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The Basics of Collecting Crystal Stemware

December 31st, 2012 Collectibles

There are a few different reasons to collect crystal stemware - some people simply enjoy having the nicest glasses to show off on special occasions, while others treat it as a more serious hobby, keeping valuable limited edition champagne flutes behind lock and key. No matter what your motivations are, collecting crystal stemware can be a fun and fulfilling practice to get into! Of course, you're dealing with fairly expensive items, so it's important to know what you're doing before you take the plunge. If you're not sure how to go about starting such a collection, here are some tips to help get your feet wet.

1. Buy a guide. The first thing you want to do is pick up at least one guide on collecting crystal stemware. There are plenty of authorities on the subject, and you want to have a good idea about what to expect with this hobby. After reading them, you may decide on a particular area of stemware to focus on, such as goods from a specific country or in a particular style.

2. Know where to look. Chances are, most of your searching will take place at flea markets and garage sales. Although people usually know when they have an object made of crystal, they may not be aware of just how valuable it is. This is a great way to meet other collectors as well. If you're lucky, you may be able to find a gathering of enthusiasts where you can swap techniques and stories with one another.

3. Maintain records. If you're serious about collecting crystal stemware, you may want to pick up a simple notebook and write down details about every piece you buy. At the very least, this log should indicate the type of glass and date of purchase.