The value of Homer Laughlin pottery and dishes, commonly known as Fiestaware, is affected by rarity and condition. Because the dinnerware was manufactured in a wide spectrum of colors, with some colors discontinued and subsequently brought back over a 100-year period, color is a key factor affecting value. Another factor is whether rare pieces, like serving platters and bowls, have chips or cracks.
The Homer Laughlin company has manufactured pottery since the late 1800s, but the Fiesta line of dinnerware was originally made in 1936, discontinued in 1972 due to waning popularity, and produced again in 1986. Dark green, grey, rose and chartreuse dishes are valuable because dinnerware sets in these shades were created close to when the company ceased production in the early 1970s, making them unique.
Another factor affecting rarity is that the early production of Fiestaware includes dishes, casseroles, platters and vases that ceased later. These pieces are hard to find in good condition. Highly valued pieces include a 12-inch compartment plate and a covered onion soup bowl, both of which were discontinued after the first year of production.
There are clues useful in dating Homer Laughlin dinnerware because some older and newer pieces have visible differences. For one thing, older pieces carry the company stamp on the bottom. Highly valuable nesting bowls made the first year of production have rings on the inside bottom, but others do not until after World War II. Another example is that newer water pitchers have a dimple inside the handle, dating them post 1986.