Have Old Pyrex at Home? It Could Be Worth a Lot of Money Online

That old Pyrex in your attic could be worth a fortune online.
That old Pyrex in your attic could be worth a fortune online. / Emily Carlin, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

From baked goods to crocheted sweaters, items you might find at your grandparents’ house are suddenly popular with young people online. You can thank this trend for the resurgence of vintage Pyrex. The kitchenware that was ubiquitous in the 20th century is cool again, and collectors are combing through flea markets, yard sales, and eBay listings to find these antiques, according to MarthaStewart.com. If you have a box of old Pyrex dishes at home, now is the time to sell them.

Many Pyrex enthusiasts are fans of the brand’s retro designs. Since the 1940s, the bowls and dishes have been available in cheery, pastel shades. The company released more elaborate dishware throughout the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, with patterns depicting things like flowers and snowflakes. Pieces featuring the “Spice of Life” design, which shows a spread of herbs and vegetables, have sold for thousands of dollars on eBay, and the Space Age-style “Atomic Starburst” design has also attracted high bids on the site.

Nostalgia for the mid-century aesthetic isn’t the only factor attracting people to the brand. Old-school Pyrex is also famous for its quality. When Corning Glass Works first introduced the heat-proof glass cookware in 1915, it was revolutionary. Instead of breaking in the oven, Pyrex safely expanded when heated and contracted when cooled.

The secret was in a durable new material called borosilicate glass. In 1998, Corning Glass Works began manufacturing Pyrex products with soda lime glass, which some people claim is more prone to shattering. That makes 20th-century Pyrex made with the original borosilicate glass material especially appealing to consumers.

Though there have been outliers, most secondhand Pyrex items don’t sell for thousands—or even hundreds—of dollars. But a mint-condition set in a popular pattern may earn $50 to $100 online—which is more than it would make sitting in your attic. When you search your used junk for hidden valuables, don’t forget to look for these ’90s collectibles that could be worth a small fortune, too.

[h/t Martha Stewart]