Where Can I Find the Value of Fine China?

Many people have bought or inherited beautiful china, but they don't know if their pieces hold only sentimental value or are worth big bucks. A little research can help uncover the difference.

Decorative bowls
credit: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
Decoding the maker's mark can reveal your china's age and country of origin.

Library or Bookstore

Look for china price guides such as the "Antique Trader Pottery & Porcelain Ceramics Price Guide" by Kyle Husfloen and Pat McPherson or the "Collector's Encyclopedia of English China: Identification & Values" by Mary Frank Gaston.

Online Inquiries

China replacement companies feature new and antique china, and if you know your china's manufacturer, you may be able to find your piece online. Otherwise, the company can help identify and price your china if you email or fax a photo to the website.

Antiques Stores

By exploring both brick-and-mortar and online antiques stores, you can discover how many types of china are priced. Bring along a photo of your china to show local store owners who may provide some input.

Auctioning Risk

Online auction prices aren't overly reliable because of inexperienced sellers and eager buyers. However, you will come away with an idea of what price you could get if you intend to sell the china yourself. Reputable auction houses provide better estimations.

Appraisals

Antiques store owners or museum curators are good sources for finding reputable appraisers. Often, these professionals will charge a fee for their expertise, but they offer the most reliable fine-china valuations.