How Do You Verify the Authenticity of Vintage Cat’s Eye Marbles?

Vintage cat’s-eye marbles typically possess a clear glass base with no greenish tint and feature a blue, red, white, yellow or green stripe. Cat’s-eye marbles were not popular in America until Japanese marble manufacturers introduced them in large quantities following the end of WWII. As a result, as of 2015most existing cat’s-eye marbles were mass produced, are difficult to date accurately and are typically worth little.

The introduction of Japanese cat’s-eye marbles to the U.S. market led to a waning of the American marble industry, with numerous American marble manufacturers stopping production after being unable to compete with the cheaply produced cat’s-eyes flooding the market. As a result, cat’s-eyes are not a common choice for marble collectors.

By the time cat’s-eyes were invented, most marble companies used machines to manufacture their products, which adds to the challenge of dating cat’s-eye marbles accurately. Machine-made marbles typically lack the small rough patch called a “pontil” which is often used to identify older marbles.

Although cat’s-eye marbles were popularized by Japanese manufacturers, they were first produced in America in the 1930s by the Peltier Glass Company. The Peltier Glass Company’s use of a clear glass base helps distinguish their cat’s-eyes from later Japanese cat’s-eyes.