Vaseline Beads - The Unknown Story

We have always been drawn to the beauty of Vaseline beads. Their beauty is so appealing, that we had to learn more about them. They have an interesting history so we decided to share that with you. 

There is something about the translucent yet rich color of Vaseline beads that keeps us spellbound. In addition to their captivating beauty, Vaseline beads have a captivating history. 

Vaseline beads can be dated back to the late 19th century. Also known as "Uranium glass" or "Depression glass," Vaseline beads were made with uranium dioxide. The green glow of Vaseline beads is attributed to the uranium dioxide. The green glow contributed to the popularity of uranium glass during the Victorian era. 

Vaseline beads were popular during the 1920s and 1930s due to their affordability and unique appearance. The term "Vaseline" came about because the glass resembled the popular petroleum jelly. 

While the appeal of Vaseline beads has decreased over the years, modern artisans have revived the craft of making these by hand.  

Vaseline beads are still made with uranium glass. However, due to modern safety concerns, uranium glass faces more strict controls for its usage. 

The process: 

  • Uranium glass is melted in a furnace.
  • It is then shaped using traditional lampworking or glassblowing techniques.  
  • The beads may be annealed, faceted, and/or polished to enhance their color and luster. Annealing is the process of slow cooling to reduce stress. 
  • Each bead then goes through quality control checks to ensure structural integrity and safety.

 We hope you enjoyed this exploration into the history and process behind Vaseline beads. We recently stocked up on a few varieties of Vaseline beads and we can't wait to make some new beautiful pieces to share with you! 




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