How to Identify Real Waterford Crystal

Updated April 17, 2017

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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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About the Author

Carole A. Ward has enjoyed more than eight years as a professional writer, editor and proofreader. She is the author of a popular monthly nonfiction column and is currently working on the first in a series of nonfiction books. During her college career, Ward majored in photography and minored in creative writing.