off-hand items. You never know what you might come across. As long as you’re collecting vintage goods, check out our tips on porcelain hinged boxes.