To identify the age of a marble, determine how it was made. Examine its appearance, the quality of glass and level of perfection. Consider the likely owners and the main material the marble is made of.
- Determine how the marble was made
Determine how the marble was made by looking for a pontil, which is a small patch of roughness. If the marble was made by hand and not by a machine, it has a pontil. The pontil is where the marble was attached to a stick during the process of glassblowing. Most old marbles are handmade and most new marbles are machine-made, but this is not always the case.
- Examine the marble's appearance
Antique marbles were crafted individually, so they generally are much brighter and more beautiful. Certain patterns in marbles originated in different countries and were popular at different times, which can help you determine the age of the marble.
- Examine the quality of glass
Old marbles were made of high-quality glass that is resistant to shattering, while newer marbles are made more cheaply and shatter more easily.
- Examine the marble's level of perfection
Old marbles are likely to have bubbles and odd flaws, because they were produced through glassblowing. If the marble has no flaws or pontil, it is most likely new.
- Consider the likely owners
Consider the age of the seller of the marble to guess when it was made. When in doubt, ask the sellers when they purchased the marble.
- Consider the major material
The major material of the marble helps determine its age as well, especially if you know the country of origin. For example, German handmade glass marbles were made from about 1850 to 1900, while in the United State machine-made glass marbles were made between 1910 and 1940.