June 19, 2014
Mason jars are soda-lime glass, molded jars used for canning as a means of preservation. The top of the jar is surrounded by screw threads to allow a metal band to secure the jar’s top when screwed down. They are also known as Ball jars (after the Bell Corporation, an early manufacturer), fruit jars, or glass canning jars. These jars have been in production since their invention in 1858. Today in the United States, Ball and Kerr are the leading manufacturer of mason jars.
Because these jars have been made for such a long time by a number of manufacturers, the potential for collectability is high. Moreover, different colors of glass exist. The most common colored glass is a light shade of blue named “Ball blue” for its manufacturer. Other colors include amber, dark green, cobalt blues, blacks, and milk glass. Besides collectability, the darker or more opaque the glass, the better the light exclusion; less light reaching the food means longer preservation of flavor and nutritional compounds.
On the dark side of the Mason jar trade, some glass dealers will irradiate jars to change the color from the original glass tint.
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