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Bottles turning purple?

Dink1957

Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
35
18
Seattle area
I have a few bottles turning purple and I understand that the sun does that to certain bottles. My questions are, why does a bottle turn purple? Do people find that desirable or is that a sign of damage and make the bottle less desirable? And what kind of bottles does this happen to?
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
3,052
113
New Jersey
I have a few bottles turning purple and I understand that the sun does that to certain bottles. My questions are, why does a bottle turn purple? Do people find that desirable or is that a sign of damage and make the bottle less desirable? And what kind of bottles does this happen to?
Any glass with manganese will turn amethyst/purple. To do this the manganese oxides under Ultra Violet light. The sun works but takes many years. The more manganese, the more intense the amethyst color. It can get dark purple. People artificially do this with high intensity UV sterilization lights. It is called irradiated. It does not damage in any way i know. Some don't like this but it will sell because other people like purple. I can't explain the amethyst/purple people.
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

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Bottle 2 Rocks

Well-Known Member
Jan 29, 2021
190
63
Type amethyst bottles in the search box top right corner and you will get a good bit of info on this topic.
Welcome to the site.
 

Dink1957

Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
35
18
Seattle area
Ok well that explains all the purple bottles I have...I have a ton of purple insulators but I think they are naturally purple...I'm still confused about the olive thing...how much is a bottle like that worth? I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to educate me and answer my questions?
Any glass with manganese will turn amethyst/purple. To do this the manganese oxides under Ultra Violet light. The sun works but takes many years. The more manganese, the more intense the amethyst color. It can get dark purple. People artificially do this with high intensity UV sterilization lights. It is called irradiated. It does not damage in any way i know. Some don't like this but it will sell because other people like purple. I can't explain the amethyst/purple people.
ROBBYBOBBY64.
Ok well that explains all the purple bottles I have...I have a ton of purple insulators but I think they are naturally purple...I'm still confused about the olive thing...how much is a bottle like that worth? I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to educate me and answer my questions?
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
3,052
113
New Jersey
Ok well that explains all the purple bottles I have...I have a ton of purple insulators but I think they are naturally purple...I'm still confused about the olive thing...how much is a bottle like that worth? I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to educate me and answer my questions?

Ok well that explains all the purple bottles I have...I have a ton of purple insulators but I think they are naturally purple...I'm still confused about the olive thing...how much is a bottle like that worth? I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to educate me and answer my questions?
Olive is not worth anything really. It is age wise, heading in the right direction though.
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

Bottle 2 Rocks

Well-Known Member
Jan 29, 2021
190
63
Olive bottles were always in the leaverite category for me when digging back when I was a teen in the late 70's.
 

willong

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
307
43
Port Angeles, WA
I can't explain the amethyst/purple people.
I think that the original attraction, other than being a nice color in its own right (depending upon one's taste of course) was that the amethyst was justifiably associated with the age of "Old West" bottles having lain around in desert environments, particularly ghost towns, for a century or more.

I suspect that artificially irradiating bottles was a scheme initiated by eBay sellers to cash in on the popularity of what was previously commonly called "desert glass" when I was a kid. Seems to have taken on a life of its own now. Products of the sort should only be sold with a disclaimer in my opinion.

To me, irradiating a true antique that has intrinsic value for its type, embossing, condition, historical association with a locale and etc. actually diminishes it value, particularly when taken to an intense hue that one is not likely to encounter in naturally sunburned glass; but then I am a curmudgeonly old fart with anachronistic values.

Here is an article on the subject that I highly recommend: https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Irradiation-Changes-Color-of-Glass

The article discusses the processes, how and why they work; and it goes into the history of irradiating glass both for legitimate, industrial production purposes and for fakery. Article includes a nice selection of photographed examples, including bottles and jars.

And here is a nice short article at the Corning Museum of Glass, which avoids the ethical aspects of the subject: https://www.cmog.org/article/solarized-glass
 
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Dogo

DOGO
Apr 8, 2020
154
43
Central NJ
Bottles that have been subjected to nuclear radiation, such as from a nuclear power plant will turn really dark. Also different types of glass will turn to some very odd colors. We had a nuclear plant near us and some of the employees must have been bottle collectors, because there were some really strange shades of common bottles around. Most naturally turned bottles are not that dark and not evenly turned.
 

coreya

Well-Known Member
Apr 30, 2007
1,443
63
Summerfield, Fl
most of the irradiated glass comes out of meat processing plants where its easy to run a bin thru the sterilization process (they use low dose radiation to sterilize the meat)
 

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