How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal

Written by carole a. ward
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How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal
Cocktail Hour (Stock.xchng Photo)

Waterford Crystal--the mere mention of the name evokes a sense of prestige and beauty. Those who have held a carefully crafted Waterford Crystal item in their hands can recall the musical ring of a flicked rim, dazzling light refractions inspired by finely-formed angles when kissed by sunlight and the sheer weight of each piece that tells you that you're holding something substantial. Waterford Crystal is known the world over and is a valued gift for weddings, showers and anniversaries. Waterford Crystal's popularity has inspired a number of glassware companies to produce copies of the more popular designs. With so many forgeries available, how can you tell that you're purchasing authentic Waterford Crystal?

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Visit a reputable dealer who stands behind each product sold, and guarantees the authenticity of his/her Waterford Crystal items. This could save you some headaches later on.

  2. 2

    Select an item or items that appeal to you and ask if you can examine it in good light. An exemplary dealer will be happy to oblige.

  3. 3

    Open the packaging, if any, and check for a label. Older Waterford Crystal will have a gold sticker bearing Waterford Crystal's trademark green seahorse emblem, like the one shown here.

    How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal
    Seahorse Emblem
  4. 4

    Move beneath a strong light and look for the word "Waterford" etched in the bottom. All authentic Waterford Crystal items made between 1947 and 1999 bear this etching on the bottom.

    How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal
    Waterford Etching
  5. 5

    Check for the newer stylised etching containing Waterford Crystal's trademark seahorse emblem, such as the one shown here, indicating that the item was made during the year 2000 or later. This logo was originally designed for Waterford Crystal's Millennium Series.

    How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal
    Seahorse Etching
  6. 6

    Look for Waterford Crystal's oldest logo, shown here, at antique dealers and flea markets. These items are valuable finds, and will complement any Waterford Crystal collection.

    How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal
    Antique Waterford Logo
  7. 7

    Make your purchase, and enjoy your lovely, genuine Waterford Crystal.

Tips and warnings

  • If shopping at online auctions, be sure that the terms of sale for your Waterford Crystal include a guarantee of authenticity or a reasonable return policy.
  • Crystal produced by the original Penrose factory will bear the mark, "Waterford Penrose" and bears no other affiliations with today's Waterford Crystal.

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