Certain kinds of glassware--such as milk glass, pressed glass or Jade-ite--have gained value over the years, even though such glassware was an inexpensive, everyday object in the 1940s and 1950s. Kitchen glassware that your mother or grandmother used every day may be worth many times what they originally paid for it years ago. Determining whether your glassware is valuable is a straightforward process through community, professional and online resources.
Take a careful look at your glassware, noting any special marks, manufacturer's names or trademarks on the glass. Search pattern databases such as Replacements.com to locate the name of the glassware pattern if you do not know it. Use collectors' databases, antiques resources and collectable indexes to locate your glassware and determine its value. For example, iantiquities.com has a searchable directory with value ranges of all types of glassware. WorthPoint.com also provides an online tool to determine the value of any type of glassware.
Consult with a collector, or a collectors' club. Communities across the U.S. host groups of amateur collectors of all types of objects, especially glassware. Depression-era glassware, cut glass and blown glass all have clubs; these collectors are well-versed in the details and value of specific types of glassware. ShipandInsure.com, a collectors' website, has a directory of collectors' clubs online that allows you to search for clubs based on specific objects, including glass.
If your glassware is unusual, if you cannot locate the name of the pattern or if you cannot find out any information about it, ask a professional. Professional appraisers assess and determine the value of a range of objects, from real estate, furniture and jewellery to glassware, metalware and art. The American Society of Appraisers offers an online tool that lets you find a nearby appraiser. Most professional appraisers may charge a fee to determine the value of your glassware--ask about fees upfront.