Let's talk uranium....

Most people don't realise that what looks like normal green glass can sometimes hide a fantastic secret! Pop that piece of glass under a black light / uv torch and it will reveal its secret in brilliant glowing green! However much uranium glass you've seen, the thrill of that glow never gets old!

uranium glass vase

uranium glass vase

It's also impossible to detect with the naked eye which pieces will glow and which pieces won't - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Just this week we had two identical (and I mean identical!) vases in store - one glowed, one didn't. In certain lights you may be able to get an idea, but the only way to be completely sure is to test with a black light torch. For those of us in Australia you can pick one up at BCF or similar outdoor stores, or on eBay, for just a few dollars. 

Uranium glass can be different colours including yellow and blue, but the most common colour is green. It can also be clear or opaque. It was mostly made between the 1880s and the 1940s, but there are earlier examples as well as glass still being made today. Indeed, the first piece known of dates from 79AD.

So, what gives it that unique glow? Yep, uranium. Radioactive, scary, bad reputation uranium. It's added to the glass before the melting process and is purely used to enhance the colour of the final product. The finished glassware is radioactive, and will ping under a geiger counter. But, don't let that scare you off. The levels are much lower than other items in your household that you are in contact with on a daily basis. 

They make a beautiful display in your home if you can get hold of some uv-light strips for your cabinets, and showing off your uranium glass is a party trick that your guests won't be able to get enough of!  

We always try to have plenty of uranium glass in our store, but it's huge increase in popularity is also making it harder to get. Check out our current stock at https://astimegoesbyvintage.com/collections/uranium-glass