Radioactive Green Glass?

Get out your Geiger counter! Certain 19th century green glass can zing with radioactivity…. but the luscious green colours produced will have you in awe. Line up a few pieces of antique “uranium glass” on a window sill, and “when the sun is over the yardarm” you will have a sure visual cure for the blues of winter. (Banner photo courtesy of Dave Peterson at

This 19th century condiment server is a pale green in regular light…

….but a UV light or the sun’s natural UV rays will make the green glow in  fluorescence. (Image via

Uranium glass (or ouraline as it is termed in French), is glass which has had uranium added for coloration. The proportion ranges from minuscule levels to about 2% (although some 20th century pieces were made with up to 25% uranium).

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