Storing Vintage Marbles

I’m still trying to discover the best way to store and display marbles.

As a kid I was happy storing them in a long tube sock, a coffee can, or a velvet Crown Royal bag. But today these precious round works of art need more delicate digs.

Here are some examples of what I’ve been using to store my collection.

Cigar boxes – For $4 bucks or so they look cool, smell good, and you can partition them using dividers. But they don’t shut very securely.

Bead craft storage cases – My local Michael’s craft store sells the one on the top right for $2 with a secure snap lid. I added mini cupcake liners to cushion the ride. Below that is a smaller thin version that holds a single layer of 5/8″ marbles perfectly for the same price.

Trays and plastic baggies – For your common or unsorted marbles these will do fine. I’ve got a basket of Vitro Phantom Conquerors patch marbles shown here, and a baggy of  West Virginia swirls that I probably won’t identify for at least another ten years.

Marble suitcase – Actually a pistol case, these were purchased at and work perfectly for standard sized marbles. The marbles fit snugly and the case closes very tightly. Once it’s closed you can feel safe that no bumps or movements will distress your precious mibs.

What I don’t have yet are those custom hardwood brag boxes with the felt lined marble holders. Those are the ones you put your top shelf marbles in. At the last marble show I attended a guy pulled one of these out from behind a table, popped it open and proceeded to give me a 10-second show of 12 or 15 extremely rare machine made marbles worth about $6,000.

Then there are the antique solitaire boards, Chinese checker boards, egg cartons and so much more. My next project is to try to create my own custom marble holders to fit inside cigar boxes, made of several layers of children’s craft foam.

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'Wet mint' describes a marble that looks as new as the day it was made, so shiny it looks wet.