Anyone with old crystal glassware probably isn’t using those fancy bowls, goblets, and other finery to set the dinner table all that often (or at all). If you have pieces collecting dust, you could be better off earning some major cash from them instead. Here are some tips for finding the value of antique crystal glassware items, which could be worth thousands!
Crystal stands apart from traditional glassware because it’s made with lead, giving it a smoother and heavier feel. According to experts at Invaluable, crystal pieces produced between 1876 to about 1920 (also known as the “American Brilliant” period) are a goldmine. “The most famous crystal glassware came from Waterford during the ‘American Brilliant’ period, recognized its for ‘bright glass,’ rhythmic patterns, prism-shaped stems, and elaborate cuts,” the site explains.
They estimate that Waterford-manufactured pieces and other highly decorated crystal are valued between $1,000 to $4,000. If the piece is in especially great condition, it could be worth even more! Luckily, there’s a few simple ways to determine the value of your antique glassware pieces.
We’re all familiar with the old saying, “All that glitters is not gold.” It turns out it also applies to materials like crystal. Laurie Brenner from Hunker says you can tell how authentic the crystal is by holding it up to sunlight. If the light passes through and emits a rainbow, it’s genuine crystal material. She also suggests doing a quick sound test. “In another test, you use a spoon to lightly tap just beneath the rim of the glass. If you hear a musical note, it’s crystal, but if not, it’s just glass.” she says.
Details are another design feature that buyers look for in crystal glassware. The appraisers at City Farmhouse Antiques Mention note that for larger pieces, details including an intricate diamond pattern and a manufacturer’s signature at the bottom can increase the value. Speaking with an appraiser is the best option for an exact quote on how much these details can factor into the selling price.
This video offers more of their advice for valuing your pieces:
Like other collectibles, browsing eBay can give you a good idea of the prices for antique crystal glassware pieces. A rare find like a set of Baccarat vintage marennes crystal water goblets is currently listed for $3,500. And a standalone piece such as a Val Saint Lambert cut crystal green bowl, can go for $2,250. So check your cabinets and see what gems you might find!
Don’t worry if you can’t find any antique crystal glassware hanging around in there. You may still be able to score big with vintage pyrex dishes or old mason jars and clear out your clutter at the same time!