Murano glass is a style of glass created on the Venetian island of Murano, Italy. This type of glass has small bubbles embedded under its surface, which are created during the glassblowing process. This glass is highly valuable, and because of its value, you may see fake versions passed off as authentic. To combat the sale of fraudulent Murano glass, its manufacturers have taken multiple steps to help consumers identify the real product.
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Research the glass's origin. Murano glass is made only in Italy; if you see a piece of glassware stamped "Made in China" or "Made in England," you'll know immediately it isn't true Murano glass.
Know how authentic Murano glass is made. Because of its one-of-a-kind "bubble" style, each piece of Murano glassware is slightly different. If you find two identical pieces of glass, they are almost assuredly not real Murano.
Look for the trademark of the Venetian Glass Consortium. Developed in 1981, this stamp features the words "vetri murano" (all in lower case) or the letters "vm" (again, in all lower case). This mark is only used by companies located on the island of Murano.
Visit the website "Murano Clowns" to learn about individual companies and their trademarks. The Consorzio Promovetro was founded in 1985 and represents 65 of the 100 glassworks on Murano; many of these companies utilise their own trademark or stamp to verify their glass's authenticity. "Murano Clowns" includes photos of many of these company trademarks and logos on its website.
Inspect the glass for the "Vetro Artistico" trademark. This trademark -- which became law in Italy in 1994 -- is a sticker that is placed on any piece of authentic Murano glass. The sticker is a white square with the outline of a purple wheel on it; a greyish-silver design resembling tongs is placed through the wheel with the words "Vetro Artistico Murano" at the sticker's bottom.
Ask for a certificate of authenticity to prove the glass's origin. Compare the name of the company on the certificate to a list of authentic Murano glassworks. Shop at stores that carry the "Vetri Artistico" seal.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid glassware labelled as "Murano style." This may be a key tip-off that the item in question is not true Murano glass.
- Because of the 1994 Regional Law protecting the Vetri Artistico Murano from frauds, knowingly trying to pass off and sell a fake as real Murano glass could be punishable by Italian law.
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