The Top 11 Crystal Glassware Brands
As someone who grew up in an Eastern European household, there were certain things that were just assumed to be a must. One of these things were crystal glassware. No home was complete without some nice crystal glasses, plus at least one serving item. Of course, this means that I quickly grew up to know a lot about crystal glassware brands. Ever wonder what good glassware brands are like?
Getting world-class crystal glassware requires you to know a little bit about the brand. To get the most bang for your buck (and hopefully encourage a family heirloom to become part of your home), choose one of these brands below:
- Cashs Ireland
- Artel Glassware
Are you shopping for the right wedding gift, or just browsing around for a gorgeous set of glasses? Allow our guide to introduce you to some of the top names in the industry.
Video: How to Identify Crystal Glass
What Are The Best Crystal Glassware Brands In The World?
Getting a good set of crystal glasses isn’t just a bragging right. It’s kinda part of being an adult, depending on who you ask. These top brands below are the ones you will want to get.
Hailing from the United States, Lenox is a classic among people who want to have high-quality glassware. The company became famous in the earlier part of last century, and has only gained more followers since. They make regular glassware as well as crystal glassware, but that’s not all that they make.
Lenox is also famous for being one of the china makers for both the Presidential and Vice Presidential dinners in the White House. Each president gets his own pattern. They also are the ones who make the plates for over 300 different United States embassies, and the truth is that you can always rely on them to come up with a classy pattern.
Wedgwood is one of the most famous names in fine British crystal glassware, and rightfully so. Established in 1759, the company has been a major status symbol among British elites as well as members of the upper crust throughout Europe. The company originally began by innovating new methods of making earthenware and stoneware that’s as fine as porcelain. However, they have great crystal too.
Many people believe that Wedgwood is the greatest British company for glassware and fine dining technology. Considering how popular their new and vintage wares are, it’s safe to say that you’ve got an antique in the making. Vintage Wedgwood can easily grab as much as $2,000 for a vase, so don’t be surprised if this turns into a major investment.
Oh, it’s also good to know they are currently doing collaborations with major designers like Vera Wang. So, that’s good too.
3. Cashs Ireland
Cashs is to Ireland what Wedgwood is to Britain. In other words, this is one of those brands that people buy in order to say that they have it. their quality of crystal is nothing short of impeccable. But, that’s not the only reason why Cashs is such a popular brand. It’s also a brand that is regularly spotted among the homes of the world’s upper class.
Of course, that’s by design. Cashs has made gifts for many of the United States presidents, as well as members of royal families and dignitaries throughout the world. They are fairly used to getting orders for luxury glassware from just about everyone from professional athletes to top A-list movie personnel.
While this might be a brand that is named after a parlor game, make no mistake about it. Baccarat does not play around when it comes to quality. This brand is based out of Baccarat, France, and has been around since 1764. Their claim to fame, aside from being one of the oldest crystal brands in existence, is being partially started up by Louis XV of France. (Well, he gave them permission. Close enough.)
Baccarat’s mostly known for its perfume bottled and sandblasted glassware. If you’re looking for a high level of detail applied to very feature, then you might be able to snag something from this top-rated company. With that said, you should expect to pay a pretty penny for this brand. It’s one of the priciest in the world.
Even if you’ve lived under a rock for most of your life, chances are that you probably know a little bit about Waterford. I mean, they are everywhere that you would find luxury crystal wares sold. Waterford is an Irish company that has been serving up luxury crystal glassware since the 1780s, making it a true definition of a heritage company.
Though they are one of the easiest companies to find and buy from, they also happen to be excellent at what they do. Waterford is a great staple for people who want to have a touch of luxury in their homes without having to worry about too much expense. With that said, you might want to know that Waterford and Wedgwood are both currently owned by the same group.
Lalique is a bit different from the rest of the names on this list of crystal glassware designers because it was a company that started off as a jewelry brand. Over time, the brand expanded to fine objects d’art made from glass, perfumes, and more. Today, they evolved to become primarily recognized for their uniquely artsy, stylish glassware.
If you get a set of glasses from a name like Lalique, then you can expect them to be a serious work of art. This company is famous for hiring only the best of the best, and for also working hard to create something that stands out in a crowd. Needless to say, buying up their glassware is a good way to make sure that you have an auction-worthy piece later on.
Note: Their glass art sculptures, while not totally tangential to this article, are still a majorly good choice for people who want to enjoy the finer things in life.
While there is a lot to be said about crystal glassware brands that have hundreds of years of history associated with them, the truth is that you don’t always have to assume that older is better. A good example of a new company that’s making waves is Amara, which started up in 2005. (Cute name, right?) This is a drinkware company that prides itself on having colorful and modern crystal glasses for every occasion.
If you aren’t a fan of having glassware that’s made out of crystal due to the fragile nature of glass, don’t worry. Amara is a company that understands that, and also offers up acrylic glassware. Though it’s far from the traditional behavior for a company that’s all up in crystal, it’s still an absolutely awesome one in its own right.
8. Artel Glassware
If there is one thing that seems to be getting harder and harder to find these days, it’s luxury glassware that’s handmade. Artel is an America-based company that’s trying to change that spearheaded by none other than design maverick Karen Feldman. The name was derived from Czech artisan collections, and today, it’s quickly becoming synonymous with the bohemian-chic look that people adore.
Each piece made by Artel Glassware is handmade and absolutely stunning. Like other newer crystal glassware makers in the industry, they are working to make a name for themselves by creating glassware that’s thought-provoking and far different from the norm. They allow you to shop by motif, and let me tell you —I fell in love with the Space Race glasses.
One thing that we’re going to point out about Artel is that they tend to make entire series dedicated to a single theme. This makes a lot of their glassware collectible and customizable in the best way possible. While their sets can easily cost $2,000, it’s safe to say that it is worth every penny.
No, that’s not a misspelling or a misprint. Iittala is a Finnish designer crystal glassware brand that became wildly popular in recent years. The reason why is simple: the quality of everything that they make is amazing. Though they are known for having an exceptional eye for quality, the one thing that often takes people for a surprise is the simplicity of many of their designs. Beautiful!
If you love Scandinavian-style homes, then Iittala is a natural go-to. Oh, and don’t worry. The brand became so immensely popular, they also expanded into ceramics, cutlery, cookware, as well as other home goods. People who like simple items that still have a fresh pop of color and work with the hygge aesthetic need to check out this company.
Out of all the brands that we’ve featured, Moser might be one of the most notorious. Moser has been in business since 1851 and remains a favorite among artisan fans because of their unusually innovative designs. Vintage Moser will be enough to fetch a serious wad of cash at an auction, while modern styles from the brand will be sure to fetch compliments at every dinner party out there.
Moser’s current line of crystal glassware can best be described as sleek and ultramodern. Some of their designs even have a hand in creating neat optical illusions. For example, this Moser glass was designed to look like it has melted ice at the bottom of it. That’s a conversation starter, if I’ve ever seen one.
Oertel’s motto is that they are “noble glass made of fine crystal,” and we have to admit, it makes sense. This crystal manufacturing brand dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is based out of the Northern Bohemian region. Their entire catalog of creations remained some of the best designs in all of Europe. That’s what gave them the staying power to survive multiple world wars and the age of the net.
Nowadays, their catalog of crystal glassware runs the gamut from the traditional to the modern. Most of their offerings, though, tend to lean towards the ultra-glam to Art Deco range. So, if you love a little bit of old-world glamour in your kitchenware or want to relive the days of The Great Gatsby, then you will love Oertel’s work.
Is it safe to drink out of lead crystal?
As long as you are using your crystal drinkware in a normal and safe manner, there is no reason to worry about the lead in the crystal leeching into your food. With that said, you would be forgiven if you decide to switch out glasses, simply because of the inclusion of lead in the glass. It’s a common worry and many people find switching it out will give you peace of mind.
Do all crystal glasses still contain lead?
In the past, adding lead to crystal was a must because of the process that was used to make it. However, times have changed and the view that society has on lead is no longer a good one. As a result of the increased concern over the health issues that come with lead exposure, the vast majority of new glasses do not come with lead inside of them.With that said, there is no law banning lead from crystal glasses. Moreover, crystal glasses are deemed safe for use, even if they do contain trace lead. So, there’s no reason to panic regardless of your glasses’ lead status. They are still totally safe to drink from.
Why do people add lead to crystal?
Lead crystal remains in demand because of the way that lead oxide reflects in the crystal glass. When light hits the lead, the light gets reflected brighter than if it hit regular crystal. This makes lead crystal more brilliant than regular crystal, especially if they have the exact same cut. As a result, lead crystal is still more expensive than standard crystal to this very day.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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