Martin Jakobsen's Gem uranium glassware glows in the dark

Martin Jakobsen's uranium glassware glows bright green

Czech designer Martin Jakobsen has created glowing uranium-glass tumblers, adding to his output of unusual glassware.

Tumblers in the Gem collection are made from hand-blown uranium glass, which Jakobsen had to acquire special permission from the State Office for Nuclear Safety in his home country to produce.

Uranium glassware by Martin Jakobsen reacts to UV light

Uranium fluoresces under ultraviolet light, producing a bright green glow. Although the glass is radioactive, it emits only negligible levels that are considered harmless.

Jakobsen has emphasised the tumblers' eerie glow with a traditional diamond-cut pattern that covers the lower half of the glasses.

Uranium glassware by Martin Jakobsen reacts to UV light

"Historically the production of uranium glass falls within the period of the 19th century, but this is the first mixing glass designed for bartenders," Jakobsen told Dezeen. "It represents the latest developments in the manufacture of glass."

"Our uranium glass is based on the highest quality crystal," he added. "In technical terms, the production does not differ from the other hand-blown items."

Uranium glassware by Martin Jakobsen reacts to UV light

This kind of glassware was particularly popular during the mid-19th century, and remains in demand with collectors. It's often referred to as Vaseline glass – so named for the yellow or green-tinged colour of older uranium glass.

The Gem tumblers are the latest in a line of unconventional glassware created by Jakobsen, including a storage jar with a giant ball of cork as a stopper.

Uranium glassware by Martin Jakobsen reacts to UV light

The designer also created a spherical alternative to the cocktail glass, which uses an oversized silicone stopper to keep liquids and flavours contained.

Other quirky takes on glassware include a tumbler that uses biomimicry to improve the whisky-tasting experience, and a glass collection designed to help drinkers control their alcohol consumption.