How Do You Determine the Value of Inherited China?


Quick Answer

Navigate to an online resource such as iGuide and enter the name of the fine china in the search bar at the top to find the value. It's important to find the actual market selling price of china instead of going by the asking price visible from other sellers.

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Full Answer

Discovering the value of rare fine china depends on the rarity, condition and demand of the china. Scarcity is a strong factor in determining value, and, consequently, value increases when a manufacturer discontinues the pattern. If the discontinued pattern is re-issued, the value lowers again.

There are some cases where even a rare china does not have much value, particularly when that china belongs in a museum. If the museums already have that china, a lack of demand causes the value to lower unless an independent buyer takes an interest.

Chips, cracks and repairs can devalue china by upwards of 90 percent unless that china is from the 19th century or an earlier period. Crazing is another type of damage that occurs in ceramics, porcelain china and bone china. Crazing results when small quantities of water escape gradually over many years from the china's material, and this process manifests itself as cracking in the glazed surface of the china. There is no way to protect china from crazing, though china made by some manufacturers have a tendency to be more prone than those made by others.

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