Old and New Jadeite

by | Feb 8, 2022 | Collecting, Farmhouse Finds | 14 comments

Do want to understand the difference between old and new jadeite? In this post we talk about collecting vintage and new jadeite dishes.

Old and New Jadeite- vintage cupboard with old jadeite

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With at least 8 inches of snow on the ground, I thought it was an opportune time to talk about something green. One of my favorite items to collect – both old and new – is jadeite. Its milk glass in a minty green color is so appealing and timeless. It’s also a color that reminds me of spring.

I am by no means an expert on jadeite. There are plenty of people who know more than me. However, I do have some knowledge of the history, makers, patterns and uses of this collectible and I thought you would find this information useful.

Old and New

So let me start by pointing out the obvious. While there are many vintage pieces of jadeite available, there are some more recent reproductions. I think both are beautiful and functional. While I sell vintage jadeite, I personally collect newer jadeite pieces because I can use them on a daily basis and not worry if they get broken or damaged.

Old Jadeite

Let’s first talk about old or “vintage” jadeite. There are a number of well known names that produced this vintage collectible:

  • Fire King – by Anchor Hocking
  • Jeanette Glassware Company
  • Mckee
Vintage jadeite in a small white cupboard

History of Jadeite

Vintage jadeite was produced between the 1930s and the 1970s. The peak point of production was between 1940-1950. During that time, most housewives were looking for affordable everyday dishes that were stylish and charming.

Initially, in the 1930s, the McKee company added green scrap glass to some of its opaque glassware and – voila- jadeite as we know it was created.

Understanding the context of the era, helps to clarify why jadeite came about as well as its popularity. Early in the 1930s, America was in the midsts of the great depression. These companies had the ability to mass produce glass dish ware and sell it for a very affordable price. Further, World War II took place between 1939-1945, which meant supplies of pretty much everything was limited. Given the context of what was happening in the world, it is no wonder that these dishes were so popular.

McKee and Jeanette were the first companies to produce jadeite. Anchor Hocking started to produce its Fire King line of jadeite in 1942.

One of the easiest ways to determine if a piece of jadeite is vintage is to look for the stamp on the bottom.

Old and New Jadeite - Fire King

If you look closely, you can see the “Fire King Oven Ware” stamp on the bottom of this creamer.

3 stamps of vintage jadeite -McKee, Jeanette and Fire King

Country Living Magazine published a comprehensive article about collecting jadeite and they included the image above to help you understand the different stamps/marks on the underside of the dish ware.

The stamp with the “McK” indicates the piece was made by the McKee Company.

The stamp with a triangle and “J” indicates the piece was made by Jeanette and the stamp “Fire King Oven Glass” indicates the piece was made by Anchor Hocking.

Patterns of Jadeite

Since this collectible was in production for a number of decades, there were multiple patterns that were developed. Below is a summary of the more well known and common patterns.

  • Restaurant Ware. This was produced in the1940s-1960s. This was sturdy and heavy jadeite pieces that you would expect to see in a Diner.
  • Jane Ray. This ribbed design was produced between the 1940s-1960s. The glass is thinner than Restaurant Ware and the ribbed lines are charming.
  • Alice. An embossed floral pattern was given away in oatmeal boxes between 1945-1949.
  • Charm. These pieces were produced in the 1950s and consist of very retro square shaped plates.
  • Sheaves of Wheat. These pieces were embossed with a wheat pattern and were produced between 1957 and 1959.
  • Shell. This pattern was first produced in 1965 and was discontinued in the 1970s.
5 pieces of jadeite in a small white cupboard - mixing bowl, 2 juicers and creamer with sugar bowl

The creamer and sugar set on the second shelf are made in the Jane Ray pattern, while the smaller juicer on the bottom shelf is made in the Shell pattern.

When I am out and about looking for inventory, I am always on the look out for vintage jadeite pieces. That being said, this collectible has grown in popularity in recent years so it can be a challenge to find.

If you want to find vintage jadeite in a particular pattern – your best bets are to search on Etsy and Ebay. Otherwise, keep your eyes open at yard sales, church sales, flea markets, auctions and estate sales. It can be a serious challenge finding all the pieces in a particular style and is a pursuit that can last for years.

The most desirable pieces of jadeite include large canisters that held items like cereal, flour, and coffee. Vintage shakers for flour, salt, and sugar are also sought after. Finally, vintage refrigerator containers – usually rectangular – which were used to store leftovers from meals – are also very collectible.

New Jadeite

Given that vintage jadeite pieces are more difficult to find and that the prices have increased in recent years, I love buying new or reproduction pieces of jadeite. First, I worry much less about damaging the pieces. Also, it’s so much easier to get complete dining sets – that includes a dinner plate, salad plate and bowl. It’s also easier to acquire those hard to find pieces like cake stands, pitchers or butter dishes.

I have found the best prices and the best pieces of new jadeite at Walmart. Specifically, in the Pioneer Woman line of products. I have rounded up some of the new pieces and linked them for you below.

Martha Stewart also produced some jadeite pieces that are really charming. She even created some pieces in a hobnail pattern. I have also seen candlesticks and flower pots in her collection. Having said this, her new jadeite pieces command some high prices.

Joanna Gaines, through her Hearth & Hand line, also created some new jadeite pieces for Target. There are some dessert plates in a square shape that are particularly charming.

Summary

Collection of vintage jadeite pieces

I don’t know about you, but all this mint green dish ware has me yearning for spring and for some warmer temperatures and flowers. I am ready for a good excuse to break out my jadeite dishes and have a strawberry trifle.

If you would like to read more on collecting vintage and antique items – you can check out my posts below.

You can also check out more vintage collectibles and how to incorporate them into your home by visiting the following sites:

Michele at My Vintage Home Designs

Renae at Peacock Ridge Farm

Diane at South House Designs

Lynn at Living Large in a Small Home

These ladies are full of inspiring ideas!

Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I would love for you to share any comments you have below.

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14 Comments

  1. Renee

    Thank you for the 101 on Jadeite!
    Have always found it charming but so expensive when I find it. Good alternative to buy newer pieces, at some point they will become vintage too!
    🙂

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Renee- you are absolutely right!!

      Reply
      • Kathryn

        My husband and I have been collecting vintage Fire King Restaurant ware for 30 years and have a large collection in mint condition – includes 16 complete place settings, trays, platters, bowls, baking dishes, coffee cups, salt and pepper, coffee and other cooking ingredient jars, etc. etc., etc.

        After moving box after box of jadeite X2 across the country, I feel it is time to sell it. ANY ideas how and where to be best sell this incredibly beautiful collection?

        Reply
        • Sky Lark House

          Hello Kathryn – thank you for commenting and for your question. I sent you a separate email with some ideas.

          Reply
  2. Susan

    Fascinating history – love that jadeite was born of scrap green glass being added to opaque glassware. Innovative!
    Thanks for all the helpful tips in buying jadeite – be it old or new, super helpful to know how to recognize the old and where to go for the new.
    A perfectly pretty and practical post to propel us to springtime.

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi Susan- Thank you for taking the time to read the post. Yes, I love that jadeite was born out of necessity and creativity. It was even considered the poor persons china. How times have changed. I feel like we need something to push us towards spring with all the snow we have had recently.

      Reply
  3. Kim Domingue

    Some years back, Martha Stewart’s daughter started collecting Jadite and amassed a very large collection which she displayed in her kitchen. Said kitchen was then showcased in a Country Living article if memory serves me right. The prices for Jadite (which I had been collecting as I came across pieces at flea markets and garage sales) went through the roof. I’m still miffed at Martha Stewart and her daughter for driving the prices up!

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      That’s why the prices are so high! I had no idea! It’s all because of Alexis!

      Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi Rachelle-
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think Walmart has some great Jadeite for very reasonable prices.
      I will check out the link you shared!

      Reply
  4. Rachel

    You are a lady after my own heart. I LOVE jadeite! It’s creamy green color is so stunning and, even though I only have a few pieces of vintage jadeite, love taking it out for spring. I wrote a similar post about vintage jadeite on my blog last year and I’m so happy to see a fellow blogger with such love for these pieces. Thanks so much for sharing today…you are so talented!

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Rachel! I apologize for missing your comment! Thank you for the kind words. Yes, we are definitely vintage sisters!

      Reply
  5. Connie

    I have a 5 1/4” approximately green glass box that says tea on it. It is a bit bigger on top than the bottom and no stamp on the bottom. It does glow under black light and has a flower pattern underneath the lid. Is it maybe Jadeite and worth anything.

    Reply
    • Sky Lark House

      Hi Connie- I would recommend taking it to a nearby antique store and asking them for their opinion! Thank you for commenting!

      Reply

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