Marbles are often mentioned in Roman literature, and there are many examples of marbles from ancient Egypt. They were commonly made of clay, stone or glass.

Ceramic marbles entered inexpensive mass production in the 1870s.

Glass marbles were invented around 1848 in Germany, and entered mass production in the early 20th century when World War I cut off their importation from Europe, causing American industry to be applied to the task, producing a mechanized method of glass marble production which became the most common system in the world. Glass marbles, too, became the most popular variety, and have remained so to this day.

In some developing countries, children use steel, minerals or large rocks as a less pricey marble substitute.

Types of marbles

Collectable marbles

Marble collecting is a hobby enjoyed by thousands of people around the world including the respected Larry Farry whose collection, as documented in the Daily Bruin, spans over 1500 unique marbles. As with any collecting hobby a great deal of specialization occurs.

Marbles are categorized by many factors including condition, size, type, manufacturer/artisan, age, style, materials, scarcity, and the existence of original packaging (which is further rated in terms of condition). Each of these ratings is used to calculate the marble's worth, with the final value influenced by overall demand. Ugly, but rare marbles may be valued as much as those of very fine quality.

There are many related side businesses that have sprung up such as books and guides, sites dedicated to marbles, and collector conventions. There are also many glass artisans producing marbles for the collectors' market only, with some selling for hundreds of dollars.

Updated: 29 November 2021

Other toys collectors also search for:
Webkinz Mighty Beanz Zippy Monkey Minic Motorways Furby Yo Yo

Marbles value and price guide

What's your Marbles worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.

Item Title Date Price
pokemon marbles x15 52 meowth pouch Pokemon Marbles X15 52 Meowth Pouch 11/2021 AU $89.00
random small marbles 1kg lots Random Small Marbles 1kg Lots 11/2021 AU $20.00
200x solid glass balls 6 7 8 9mm slingshot beads 200x Solid Glass Balls 6 7 8 9mm Slingshot Beads 11/2021 AU $10.95
6mm glass ball home decor glass marbles bb ball glass 6mm Glass Ball Home Decor Glass Marbles Bb Ball Glass 11/2021 AU $14.39
25 glass marbles moon glow green game pack style 25 Glass Marbles Moon Glow Green Game Pack Style 11/2021 AU $12.33
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices12/2021AU $-.--

Marbles forum

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Comments (4)
Tim - August 21, 2021
i have 34 pounds of antique marbles very good old marbles.i would like to sell them would any body be interested in them please let me know.thanks
Paul - August 17, 2021
Ive got a galexy big marble i want to sell
Brandy - July 14, 2021
I have some old and big marbles I'm wanting to sale to a colkector
Roberta - August 29, 2019
blue marble with looks like mother of pearl and solid red marble with lighter red band...both small