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 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 popular in early soda and mineral water bottles, but
this popularity waned starting about 1860. The blue color greatly enhances the price of a bottle.
||Green colors, circ: 1823-1920, (color agents: iron, copper, chromium)
Green soda and mineral water 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 soda and mineral water bottles. In most applications were a dark
color was desired, brown glass was used instead.
||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 soda and mineral water bottles. There are less than ten different pontiled soda and
mineral water bottles
in this pure coloration, but many more with olive overtones.
||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 colors, circ: 1835-1920, (color agent, iron)
By far the most common color in soda and mineral water 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 soda bottles before 1848, but some examples exist.
Aqua colors were more popular in the Midwest than in the Eastern
part of the country in pontiled soda and mineral water bottles.
||Flint or Clear colors, circ: 1860-1920, (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 soda and mineral water bottles will turn a lovely shade of
pink, called sun-colored amethyst, with a prolonged exposure to