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Author Topic: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?  (Read 4541 times)

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Offline Adam

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 09:37:41 PM »
A question has long puzzled me and here seems a good place to ask it.  Why is everyone so interested in whether or not a piece of glass contains uranium?  No one ever asks if a blue glass is just cobalt, or does it also have copper in it, for example.  Surely GMB members are sufficiently adult not to be bothered about radioactivity?  Is there some kudos and/or increased value in a uranium piece?

The last picture on the list, which Angela correctly identified as Sowerby (2505, I think) is an example of one where we made large numbers using chromium/iron but there would almost certainly be others, from a different era to mine, which also contained uranium.  So what?

Adam D.


Offline Cathy B

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2007, 11:59:09 PM »
Adam, I think it's just that they display so beautifully under blacklight.


Offline Angela B

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2007, 12:13:41 AM »
When I had a museum of glass in the centre of Paihia a few years ago we had some recessed black-painted display boxes with UV lights (carefully shielded so the light didn't shine in anyone's eyes) and displayed uranium glass there. There were switches so you could change from UV light to ordinary light and see the difference. It did make quite a dramatic display and people did like it.
(Since I moved my collection to my studio I've set up the black boxes but haven't fitted the UV lights. So if any of you are coming to Paihia NZ and want to see this part of my collection, give me plenty of notice so I can get the lights fitted in time!).
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Offline mrvaselineglass

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2007, 02:22:29 AM »
RoynMargaret:
the reason people want to know if it has uranium is they don't want to get stuck with yellow glass that does not do tricks!!  people love the part that it does tricks, as it is such a big change from daylight to blacklight. 
Here is the kind you want:  look up ebay item # 130126461722   
It ships world wide, it is cheap, it works (i have several) and you can shine this little flashlight across the room and light up a piece of uranium glass!  it will also shine through well lit display cases in an antique shop and 'show the glow' where the tube fluorescent ones will not work (the light gets washed out from the lighting in the display case). 

IF you don't have a UV light source, take the piece out into bright, direct sunlight.  if it glows a bright green (or at least, looks a lot brighter than indoors) it has uranium in it.  it is catching UV rays from the sunlight.  if you have a digital camera, use the flash feature, and when you look at the picture, the uranium version will look brighter than the non-uranium green glass.

the UV LED is made to register a certain area on the light spectrum.  if it is not advertised as a UV, it will not do a thing.  LEDs are made for different purposes.

Dave Peterson
Mr. Vaseline Glass

p.s.  see my posting on 6/18: blue AND uranium glass!  for a photo under UV of a very special piece of uranium glass.


Offline RoynMargaret

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2007, 08:06:15 AM »
Many thanks for that Dave. I am trying to buy the little torch but have had to e-mail seller about shipment to UK since his auto checkout rejects my (confirmed) address. It certainly looks the most workmanlike and best quality of all the varieties on offer and at about a fiver GBP incl. P&P, cheap enough, especially because I can use the same rechargeable AA batteries I use and have lots of :)

Meanwhile, what a super thread this is turning out to be.

I had a look at your lovely blue and uranium vase. Can you please tell me how you photographed the "green" version? i.e. was it in a completely black box, what size of UV lamp, what exposure (I assume automatic camera features will not work in blacklight) etc? I am still contemplating the 45cm (18-in) version linked in my earlier post.

Re:your comment about flash. I used flash for general glass photography but got unacceptable reflections and better results from natural light in a translucent white box - which is how all my OP pictures were taken. So, how should glass be staged if using flash?

If there is a link to a thread about photographing glass I shall be grateful.
We have changed our trading style and name to Decorative Collectables. Our prime glass activities may now be seen here:
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Decorative-Collectables-UK?_rdc=1


Offline mrvaselineglass

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2007, 12:40:49 PM »
RoynMargaret:
the comment about using flash was just to see if there was uranium in the glass to 'tickle' the electrons (which is what makes it turn bright green).  As far as photographing glass, a tripod is a must.
Here is my very simple photo layout: 
http://www.vaselineglass.org/leftwall.jpg
it is black velvet on a shelf.  I put a big UV fluorescent strip above the piece of glass (hand held, about 20 inches long) and have the camera on a tripod.  I have a dark room.  I push the button.  that's it.  If the photo needs to be tweaked a bit, I do that on photoshop.  I don't use flash, I use regular room light.
Here is a photo that I did use flash, just to show the different effects a flash, room light, and blacklight has on a piece of uranium glass:
http://www.vaselineglass.org/webbtallbl1.jpg
You will notice that the flash makes the top opalescent rim show up with more clarity (the first thing I noticed when I took the picture).  But, if you look at the stem on this piece, you can see that the flash picture (especially down where it meets the brass base) is a brighter green.  This piece is almost clear glass in room light, and it was only due to that little bulbous knob at the base that I even decided to test it with a blacklight when I bought this piece.  It has been a favorite piece of mine ever since I got it.  both the flash and the blacklight photo was taken with a black velvet background.  the far right photo was done using a roll of duck cloth/sail cloth (light, white canvas, that I keep on a roll to keep it from wrinkling)

Mr. Vaseline Glass


Offline RoynMargaret

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Re: How can you identify green uranium glass (without UV light source)?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2007, 03:07:56 PM »
Thanks for all that. You are most generous to share your expertise. I am severely disabled and it may be some while before I get around to experimenting with UV lighting set ups, but, since it is my hobby, I think I will spend the money, get the kit, and post any results.
We have changed our trading style and name to Decorative Collectables. Our prime glass activities may now be seen here:
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Decorative-Collectables-UK?_rdc=1


 

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