7 Tips to Identify & Value Old Duraglas Bottles (Guide 2023)

As an avid antique freak, I love visiting flea markets to get old stuff. During one such visit, I came across old Duraglas bottles and jars. And I was shocked that sellers charged 300 bucks for these because, with my expertise, I knew that a Duraglas bottle costs up to $200.

But those who don’t know this might lose money! So I have compiled all the factors and their base prices to save you from such scams! Read to the end, and you’ll know how to identify and appraise vintage Duraglas bottles yourself!

Key Takeaways

  • The millennials used Duraglas bottles for medicines, cosmetics, milk, and alcohol. But, the ones for Coca-Cola & Pepsi are in-demand.
  • Vintage Duraglas bottles have different aged features like embossed letters, pontil marks, manual screw lids, and making marks.
  • You can track a Duraglas bottle’s age by the stamped date codes or plant numbers. 
  • Old Duraglas bottles have different hand-pigmented colors, of which the Clear, Teal, Pink, and Purple ones cost more.

How Do You Identify & Spot Vintage Duraglas Bottles?

Vintage Duraglas Bottles on a Window Sill

Duraglas is a chip-resistant glass made by Owens-Illinois in the 1900s. And actually, its bottles look like other clear and molded glass bottles only. But what makes them this collectible are some aged features below:

  • Green or Amber walls with a Stannic Chloride vapor spray
  • A stamped Owens-Illinois logo with a superimposed ‘I.’ 
  • Embossed lettering for the two-digit date code
  • Thick, 2-3 mm glass walls with pontil marks
  • A ‘Cat eye’ or ‘Planet Saturn’ mark on the base
  • Manual screw-top or crown-top closures

When Did Duraglas Bottles Evolve & How?

It was a normal, lazy morning in 1903. The industrial revolution had just progressed, and everyone was using machines. All was good, except for one industry – glass making!

Well, people were still using the normal, breakable sheet glass! Even luxury sheet glassmaker Michael Owens was irritated with this. So he eventually joined hands with the Illinois glass company, and together, they founded the durable Duraglas!

Now, Duraglas bottles were stronger than others, but were a bit plain too! So, by the 1940s, Michael added flowers and swirls to boost sales. Also, he used metal screw caps and rims for air-tight packaging.

But then, in the 1960s, it was all plastic. In fact, even some top Duraglas co-brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi started using PET bottles. So, the company lost some shares and moved towards other packaging products. And this makes old bottles rare today!

3 Types of Duraglas Bottles & Their Estimated Base Prices

Let’s check the three main types of Duraglas bottles, their use, and costs below!

1. Duraglas Milk Bottles

Old & Wide Duraglas Milk Bottles in a Crate

These are wide, clear, or amber-colored bottles for milk and cream. So they use a durable glass formula and tighter screw tops than others. You’ll also see square or round bodies with applied color labels and finger grips at the top. Usually, they cost around $5 – 150.

2. Medicine & Syrup Bottles

Collection of Antique Medicine Bottles

If your Duraglas bottle has thick heels, frosted walls, and seams, it might be an old medicine bottle worth $5 – 100. Such bottles have crown tops and fluted bodies with printed paper labels on top. Also, you might see waxy, anti-leak seals with them.

3. Alcohol Bottles

Pile of Antique Liquor Bottles

As you might guess, people used Duraglas alcohol bottles to hold beer and rum. So, they often have long, narrow necks with typical screw-caps for sealing. Besides, you can also expect swirl or spiral designs that hike their cost from $15 – 100.

7 Easy Identification & Valuation Factors for Old Duraglas Bottles

Now let’s move to other pricing and identification details – Age & Colors to spot an AUTHENTIC Duraglas bottle!

1. Duraglas Bottle Age & Plant Numbers

Old Duraglas Bottles with Screw-cap Closures

It was in the 1940s that Michael designed the first Duraglas bottle. But he didn’t stop there! For the next few years, he explored some bottlenecks, seams, and heel designs. Like, he used wide, small necks with the 1940s models and narrow ones in the 1950s.

So the features and use of each bottle change with age. And so does the cost! Let’s see how!

Duraglas Bottle YearsAgeUnique FeaturesPlant Numbers (Embossed on the Base)Estimated Value
1940s74 – 83 yearsSmall 2 – 8 oz bottles with a stamped Diamond symbol, IO mark, green walls, and wider necks11 – 18$10 – 180
1950s64 – 73 yearsMedium-sized, narrow-necked bottles with embossed lettering, I mark, screw tops, and molded geometric patterns20 – 23$10 – 60
1960s54 – 63 yearsLarge 8 – 32 oz bottles with thin blue or brown colored walls, cork tops, and floral designs10**, 4**, 8** and 16**$5 – 40

Get Duraglas bottles with old pontil or tool marks, bubbles, fingerprints, and color variations for an OLD make.

2. Vintage Duraglas Bottle Colors

Different Types of Vintage Duraglas Bottle Colors

You all might have seen the common clear or amber Duraglas bottles. But back in the 1950s, we had more variety! For example, regular bottles had aqua or white glass walls, while the rare ones were purple and teal!

So, let’s check the cost of such unique colors:

Old Duraglas Bottle ColorsAverage Cost
Clear, Transparent & Frosted$5 – 180
Amber, Yellow & Brown$5 – 80
Green, Olive & Yellow Green$10 – 70
Cobalt & Aqua$5 – 40
Purple, Teal Blue & Pink$10 – 150
Opaque White & Vaseline Glass$10 – 50

Pick Duraglas bottles with Iron oxide, Phthalocyanine, Quinacridone, or Carbon Black pigments for more returns.

3. Vintage Duraglas Bottle Shapes

Old Duraglas Bottles & Their Available Shapes

Now, most antique water, milk, and perfume bottles are round. And Duraglas bottles are no different! But, in the 1950s, makers introduced many other shapes like square, flask, and oval. So, let’s learn to appraise them:

Antique Duraglas Bottle ShapesType of ContentAverage Cost
Round, Cylindrical & EllipticalBeer, Soda & Milk$20 – 100
Square or RectangularMedicines, Spirits & Syrups$5 – 70
Oval & SphericalCosmetics & Pharmaceuticals$5 – 50
Flask or Barrel-ShapedLiquor – Beer, Rum & Wine$10 – 60

Try to get Duraglas bottles with simple wire or twin-finger handles for a good value.

4. Duraglas Bottle Co-brands

Old Coca-cola, Pepsi & Dr Pepper Duraglas Bottles

It’s not that people used old Duraglas bottles for medicines only. Makers also supplied the large ones to brands like Coca-Cola & Pepsi.

So just rotate the bottle and check for co-brand stamps or labels on the base. And if you find one, use the table to value it!

Vintage Duraglas Bottle Co-brandsHow to Identify Them? Estimated Value
Coca-ColaClassic, contoured bottles with Clear or Light green walls and a stamped ‘Coca-Cola’ logo on the sides$5 – 50
Pepsi – ColaClear, Light-green, or Bluish bottles with printed paper labels, embossed logos, and a frosted finish$5 – 40
Dr. PepperTransparent or Black-colored bottles with embossed logos and thick reels$5 – 30
Berkshire AleGreen or Olive-colored walls with narrow necks, smooth seams, and printed labels on the front$5 – 30

Avoid getting broken or moldy Duraglas bottles, which might lose their value by 10 – 12%.

5. Duraglas Bottle Closure Systems

Old Branded Liquor Bottles

Most collectible Duraglas bottles have screw or crown top caps. But since the earliest 1940s models were crude, they had single screw lids. And then, by the 1960s, cork and metal caps came into play!

Here’s a list of all the Duraglas bottle lid types, with their features and values:

Old Duraglas Bottle ClosuresHow to Identify Them? Average Price
Single Collar or Single Ring Simple, round metal rings with grooves, threads, and a shiny finish$5 – 40
Crown TopCrimped metal caps with a hammered seal$5 – 50
Screw TopsThreaded, screw-on caps with a brushed, matte finish$10 – 60
Blob Top or Applied TopIrregular, Abstract-shaped lids with tight seals for beer and soda bottles$5 – 40
Cork TopCylindrical Cork lids for Medicine, Syrup & Alcohol bottles$5 – 40

6. Vintage Duraglas Bottle Additives

Old Duraglas bottles with natural additives like Silica, Limestone, Alumina, and Cullets cost 3 – 4% more than others. That’s because such pigments are hand-mixed and often add a matte finish that hardens the glass. So, don’t forget to check the contents on the side labels!

7. Old Duraglas Bottle Marks

Antique Duraglas Bottles with Embossed Logos & Marks

Want a shortcut to verify your old Duraglas bottle? Well, just get a magnifying glass and check if it has any of the following AUTHENTICATION marks on the base or the sides:

  • Embossed ‘DURAGLAS’ or ‘OI’ letters
  • Stamped two-digit date codes on the sides
  • Embossed plant numbers or codes on the base
  • Embossed mold numbers on the top seams
  • Pontil or hand-blown marks

Where Do You Get Duraglas Bottles for Sale?

You can easily get Duraglas bottles at antique flea markets, auction shops, or e-commerce sites like eBay, Etsy, and Antique Bottle Depot.

Can You Rinse Old Duraglas Bottles?

Ideally, you should refrain from rinsing your Duraglas bottles as you might wash off all their content traces and devalue them. Instead, just wipe off the dust with some paper towel.

What Are Old Duraglas Bottles Made Up Of?

Old Duraglas bottles are made of highly tempered glass – Duraglas, made by fusing Fiberglass fibers, Resin, Silica & Alum.

It’s true that you won’t get a good value just for any old Duraglas bottle. To spot the precious ones, you must track their age and co-brands and spot some visual features! And this guide will come in handy! I’ve also shared detailed identification and price guides for ‘Cut Glass’ or ‘Milk Glass pieces,’ you’ll surely love reading!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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