Vintage marbles

Marbles are often mentioned in Roman literature, and there are many examples of marbles from ancient Egypt. They were commonly made of clay, stone or glass.

Ceramic marbles entered inexpensive mass production in the 1870s.

Glass marbles were invented around 1848 in Germany, and entered mass production in the early 20th century when World War I cut off their importation from Europe, causing American industry to be applied to the task, producing a mechanized method of glass marble production which became the most common system in the world. Glass marbles, too, became the most popular variety, and have remained so to this day.

In some developing countries, children use steel, minerals or large rocks as a less pricey marble substitute.

Types of marbles

Collecting marbles

Marble collecting is a hobby enjoyed by thousands of people around the world including the respected Larry Farry whose collection, as documented in the Daily Bruin, spans over 1500 unique marbles. As with any collecting hobby a great deal of specialization occurs.

Marbles are categorized by many factors including condition, size, type, manufacturer/artisan, age, style, materials, scarcity, and the existence of original packaging (which is further rated in terms of condition). Each of these ratings is used to calculate the marble's worth, with the final value influenced by overall demand. Ugly, but rare marbles may be valued as much as those of very fine quality.

There are many related side businesses that have sprung up such as books and guides, sites dedicated to marbles, and collector conventions. There are also many glass artisans producing marbles for the collectors' market only, with some selling for hundreds of dollars.

Updated: 30 October 2020

Other collectors also search for:
Webkinz Mighty Beanz Zippy Monkey Furby Yo Yo Creepy Crawlers

Marbles value and price guide

What's your Marbles worth? Here are some recently sold items.

Picture Title Date Price
andre cisco 2021 leaf metal draft silver marbles Andre Cisco 2021 Leaf Metal Draft Silver Marbles... 06/2021 £0.72
mutable instruments marbles eurorack module Mutable Instruments Marbles Eurorack Module... 06/2021 £197.01
25 x shimmering green marbles 16mm traditional 25 X Shimmering Green Marbles 16mm Traditional... 06/2021 £2.00
house of marbles flip frog game children s House Of Marbles Flip Frog Game Children S... 06/2021 £8.29
good swirl marbles transitional wire pull german Good Swirl Marbles Transitional Wire Pull German... 06/2021 £16.00
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices08/2021£-.--

Marbles forum

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Comments (2)
Brandy - July 14, 2021
I have some old and big marbles I'm wanting to sale to a colkector
Roberta - August 29, 2019
blue marble with looks like mother of pearl and solid red marble with lighter red band...both small