I'm green with confusion

By Brian Weeldreyer; posted September 12, 2009

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I lined these pieces up to try to figure something out - namely, what color are the three McLaughlins on the left? I don't have a large collection where I can make lots of comparisons, so I have to rely on other methods. One thing I did was search these galleries and copy about a dozen pictures of 7-up green McLaughlins and about a dozen listed as emerald green. Comparing individual pictures doesn't work because of so many variables in lighting and photography that can push the color one way or another, but I hoped when I cut out all but the glass on each picture and pasted all of them on a black background - a dozen emeralds on the left, a dozen 7-ups on the right - that I would see a pattern emerge. I didn't.

Can someone tell me the difference between a 7-up green McLaughlin-20 and an emerald green McLaughlin-20? How subtle can color differences be before it becomes a little crazy to have separate listings in the Price Guide? Maybe that's not the case here and I just don't have the experience required to know the difference. I've learned not to let the Book be too important, but it can't be ignored, either. The fact is, if I decide to sell one and I describe it as 7-up, I have to worry about the buyer telling me after he receives it "Hey, this is just emerald. I paid too much." I could describe it as emerald, but I don't want to unnecessarily miss out on a better selling price. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in this for the money at all. But we all end up wanting to sell or trade something once in a while.

The issues surrounding color are the hardest part of this hobby to get a feel for. In most cases it's not very ambiguous and there's not room for much confusion. But there are numerous situations like this one where a pretty subtle difference in color doubles or triples the Price Guide value. It can be frustrating for those of us who haven't been doing this forever.

Any advice? Does the picture tell you anything? The toll in the center is emerald green blackglass. The two Hemingrays are 7-up because there's no other similar listed color. But, as is often the case, one manufacturer's color X is different than another's color X. So, can I even use the Hemingrays for comparison?

Aargh. What color are the four McLaughlins (not including the blackglass piece)?