Bored in jury duty so I thought I'd start a thread about sorting marbles - I've done it enough!

The first thing I do when I have a big lot of marbles to go through is separate them into 4 groups: clearies, Opaques, cat's-eyes (that's the correct spelling as per Peterson & castle's guide) and everything else.

Next I turn out the lights and black light each group:

Clearies: I cull everything that fluoresces. I sell mint Vaseline marbles for $10 each. Good Vaselines will be yellow or green and the stronger the glow the better. Them I turn the lights back on and look for weird colors. pink and purple clearies are rare. My ice collects ruby glass, so I pull the red for her too. She has a clear glass Apple she's filling with ruby marbles.

Opaques: I cull everything that fluoresces. Fluorescent Opaques are called custard glass and are usually yellow. I also look for Moonies and flinties amongst the Opaques. these have tiny crescent Windows at the poles. Then I combine clearies and Opaques and sell them by the box full.

Cat's-eyes are fluoresced (there are yellow and orange fluorescent cat's-eyes) then sorted into piles, depending on what I find. If I find some of what follows, I start a pile of them:

Single color American-made cat's
Wavy 4 or 5 vanes (Vitros - be on the lookout for hybrids and aventurine)
3-V cat's-eyes with wide vanes (I like these with vanes reaching from the center almost to the surface)
VDM virgin cat's-eyes with wide vanes
Peewee cat's-eyes
Black cat's-eyes
Purple cat's-eyes
Bananas
St. Mary's & cross-through cat's-eyes
9 vane cat's-eyes
Cat's-eyes in colored glass (Chinese bottle tint isn't colored. True transparent colored glass is rare - the recently retired Swamp Thing Mega Marble was a cat's-eye in colored glass. I predict it will be collected.)

Anything else goes into a pile I'll call "uninteresting cat's-eyes."

The everything else pile is going to have the meat and potatoes of the group in it. A good place to start is with your black light. Many people will collect anything that glows, but be on the lookout for "ade" bases (lemon, lime, cherry, orange, carnelian) or moss agates (patches on a fluorescent base).

Then I kinda eyeball it and pull the collectible stuff out. This is easier said than done, it helps to be able to ID stuff on sight, but that comes with time.

In general, white-based marbles are less desirable. Any marble with some kind of pattern is better than a random swirl. (Think NLR, corkscrew, Rainbow). Collectible marbles tend to have some kind of pattern that makes them identifiable. That's not to say a swirl can't be collectible - oftentimes there will be a sought-out color that makes it so, so learn what oxblood, aventurine, egg yolk and silver look like.

They just let us go! Bye!