I received an email from a reader this week about crystal. Here it is:
There are few antiques that, if well maintained, can look as beautiful as the day they were made – crystal is one of them. It is also why new glass is hard to identify from old glass unless there are tell tale features that differentiates them. These types of details are usually known to the collector but not the general onlooker. It is also why a lot of truly old crystal is lumped in with crystal that is much newer and why estate sales, flea markets and garage sales are a good place to find some choice pieces.
There are, however, some simpler ways to tell the good quality crystal from simply cut glass, and the new from the old. I wrote an article about this on my web site. Check it out here: Crystal or Glass? How to tell the Difference
As far as marks go there are few companies that marked their wares and of those, many marks are not identifiable because they were never recorded. The best way to identify a piece is by style, comparing it to photos of similar items from the same period and country, if possible.
There are many on line sites, including You Tube videos, that have information you can use for identification. Here’s one to check out for starters (however nothing beats a good reference book in your hands!) http://www.great-glass.co.uk/glass%20notes/marka-c.htm