Identification of candy stripe type of spiral marbles and several types
of machine-made marbles (which sometimes resemble them) can be
difficult, even with the familiar cat's eye marbles. There are two
main methods for identifying the old handmade spirals.
Modern marbles made by machine will not contain the two rough areas, and any swirls present in the marbles usually do not meet at both ends of the sphere. Note that these identifying marks have been removed by some by some collectors through grinding and polishing. If a collector had a badly chipped or frosted marble, he could hire someone at a glass factory or with a sphere machine to grind down the marble for him and polish it. This process removed the rough areas at the ends of the marble, and also the threads and ribbons of color in the marble would no longer meet at the end. The distance between the threads at this point depended on the amount of grinding done to the marble. How do you tell if you have a ground antique marble?
If very little was ground off the marble, the marble is usually worth as much as if it had no polishing done to it at all. It may even be difficult to determine if any polishing had been done. However, if the grinding left the colored swirls widely separated, the marble loses much of its value as a collector's item. Sulphides among the few marbles that can go through the polishing process without leaving any signs that it had ever been done.
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Whether children play with marbles or not, they are still fascinated
with the small, shiny spheres. The recent display of my marbles
collection at the local libray is proof of that. The children would
gather around the juvenile display case to oggle at its contents.
When I first placed the marbles on display, and when I picked them up,
I had plenty of help... And plenty of offers for trade for some of the
unusually pretty ones. Because of the popularity of this exhibit, I
placed the antique marbles in a combination display for International
Library Week in April, another child-stopping display! I hope to diplay
them again, alone or in some combination with other children's
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Song: "Beauty and the Beast"