how to date your ball jar

In 1880, the five Ball brothers used a $200 loan from their uncle to start a business manufacturing tin cans for products such as paint and kerosene. Then, in 1884, the brothers switched to glass home-canning jars and created the household name that we still know and love today. 🥰

Ball jars are classic vintage pieces that add so much class to every room! ✨ Not only are they beautiful as décor, but they are genuine pieces of history that bring so much life to a home. Each is unique in its own way!

Ball jars are one of the MOST sought-after vintage jar brands, which is why we created our Small Batch Candles. 💙 Antiques are our obsession (it IS in our name, after all!). 😉 We want to continue to repurpose beautiful, vintage, and completely one of a kind antique vessels, so we created a collection of these beauties to do just that. Many of the Ball jars available in the Small Batch Candles vary in their production dates. We even have some that are verified as 100+ years old! So, that begs the question: 



To answer that, compare the logo of your jar to those on this chart: (from Minnetrista Gathering Place)

You can also use other identifying marks to help date your jar! Phrases such as “IMPROVED,” “PERFECT,” and “IDEAL,” give further clues to find the approximate year that your Ball jar was made.

Some helpful notes to keep in mind:

  1. Not every jar has their manufacture date on the glass, but most have the patent date. However, this date has no relation to the year your jar was made.
  2. There will be a large number on the bottom of your jar. This is the mold number, and unfortunately also has no relation to the manufacture date.
  3. These charts tell you the approximate decade in which your Ball jar was made.
  4. EVERY Ball jar is special, and no matter what decade yours was manufactured, it’ll still look beautiful in your home! 😍😍


Shop our Small Batch Candles to snag your vintage Ball Jar - these beauties are actual, REAL repurposed antiques. Each one is hand-poured with love and made-to-order to YOUR specifications! 💙




  • Amy Knudsen

    So I just found a nearly perfect jar, buried in our property. It matches the description of the jars made from 1910-1923. It has the number 8 on the bottom. Just curious if it is worth anything. Thanks!

  • Judy Lincoln

    I have an old zink lid mason jar with the word “the” in a swirl at the beginning of the word mason.

  • Patricia Jobe

    I have a clear round canning jar with the numbers on the bottom 512-33 Ball H-32. What can you tell me about this can. I found it in an old house. Thanks

  • Tillie Villareal

    Hi, I have collected various brands of Mason jars over the years. I have a total of 5 different Ball mason jars. I am looking to sell these and hand them over to the next collector. 1. The logo is from 1910-1923 and the phrase has “perfect” with a light greenish tint to it. 2. The logo is from 1910-1923 and the phrase is “perfect” with a teal tint. 3. The logo is from 1923-1933 with the phrase “Ideal” with a teal tint. 4. The logo is from 1923-1933 with the phrase “perfect” for its the teal tint. 5. The logo is from 1933-1962 with the phrase “ideal” and a teal tint. If you know the value of these jars and know where I could sell them or if you are personally interested please let me know,I’d appreciate the help.

  • Megan Paskin

    Can you tell me more about the scissors seen in the last photo?

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