News-Antique.com - Oct 27,2009 - Back in 1947, when Fenton and the rest of the world was recovering from World War II, Fenton introduced a new line of glass, the Coin Dot design. It was patterned after an old Victorian polka dot pattern and initially produced in blue opalescent, cranberry, and French opalescent.
The way that Coin Dot is produced is pretty fascinating. The mold, called a spot mold, forms the circular pattern in the glass and after the glass has been fired once, it is allowed to cool slightly and then is reheated. Those parts of the glass that are outside or between the circles then turns cloudy. This is how blue opalescent and French opalescent coin dot glass is made. For cranberry coin dot, a layer of gold ruby glass is layered, or ‘cased’ with French opalescent.
Honeysuckle Coin Dot was added to the line in limited production during 1948 and 1949. It consists of an inner layer of amber glass cased with an outer layer of French opalescent. Lime Coin Dot is made in the same way, only with a dark green inner layer. This was produced in 1952-54. Topaz opalescent coin dot, as pictured above, was produced only in 1959-60 in very limited production. The inner layer of glass is a bright yellow color which is produced by using uranium oxide. This piece is currently available at Art Glass & Collectibles Shop.
Most of the coin dot lines were relatively short-lived with the exception of cranberry coin dot which sold well through 1964. A number of specialty items were also made outside of the Fenton line for Quoizel, DeVilbiss and L.G. Wright. In the early eighties, coin dot was revived in new colors and shapes and offered in Country Cranberry, Country Peach, Forget-Me-Not Blue, Ruby and Glacier Blue.
Coin Dot has a particularly interesting optical effect – when you look through the dots, you can see six dots on the far side of the piece, making a daisy pattern inside each near-side dot. Do not confuse Coin Dot with Dot Optic, another Fenton pattern. With Coin Dot, the dots are clear and the rest of the glass is opalescent. With Dot Optic, it’s the opposite – the dots are opalescent and the rest of the glass is clear.
Lamps in coin dot are particularly prized, but all the pieces have retained value, especially the more limited colors such as Honeysuckle, Lime and Topaz, and make a wonderful addition to any collection.