Everyone loves Mason jars. The sturdy glass jars with their airtight seals have been a favorite for making preserves, pickles, and more — and lately, they’ve enjoyed a resurgence among the younger DIY crowd who love their diversity as well as their look.
Whether you’re making a fancy craft, simply storing some flour, or using one as a drinking glass, Mason jars are a perfect kitchen accessory.
And while they’re endlessly useful, did you know they can also be worth a surprising amount of money, especially rare varieties.
Sure, you can pick them up in bulk for less than $10, but if you happen to have a rare antique, your jar could be worth a lot more. But how do you know?
Luckily, there are experts out there who can tell you all about the different types of Mason jars that have appeared — and disappeared — through the ages.
And what are Mason jars, anyway? They’re not named after secretive organizations that are rumored to rule the world from the shadows, if you were wondering.
They’re named after John Landis Mason, who invented them in 1858. The glass jars were created to form a hermetic seal, and were used for canning and jarring.
The jars are also known as Ball jars, thanks to the Ball corporation that still manufactures the jars today, as well as fruit jars, or simply canning jars.
Check out what you need to know about your jars below, and then start rummaging through your cabinets. You just might have a treasure hidden away!