Waterford Crystal is to many the iconic Irish crystal.
Sure, it is not the only fine Irish crystal to be found, but with its current location in Waterford melting more 750 tonnes of crystal a year, Waterford Crystal is most likely the Emerald Isles’ most prolific maker of fine crystal. With some of its artisans still working in Waterford, Ireland, the fine flint glass maker can trace its roots as far back as 1783 when William and George Penrose started making pieces in the Irish town.
Although over the years, Waterford Crystal has seen many owners and even gone bankrupt and closed its doors a few times, the quality of Waterford Crystal has never diminished. Even today, there is no difference in quality between the Waterford Crystal pieces being made in Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Waterford, Ireland.
Since Waterford Crystal is now produced in a number of places on the globe, there is little surprise that there are some fake Waterford Crystal pieces in the market. However, you do not need to worry about ending up with one of these counterfeit knockoffs if you follow a few steps as you are evaluating crystal.
If you are looking at something that may have been a Waterford Crystal limited-run piece or one from long ago, the first thing to look for is the Waterford Crystal gold and green foil sticker. These stickers were stuck to pieces that did not receive the traditional Waterford stamp.
If the piece does not have one of these stickers, look for the Waterford stamp. These are not always easy to spot. To make sure you can find it, wash the piece and then after drying the crystal, hold the piece up to the light. The Waterford stamp, a chemical etching, is small and light. It is so hard to spot that you might not be able to find the opaque lettering without the aid of a magnifying glass.
Finally, you have got to know that some pieces will no longer have their Waterford stamps. The etching on stemware, for example, can be worn away with use and time.