Bottle Attributes - Beer Bottle Colors

The color of a bottle has a lot to say about a bottle's age.

The primary colors shown below are general representations. The actual colors of bottles and hues of colors very greatly.

Blue Color Blue colors, circ: 1845-1905, (color agents: cobalt, copper)
This is the most sought after color by soda and beer collectors. The colors range from a very light or powder blue to deep violet or purple blues. The deeper and more purple the better. The blue color was never popular in beer bottles although examples can be found. The blue color greatly enhances the price of a  bottle.
Green Color Green colors, circ: 1750-1920, (color agents: iron, copper, chromium)
Green beer bottles represent perhaps the greatest range of colors. They range from yellow green and blue green, to olive green. The colors can be very light to almost black. As time progressed, the greens became more refined and by 1880 were either a yellow or Kelley green. After 1875 green was rarely used for beer bottles. In most applications were a dark color was desired, brown glass was used instead.
Brown Color Amber or Brown colors, circ: 1844-1920, (color agents: carbon, nickel)
Brown is most often called amber by collectors and hues range from yellow to almost black. The brown color never became popular for use in early beer bottles, but became more popular after 1880 when it was used extensively in the bottling of beer as the dark color was thought to preserve the product by blocking out the sun light. There are less than ten different pontiled beer bottles in this pure coloration, but many more with olive overtones.
Amethyst Color Amethyst colors, circ: 1846-1865, (color agents: copper, gold, selenium)
The holy grail color for bottle collectors! Collectors commonly call this color puce, but it is truly shades of red or amethyst. Most of these bottles date between 1846 and 1848. However, there were a few produced during the 1850s and early 1860s. There are less than twenty American soda and beer bottles in this coloration and they are rare and pricey.
Aqua Color Aqua colors, circ: 1848-1920, (color agent, iron)
By far the most common color in beer bottles. Most likely 85% of all pre-crown bottles are this color. Aqua colors can have green or blue tints, which is caused by small amounts of iron or other metals in the sand. This color was rarely used for beer bottles before 1850 but some examples exist, mainly from the Pittsburgh area. Aqua colors were more popular in the Midwest than in the Eastern part of the country in pontiled beer bottles.
Clear Color Clear or Flint colors, circ: 1890-1920, (color agent, lead, manganese, selenium)
Clear glass bottles almost always have a tint of pink, aqua, or gray. A clarifying agent was added to the glass to make it clear. Clear glass displays a bottle's contents best, but early clear glass was not as durable as glass in other colors. Therefore, it is often damaged with dings or cracks. Most clear pre-crown beer bottles will turn a lovely shade of pink, called sun-colored amethyst, with a prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light.
 
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