Peppermints

Group of Peppermint marbles

German handmade Peppermint Swirl marbles are a classic and essential marble for the US collector, as it resembles the Red-White-Blue patterns of United States of America flag.  Most advanced collectors will have had these in their collections at some point.

Peppermints are similar to Onionskins in that they are constructed with a clear core surrounded with a thin layer of opaque white  and the blue bands and red stripes are applied atop the white. 

If the white is not completely covering the marble, the peppermint will have obvious dark regions, so for visual appeal it is important to find Peppermints that have the white completely covering the marble all the way around.

They are always cased in a clear layer of glass over the colored red/white/blue glass.  If you look through the Peppermint from the pontil end you will see that the light travels through the marble because of its clear core.

Peppermints have 3 basic patterns:

  1. 2 Opposing Royal or Cobalt Blue wider bands, and between them 3 parallel evenly spaced red bands (most common).
  2. 2 Opposing Royal or Cobalt Blue wider bands, and between them 2 parallel evenly spaced red bands (2nd most common).
  3. 2 Opposing Royal or Cobalt Blue wider bands, and between them a single red band, sometimes as wide as the blue bands (least common of the 3 pattern varieties).

Rare Peppermints exist.  There are two basic varieties of rare Peppermints and both are very rare and highly sought after among collectors. 

  1. Peppermints that contain green are rare. Sometimes Peppermints will be found that have green stipes contained within the blue bands or replacing one or more of the red lines.  Since color blind individuals sometimes has difficulty differentiating between red & green or blue & green, it has been suggested that maybe those marbles were made by a color blind individual and the colors were accidently swapped.  Some intentional patterns with green have been found that may suggest it was intentional as a maker’s mark or “signature”.
  2. Peppermint Micas are Peppermints that have mica flakes within the blue bands (to simulate the stars of the US flag).  Peppermint micas are found in all 3 of the basic patterns listed above with the same frequency as noted (with single red bands being least common). 

The Peppermint Ribbon Core Swirl is another variety of Peppermint.  It is made as a central white ribbon core with 2 identical opposing patterns of cobalt blue wide bands at one edge of the ribbon and 2 thinner red lines equal distant from the other edge.  As it twists it looks like a flag blowing in the wind.  It is a very special and underappreciated marble for its beauty and rarity, in my opinion.  It does not vary in pattern – always has just 2 red stripes.  Peppermint Ribbon Core Swirls never contain mica.

End-of-cane or left twist examples of Peppermints or Peppermint Ribbons are rare!

Most common sizes for Peppermints are 9/16” to 3/4”.  Any Peppermint of 7/8” or larger are rare will generate a premium.  Peewees are also a modest premium.

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