Mercury glass was first made in Germany in the early 1800's. It is glass that has a sparkly, silvery look and although it is used all year round, it is a great accent to any room during the holidays. As you may already know, mercury is a very toxic chemical element (Hg) and is no longer used in the creation of this glass.
Still known today as Mercury glass, it is formed by first being mold-blown into double-walled shapes. Then the inside walls of the glass are coated with a liquid silver nitrate solution that creates the silvery mirror-like effect. Collectors are not often fascinated with mercury glass, but antique hobbyists are mesmerized by its ephemeral qualities.
Mercury glass was originally used as a substitute for silver. It is a less expensive material for creating goblets, candlesticks, vases, Christmas ornaments and other objects. Not only is it more affordable, but it also eliminates the cleaning and buffing routine required by silver artifacts.
This time of year (right after Christmas) you can find some good bargains on mercury glass Christmas ornaments and candle holders. Fifty percent off is the name of the game and your silver will shine like gold!