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The recent Marble King Rainbows may be differentiated from the originals because they have the same colors on both poles and a central ribbon of the second color. The originals have a patch on one pole consisting of one color, followed by a ribbon of a second color around the equator, a ribbon of the first color around the equator, and finally a patch of the second color on the opposite pole.


Other marble companies besides Marble King are producing marbles that look superficially like older marbles. The Mexican manufacturer, Vacor de Mexico, is currently offering marbles that could easily fool less experienced collectors. One looks a lot like the Peltier Superman, and has the same colors. These new versions can be distinguished from the old because they have a swirling pattern differing from the original and lack the seams and separate ribbons of color that you will find on genuine Peltiers. Another is called the Twister or Zulu. It looks a lot like red, yellow, and black Christensen Agate swirls. Again, there are subtle differences in the colors between the old and the new. Also, the new examples have an obvious "orange peel" texture which is more evident on the larger sizes. Your best defense against these is to compare and contrast them side by side, and be wary of "valuable" marbles being sold at a price far less that they should. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.

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Christensen Agate Lookalike ("Zulu" or "Twister")

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Peltier "Superman" Lookalike


Recently, I have been fortunate to locate a source of modern hand made marbles in China. These are mass-produced and inexpensive. So far I am the only American distributor but I have been selling many of them and inevitably some of the are going to be passed off as older machine made marbles. Why? Because there are two styles that mimic, probably unintentionally, older marble designs. One looks like a Christensen Guinea and has a transparent amber, clear, transparent green, translucent yellow, and transparent blue base. Obviously, not all of these could be passed off as old, but some, particularly the amber examples, could be mistaken for genuine Christensens by inexperienced collectors. Among other distinguishing traits, these lack seams, which are always on original Guineas.

There is also a corkscrew variety available in several combinations,  always with a clear base: light blue and white on clear, yellow and white on blue, white and blue on green, pale green on clear, blue on clear, white and orange on clear, yellow on clear, and red and white on clear. These should be easily recognizable, not only because of the pontils on either pole (one melted and one "nub"), but because the spirals are very thin.

A final type is similar to the corkscrew but is formed like an auger inside the marble. These are even less similar to genuine Akro Agates than the corkscrews mentioned above.

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Christensen Agate "Guinea" Lookalike

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Akro Agate "Corkscrew" Lookalike

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Akro Agate "Spiral" Lookalike


Germany produced a machine made marble that looks remarkably similar to some Christensen Striped Transparents and Opaques. These are said to have been manufactured in the 1930s but my own research suggests the 1950s is more likely. These marbles may have a transparent base, in colors of blue, clear, peach, green, purple, yellow, and red, in approximate order of increasing rarity, or less commonly they may have an opaque base. Of the latter, I personally have only seen blue. Rarely, these may have multicolored stripes (especially on the opaque examples), but the transparent ones almost always have white.

These marbles always have two seams which actually crimp into the marble, much like Master Marble seams. Though there are slight variations, these seams are typically set opposite one another and are shaped like wide "U"s. The direction of the "U" is opposite that of the one opposite it. This, too, is quite similar to Master seams. These seams are the real trait that will differentiate them from Christensen Agate Striped Transparents (and Opaques). Those intimately acquainted with the marbles of both companies will notice subtler differences, too. It is particularly important to be cautious with the peach colored examples, as they are often also mistaken for rare Christensen peach slags.

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Christensen Agate "Striped Opaque" Lookalike

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Christensen Agate "Striped Transparent" Lookalike

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Christensen Agate "Striped Transparent" Lookalike


Both hand made and machine made marbles are being reproduced, often in order to take advantage of the current popularity and therefore inflated values of these marbles. While many glass artists are producing contemporary marbles in their own designs and are signing them, others specialize in reproducing the older styles and very often do not sign them. When these marbles are unsigned they are often bought from the artist with the purpose of reselling them as genuine and old. Common machine made reproductions are of Christensen Agates (particularly Guineas and Flames), Peltiers (particularly Superman and Golden Rebel National Line Rainbos), and Marble Kings (particularly Watermelons).

Genuine Guineas are extremely rare and expensive. Many have tried to reproduce them, and whereas some look fake others look more like the original. However, perhaps the best indicators of the better reproductions are that they will often contain a layer of clear glass over the flecks of color (which should be on the surface of the real thing) and that they may have a thin layer of air bubbles between these two layers. The fakes are also very smooth to the touch because of this layer of glass.

Christensen swirls and flames are also reproduced, often by the same artists making the Guineas. The colors are very often strikingly similar to the original marbles. However, the patterning of the swirls is rarely like that of the originals and there will indeed be subtle differences in the colors.

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M.F. Chistensen Brick Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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M.F. Christensen Brick Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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M.F. Christensen Brick Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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M.F. Christensen Brick Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Christensen Guinea Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Christensen Guinea Lookalike---unsigned, Chris Robinson

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Christensen Guinea Lookalike---signed, Dale Danowski

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Christensen Guinea Lookalike---unsigned, artist unknown

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Christensen Agate Swirl Lookalike---unsigned, artist unknown

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Christensen Agate Swirl Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Akro Agate Oxblood Corkscrew Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Akro Agate Eggyolk Oxblood Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Peltier "Golden Rebel" Lookalike---signed, Phil McGlothlin

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Peltier Christmas Tree Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Peltier Superman Lookalike---unsigned, Scott Patrick

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Slag Lookalike, unsigned, Chris Robinson

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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Miscellaneous Scott Patrick Swirl

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