a small, covered jar, formerly used by druggists to hold pharmaceuticals, now chiefly in household use to hold spices, candies, cosmetics, etc., and sometimes decorated, as a lamp base or flower vase.
Who doesn't LOVE their AJ (apothecary jars)? They have to be one of the most popular decorative accessory and I'd be willing to bet you have at least one! They are available at price points under $10 to $100 or more. I used to think there wasn't much difference from one to another so why not just buy the cheapest you can find? Here's a quick sample of where you can find some and what you will pay...
We will start with every one's favorite store Pottery Barn. These are hand blown in Poland and sell for $39 to $69.
Next I tried a quick search of Amazon and found this one from Terra Collections that sells for $49.99.
Kirkland's has these on sale 3 for $19.99 although they are on the smaller side. The website suggests using them in a bathroom for holding cotton balls or bath salts.
The ones from Pier One have birds on the lids (so cute) and sell for $29.95 to $34.95.
Quite the difference in price but what about the quality? If you read this blog, you probably know what a bargain shopper I am, but I think in this instance, the price doesn't always tell you the whole picture.
Here is my collection of jars bought at different times and at two different places.
This one came from Ross and I think it was around $11 and at the time I thought it was fine
This was the first one I bought, It was also from Ross for around the same price
Recently I wanted a third in a different shape than the other two. I found this one at Marshalls for $10 and brought it home. That's when I discovered the difference (please refer to the text on the above picture)!
Now I know that thicker glass doesn't mean better quality but in this case you could just see and feel the difference between this new one and the other two.
On closer inspection I found some little marks around the lid on one of the Ross jars. Now with the top on you can't see these at all but sometimes you may want to use your jar open.
Of course I will conclude with giving my opinion regarding the whole AJ issue. First off, if you only buy one thing to decorate your house, one or more of these jars is the perfect choice. They are limitless in their possibilities, a staple of holiday decorating and you can even house a fish in them!
My second suggestion is that if you can afford one from Pottery Barn or another higher quality store, go for it, but make sure you see them in person and judge them carefully (like you're buying a diamond!). I believer theses jars are what I refer to as a "classic" piece of decor. So it will be a good investment for you and should never go out of style. If you are on a more modest budget then check out all the discount stores. I found my best buy at Marshall's but you may find one somewhere else. Buy a few and then compare. That's how I could really tell the difference.
And by the way, that Amazon jar for $49.99...that's the same as the one I got at Ross for $11. Told you I was the bargain shopper!
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