Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The difference between Delphite, Turquoise Blue, and Azurite

Delphite on the left, Turquoise Blue center and one lone piece of Azurite on the far right
First, an apology. I've got a dark house, an out-of-date 5 MP point and shoot camera, and not the greatest photography skills. And forget photoshop, I've never used any image editing software. So these pictures kinda are what they are. But hopefully these will help someone tell the difference between Turquoise Blue, Delphite & Azurite (also spelled Azure-ite).

This topic has been well covered here by Jadite Kate, I just wanted to add my own photos and few tidbits of information not already covered.
 Above, a better look at the difference between Delphite (left) and Turquoise Blue (right). The measuring cups & shakers are by Jeannette, and the bowl by McKee. To the right of these are Fire King Splash-Proof mixing bowls in Turquoise Blue.

Now here's a handy thing to remember: McKee & Jeannette never made Turquoise Blue. And Fire King never made Delphite. These two materials were actually manufactured in a range of time that is potentially decades apart. These terms become confused because of the tendency for all blue glass to be labeled "delphite" when that's actually incorrect.

Fire King (Anchor Hocking glass) manufactured both of these shades of blue glass shown below. Again, the mixing bowls are Turquoise blue, but the lone pale teacup is actually referred to as Azurite - which can be spelled multiple ways, including Azure-ite or without the dash.

Turquoise Blue was available in splash-proof mixing bowls and a round dinnerware line. Azurite was available on the popular shapes, Swirl and Charm (square).
Fire King Turquoise Blue mixing bowls, left, and Azurite teacup, right.

 As you can see, the square Azurite Charm teacup is significantly paler than its Delphite and Turquoise Blue brethren.
 I've stacked it here on a Pyrex teacup to show how close to pure white milk glass it is.

Pyrex also manufactured Delphite pieces, in both factories here and in Canada. I don't have any of these pieces, but I assume they are close in shade to Jeannette and McKee Delphite.

And if you are one really lucky duck, there is another very pretty shade of blue I've only seen in books. It is a lovely Robin's Egg blue called "Chalaine". It's a Depression Era glass that was contemporary to Delphite. Since I've never actually seen it before, I can't say for sure what it truly looks like, but from pictures, it seems quite similar to Turquoise Blue Fire King.

And a final word of warning. Delphite is being widely reproduced. It's hard to keep up with the individual pieces. They are often made overseas and imported in to the US. But they are invariably collector's favorites, such as reamers, measuring cups, rolling pins, shakers, etc.

A US company called Mosser glass is producing Delphite (listed in catalog as "Bonnie Blue") glass nesting glass mixing bowl sets whose body shapes are very, very similar to vintage Pyrex. Unfortunately, these sets have a way of turning up in antique stores, sold as "vintage" with a high $$$. The way to spot these is to look for a mark - an M through an outline of the state of Ohio. I think these bowls are lovely and perfectly useful, it's just unfortunate that they are presented as being vintage when they are not.

Hope this adds some clarity to the many lovely shades of vintage blue glass.

Happy Treasure Hunting!


  1. Excellent post! I just picked up some light blue Fire-King teacups and was wondering exactly what the color was called. Very helpful!

    1. Thanks, Lauren! Glad I could help :-)

    2. I own a Swedish modern splashproof Hocking delphite, depression era nesting bowl in that Robin's egg blue. It's a simple but magnificent color :)

  2. Thanks so much for clearing this up for me!

  3. Glad to find your post. I'm researching a vintage ashtray. Before I found this, I was ready to list it as Delphite, but now, I see it's a Fire King turquoise blue. Whew! Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the post. I've been very confused about the difference, great information.

  5. Thanks for the information. I collected Delphite years ago during the Jadeite craze. It seemed to be a good alternative, as blue is my favorite color.

  6. Can you tell me how to tell the real from reproduction? Thanks