A Very Brief History:
Long before dab rigs and heady bongs, UV glass was popular in American household items such as dishes and glassware. Then known as uranium or vaseline glass, these glassware items appeared a transparent greenish-yellow in normal light due to the presence of uranium within the glass. Uranium glass was very popular in 20th century America and upwards of four million uranium glass pieces were created between 1958 and 1978. Uranium use in the American glass industry was limited during parts of the Cold War. Since then, the demand for uranium glass has dropped exponentially.
UV Glass in the Smoking Industry:
The UV glass revival is taking place within the smoking industry as UV reactive glass has quickly become a popular type of glass used by glassblowers. Glass collectors have quickly caught on too, and many keep blacklights at the dabstation to add a heady element to their seshes. Pieces made with UV reactive glass have a totally different appearance depending on the type of light illuminating the glass. Under regular light, Illuminati colored pieces have a transparent neon green appearance. Flick on a ultraviolet light though, and Illuminati pieces vividly glow. Lucy is another awesome UV reactive color, transforming from its standard clear appearance to a vibrant hot pink under UV lights.
These changes in color are a result of small amounts of uranium dioxide added to the glass in the melting process. There is only a trace amount of uranium in UV reactive glass, so it poses no health hazards. With several different glass making companies currently on the market, glass blowers have a large selection of UV glass colors at their disposal. Illuminati and Lucy are probably the two most widely known UV reactive colors and are both made by NorthStar Glass.
Glass Alchemy, another popular glass producer, used to produce UV colors Electric Pink Flamingo and Atomic Kumquat. These colors have not been produced in several years though.
While Glass Alchemy’s selection of UV reactive glass may be slim, they recently created a popular CFL color known as Serum. Serum has quickly become a “hype” color, skyrocketing prices and limiting orders to a 2lb maximum. Serum appears champagne-colored in natural light, and rose pink under CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps). Like pieces made with UV reactive colors, CFL reactive pieces have a totally different aesthetic depending on the type of light illuminating the glass.
Check out these Illuminati pieces from Smoke Cartel:
This heady piece by Burner Glassworks is worked with a crazy Illuminati perc in the center of the can. This piece is both functional and aesthetically on point!
Many Sesh Supply pieces are available in Illuminati! My favorite two are the “Ossa” and Charybdis. These pieces feature a colored base, lip, and perc. If you scoop either of these pieces in Illuminati, those parts of the pipe glow vividly under a blacklight!
Check out this heady Lucy piece from Smoke Cartel:
Handcrafted by Nick Eggert of Glassical Creations, this beautiful underwater scene looks like a completely different piece under UV light!
Keep checking back on Smoke Cartel for more heady UV reactive glass pieces.