Collectible Shot Glasses
Do your Research when collecting Shot Glasses!
Collectible shot glasses probably seem like a hobby for people who love drinking, but the wide range of styles that these glasses are available in, has resulted it in being a popular collectors item. Even though not much information is widely available about the hobby, and there are no popular clubs, like for other breweriana collectibles, collectible shot glasses have their own share of enthusiastic and dedicated collectors. Now since there is no standard size that defines a shot, you will find numerous collectible shot glasses, which do not fit any conventional forms.
Before you start collecting, a little bit o f research is required, so that you can identify the right shot glasses for your collection. Like mentioned earlier, there is no fixed standard size for shot glasses, making it a little difficult to form boundaries. So a collector has to pretty much make his/her own rules, and search accordingly. Now most collectors do not stick to any specific categories, and as a beginner it is easier to search for any form of shot glasses. Try to get collectible shot glasses which have unique graphics on them, and especially those that have a date of manufacturing inscribed on the base, or anywhere else. Older collectible shot glasses might not have a date, but there are guides that can help you date shot glasses.
Most collectible shot glasses can hold anywhere from 1 oz. to around 4 oz, though more recent varieties, known as shooters, do not follow this conventional form. You will also find that most collectible shot glasses have thin walls, a heavy glass bottom, and a wide mouth; this should also help you distinguish between most glasses. Vintage shot glass collectibles come in a variety of materials such as uranium glass, which is a little expensive, carnival glass and milk glass, and are the most sought after in this category.
Even though more blatant differences such as prints on glasses, colors and logos, might play a major role in forming your collection, be sure to look for more subtle features such etching styles, or any marks made by the makers. This will help you identify some of the rarer and more valuable pieces.
Available in a lot of places, ranging from garage sales, thrift stores to auctions and estate sales, collectors can also get souvenir shot glasses from gift shops. Antique stores are another great option for rare shot glasses, though they might not always be labeled as shot glasses. In case you are planning on buying a particularly rare piece, be sure to check your local gift shop, and if not there, then the Internet is your best option. Many collectors regularly sell rare and interesting pieces, sometimes for cash, and other times in exchange for other glasses. So do not disregard any glass, even if you already have one in your collection, as you could always exchange it for another piece later on.
Since collectible shot glasses are quite fragile, you will have to make sure they are handled carefully. Especially while buying over the internet, make sure the dealer is reputable and has confirmed proper packaging. While some collectors use their little treasures, you might want to consider building a special case, preferably glass, for your collection. This will minimize the need for frequent dusting, and will also keep your collection out of harm's way.
Build up on these tips to not just grow your collection, but also to become an expert in the field of collectible shot glasses.