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Uranium glass is a popular collectible

Uranium glass is a popular collectible Source: Flickr

When you read about uranium, you probably have the idea that you will be radiated. Uranium glass, or Vaseline glass as it was known in the early 20th Century due to its resemblance to it, is now a collectible. 

What is Uranium glass?

In very simple terms, uranium glass is a type of glass containing traces of uranium in the form of oxide diuranate. The substance was added to the glass before melting for coloration.  The concentration of uranium actually varies from traces to 2%.  Although some vintage glass ware was known to have up to 25% uranium. 

Household items and tableware were made from uranium glass, but the production waned due to the curtailing of uranium availability during the Cold War in the 1940s to 1990s. Today, most of these objects are antiques and collectibles.  

Antique collections

Uranium glass or Vaseline glass is now considered any glass that glows under ultra-violet light due to its content of uranium. This glass has a very characteristic yellow-green color.  

These days, the collection of Uranium glass has become increasingly popular.  The range of objects made with Vaseline glass vary in age, styles, and makers. 

The use of this glass was eliminated in Europe right after WWII.  More recently, some Czech glass producers have started to produce Vaseline glass copying the designs of ancient makers. 

Some of these prominent Vaseline glass makers from years past include Davidson, Greener, Sowerby, and Burtles Tate. There are even claims that the first time this kind of glass was used goes all the way back to 79 AD.  This claim is because of the discovery of a glass mosaic in the excavation of Roman Villa near Naples in Italy in 1912. This was never proven, however. 

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