How to Identify Crystal Stemware

Written by meredith jameson
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How to Identify Crystal Stemware
Crystal stemware varies from simple to elaborate in design. (red wine poured into wine glass image by Allen Penton from

Crystal stemware refers to water, champagne and wine glasses made out of crystal, which are available in antique and current styles made by crystal manufacturers. Crystal stemware is often desired by collectors due to the history, material, manufacturer or rarity of the stemware. However, it can be difficult to identify the maker or pattern of stemware. There are a few ways to make this easier.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Reference book

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  1. 1

    Look closely at the stem of the crystal or on the bottom of the base for a mark or signature from the manufacturer. If there is a mark or a symbol but not a full name, you may need to identify the mark first. For instance, Lenox may be identified by an "L" in a wreath, while Oneida has an intertwined "OC" and Royal Doulton has a crown symbol.

  2. 2

    Look up the manufacturer in your reference book or on websites such as or You can then look up the pattern that matches the crystal stemware to identify the piece. (See Resources)

  3. 3

    Learn about different crystal stemware types to help identify the kind of crystal stemware in your possession. Different types include water goblets, which are larger and thicker than wine glasses; beverage glasses, which have a deep bowl (cup) that can hold spoons and straws; champagne stemware, which has short stems and shallow bowls or short stems and narrow bowls; or wine glasses, which feature a medium-sized bowl.

  4. 4

    Find out information about different manufacturers of crystal stemware and the patterns they have offered in the past as well as current styles. Common manufacturers include Waterford, Leonx, Fostoria, Princess House, and Baccarat. View the company websites for identification information and assistance, or consult your reference book.

  5. 5

    Visit antique stores and collector shows to view different crystal stemware and speak to the dealers about different patterns. If you have an item in your possession that you are curious about, bring it with you to show sellers and dealers. Experts in the field can often help you correctly identify the crystal stemware.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase a reference book or borrow one from a local library with detailed information about crystal stemware, photos and manufacturer data. One example of a reference book is "Crystal Stemware Identification Guide" by Bob Page and Dale Frederiksen.

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