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Types of Glass

Other than basic opalescent and cathedral glass, there are further breakdowns of glass types under these two main headings. Opalescent is mixed with white and cathedral is see-through. Every manufacturer has its own variation of how it has handled these variations, so we end up with an industry filled with amazing options.


Opalescent glass was first developed and patented by John La Farge in 1879, but it was Tiffany who created the masterworks in glass using this type of glass. The Tiffany studio would often create a piece of glass just for the particular piece they were currently working on. So within this category, there are the following variants: Mixes. You can have a mix of one color and white. You can have a two- or three-color mix, or even a mix with more colors. The more colors that are mixed, however, the more difficult it is to not end up with a muddy glass. Mixing many colors with success is certainly a skill. Iridized. Many manufacturers were adding an iridized coating to their glass. This is very thin metallic coating that gives the glass a mother-of-pearl effect (or for those who don’t care for it, an oil-slick effect). Textured. There are many textures that can also be added to glass, such as flemish, granite, hammered, ripple, starburst, vertigo, corella classic and moss. Again, different manufacturers produce slightly different looks and may call them something different. Solid Opals. Glass that is a solid color.


This glass has been around a long time. References as early as 675 A.D. talk about colored glass in buildings. Textured: There are many different textures of glass available. Some examples would be waterglass, reeded, English muffle, artique and Celtic. Streakys. This style of glass is still a bit see-through. Some color is mixed with clear.