Glass made from crystal has been a popular collector’s item for hundreds of years. Antique crystal glass manufacturers include the Fostoria, Baccarat and Gorham companies. Modern companies, some of whom have been producing crystal since the 1700s, include Lenox, Steuben and Waterford. There are a few ways to identify authentic crystal glass.
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Tap your finger or a fork lightly against the rim of the crystal piece. True crystal glass will resonate and create a musical tone, which is created by the vibration of the glass when tapped.
Turn the crystal piece over and look for a maker’s signature or mark. While some manufacturers provide their full name on crystal items, other companies use a symbol. For example, crystal glass items made by Lenox may have an upper case cursive “L” surrounded by a wreath. Reproductions will often incorrectly mark a crystal glass piece or will leave it blank.
Look up crystal glass manufacturers to view past and present pieces and patterns. Many companies offer assistance in identifying crystal glass pieces and can provide specific information about their pieces as well as helping determine the authenticity of the items.
Use reference websites such as Replacements.com, which offers listings of crystal manufactures and associated glass patterns. Another similar website is MatchMyCrystal.com (see Resources). Crystal glass items that are not authentic will not match the patterns, styles or etching of authentic crystal glass manufacturers.
Visit local collector shows and antique stores to view various crystal glass items and speak with dealers about identifying various crystal glass pieces. If you have an item in question, take it with you and ask for help with authentication or request a referral to someone who can assist you.
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