There are many terms and ideas often communicated in the marble community that however well intended, often create confusion. From basic mistakes among new collectors, to unfortunate widely engrained errors. Loosely used terms for clarification, as well as consensus derived from in depth conversations with knowledgeable individuals will be listed. Though I'm a stickler for accuracy for the sake of history and continuity, this is by no means one man's attempt at wielding authority. I'm also not afraid to admit I have made and continue to make mistakes. I'm also welcome to critique and correction. I'd rather feel embarrassed one final time, than continue to make the same mistake over again. Many years of observation and conversation supports the effort here. Some of the most respected mentors of mine and yours, past and present, when confronted with such things, will smile and carry on, though behind closed doors will sometimes express their frustration and even disbelief, "...every time I hear that word!".
My proposal to our board members to include this section on our website was met with surprisingly enthusiastic agreement and requests! Of course, easy for them to agree when it is I who is typing this material, and that's okay. We understand it can be a touchy venture, but please don't be offended. I like to look at it with some comic relief. We're all in it for fun, so go ahead and poke fun for the fun of it, and feel free to submit requests. Also, please feel free to call me out for my errors or express your contention, however big or small. Click the contact link below.
Vitro Agate: A dear, sweet friend of ours was very adamant about the pronunciation of Vitro Agate. "It's not pronounced Veeetro". Lol! From the Latin 'Vitrum' meaning glass. Vitreous, being glass like. Pronounced like 'it'. Vit-ro.
JABO, Inc.: Vitro pronunciation is a good lead into JABO pronunciation. It's not Job-o. It's Jay-bo.
Vintage: Twenty-five years old, or older. However, in the marble community, it is commonly referenced as pre-1970 marbles.
Antique: One hundred years old, or older.
Hand blown marble: 'Blown' suggests air inside. If it's hollow, it's not a marble. Yes, there are marbles referred to as air trap, but it's a different process and result than 'blown'.
Shooter: The most common and to some, a most aggravating moment upon hearing or reading of a 1" range marble being called a shooter. I refer you back to the respected mentors. This drives some of them crazy, having to second guess every time they hear the word. Tournament marble rules, which precedes all of us, dictates shooter marbles will be no larger than 3/4". This has always been the case. "What do I call it, then?". Call it anything you like, but not a shooter! Calling it a shooter is referencing a 3/4", or slightly smaller size marble. Opting to call it the actual size would seem the best action, as we so easily refer to the 5/8" size as just that, 5/8". I'm sure half of you are thinking, "Who cares?" While the other half is thinking, "Yes, please. After all, one is correct".
Aggie: A marble produced from the stone, Agate. Aggies were common in the 3/4" shooter size due to their ability to withstand the repetitive abuse as a shooter marble in game play. You will often see Aggies riddled with subsurface moons, yet no missing surface material. This can be attributed from the higher level of silica and its molecular structure.
Transitional marbles: Hand gathered, machine rolled marbles. This process came after the hand rolling and before fully automated machine-made marbles. It was a manufacturing transitional stage. The earlier hand gathered hand rolled marbles are often referred to as transitional, when they should be referred to as hand gathered. The true transitional marbles were made by M.F. Christensen, Akro Agate, Christensen Agate and Peltier Glass before the advent of fully automated glass marble production. The earlier hand gathered include Leighton (Navarre), and Grenier. The later Yasuda brand from China, produced in the 1950's, though in the same style as transitional, did not serve as a transition in the timeline, so they should be referred to as 'Transitional Style'.
Steelie: Hollow, steel marble. Identifiable by an 'X' seam on one hemisphere. If it's solid and heavy, it's a ball bearing. Get it out of there!
Pontil: A scar, or nipple on the surface of a hand gathered, or cane style glass marble. A remnant from production where the rounding, pinching and detachment of a marble from a cane or cut off from a gathered glob of glass, left a mark. Late 1800's through early 1900's European handmade cane style marbles have one, or more commonly, two pontils. The first marble off the cane will only have one. Successive marbles from the cane will have two opposing pontils. Of the two pontils, one will be relatively smoothed out during the production as the next marble off the cane. The other pontil will be less refined, either melted or ground to lessen the burr-like cut off point. The single pontil first-off cane style will also exhibit the less refined pontil. Hand gathered will have a single pontil. More about those can be found in the marble identification gallery, hand gathered category. The early European style as well as hand gathered were hastily produced with fairly prominent pontils, unlike contemporary handmade, where more effort to melt and smooth is the norm. To our new collector friends, be sure to understand how to identify a machine-made marble and how it cannot have a pontil, before using the term to describe a cold roll defect, or damage.
Cutlet: Someone's been hanging around the butcher shop. It's spelled Cullet.
Adventurine: Spelled Aventurine, not Adventurine. This is not an adventure, just a mineral.
Wet Mint minus: Often labelled as 'Wet Mint-'. Adding 'wet' to mint condition, implies the marble is so perfect that it actually looks wet. To add 'minus' suggests an imperfection that leaves it no longer appearing wet. It's like saying "Absolutely perfect, almost". There is a term used to cover this condition. It's called 'Mint'. To some, 'Mint minus'.
Color count: In opposition to claims sometimes bordering absurdity. I became long winded on this topic, so I dedicated a separate page seen here.
... more to come.