Unless you’ve been living out of this world, you’ve undoubtedly seen buddies smoking from a bong that seems to change colors. Iridescent bongs transform like a chameleon when in action.


Key Takeaways

  • Iridescent bongs are made of color-changing glass, a.k.a fuming glass, which provides the best visually impressive sesh.
  • The legendary Bob Snodgrass created the fumed glass, but it was more of a case of accident rather than discovery.
  • Commonly used metals and colors in iridescent bongs include copper and gold.

What is An Iridescent Bong?

Typically, iridescent bongs are made of color-changing glass, a.k.a fuming glass, which provides the best visually impressive sesh. It is a jaw-dropping creation that will impress amateurs and experienced smokers alike. Besides, nothing would make a better gift for your smoking buddies this season and beyond.

When glass blowers incorporate fumed materials, they can turn a run-on-the-mill glass bong into more appealing glassware. Imagine buying that affordable glass beaker bong, and once the smoke starts bellowing inside the bong, it suddenly transforms the bong into a brightly colored item with quite appealing designs.

Someone watching this phenomenon from a distance would wonder what magic the smoke comes with but the science is on the fumed glass used to make the smoking bong. The more time you take smoking will lead to higher temperatures and more color changes.

But do iridescent bongs transmit different colors when held against the light? Does the color-changing aspect depend on the concentrate you’re smoking? We have all the answers for you, but to understand better, let’s get on the lowdown.

How Did Iridescence Come to Be?

The legendary Bob Snodgrass created the fumed glass, but it was more of a case of accident rather than discovery. During his work on glassware and metals, Bob accidentally dropped a piece of silver on his glasswork, and the metal immediately fused onto the glass surface.

At first, Bob thought he had messed up the glasswork, but he later realized a new phenomenon that he thought looked fine. After the glass cooled, Bob noticed that it reflected stunning colors depending on the angle. He decided to fume glasses on even larger items to magnify the iridescence, and that’s how the fuming technique was born.

What’s The Science Behind the Color-Changing Illusion?

Many smokers adore the iridescent bongs but need help explaining how the art works on such a simple tool. We have a rejoinder for you. Glass blowers and artisans cut metal into small pieces and heat it to vaporize/fume. The blowers then fuse the fumed metal on the desired surface of the bong. Think of the fusing process as coating a fumed metal on a glass surface.

Now the iridescence effect occurs mainly when the bong is in use. The tobacco, marijuana, meth, and other concentrates you smoke on the item may release resin and oil, which deposit in the bong’s interior as it comes with the smoke. Eventually, the residuals smear the fumed metal layer forming a coating and making the bong opaque. This means that light will no longer pass through the bong as it did when it was new or sparkling clean.

Consequently, any light that lands on the glass surface after the oil and resin deposition will be reflected through the fumed layer, thus creating distinct hues and shades when viewed from different angles.

It’s worth noting that the colors your iridescent bong produce and its intensity greatly depend on the metal coating applied. Luckily, advanced technology has stretched the boundaries of glass fuming and introduced various colors that your bong can display.

Commonly Used Metals and Colors in Iridescent Bongs

Now that fuming was discovered by accident, early artisans tried a variety of metals and exposures to come up with the best iridescence. As a result, they discovered that most of the materials they tried emitted toxic fumes when exposed to extreme heat. Other materials were absorbed into the glass materials, meaning they couldn’t serve as a coating on a glass surface. With all these trials and findings, artisans only remained with about four metals that could work perfectly in fuming and iridescent bong production.


Silver is one of the most used metals for glass fuming due to its fair price, workability, and ease of shaving or cutting into pieces. Most iridescent bong producers have even used silver wire when nothing else is available. Generally, a bong coated with a silver hue will produce a yellow tint, but you can also get different shades depending on the artisan’s competency.


Incorporating 18 Karat gold produces an amazing pink shade, but you’ll need more input than in silver. Gold needs more heat than silver, and the material is also temperamental. The standard technique among artisans is using river-panned gold to fume. The impurities in such gold play a significant role in adding more shades to your iridescent bong.


Like gold, copper creates a pink shade, but it’s dull than that gold. It’s worth noting that copper fumes can be toxic to your liver and kidneys hence the need to use it with extra caution.

Glass blowers can also incorporate platinum, cobalt, and palladium to add a shade of grey to your smoking bong.

Make Your Bong More than Just a Smoking Item

Besides the iridescence, you need a smoking bong that makes a statement about you. This means that you must consider the glass type to balance impression and quality. The main objective when perfectly blending this combination is to have an enjoyable sesh. A well-designed iridescent bong can be an exciting and fun addition to your smoking collectibles. Besides, it can serve as a great conversation starter when you’re taking hits in turn with friends or family.