- Although mercury glass provides the sheen of silver without the polishing, it quickly clouds and peels if its seal is broken. To protect your pieces from damage and oxidization, replace a missing seal with malleable wax or a wine cork shaved to fit.
- Untarnished mercury glass has more monetary value, but the majority of objects on the antiques market are tarnished. Decorated and/or colored pieces tend to fetch higher prices than plain ones.
- Some makers stamped their glasswork, but these pieces are exceedingly rare. Virtually all the mercury glass on the market today is unmarked.
- If you are more interested in look than authenticity, contemporary versions are available--especially gazing balls, lamps, and Christmas ornaments.
"Holiday Shimmer" is from the December 2004 issue of Southern Living.