Collecting crystal glass items is a common and rewarding hobby. The stunning refractive properties and breath-taking variety of crystal patterns make crystal items a valuable investment – both economical and sentimental value.
Princess House is a well-known name within crystalware. The company was established in 1963 and still produces high quality products today. Among their most iconic crystal patterns are the Heritage, Fantasia and Highlights series.
Today, we will guide you through the identification of Princess House crystal, provide a Princess House crystal value guide, and offer some tips on buying and selling Princess House crystal.
Princess House: Background
Princess House is one of the biggest and most iconic kitchenware companies in the USA. Established in 1963 by Charles Collis, Princess House began with classical crystal stemware at a more affordable price for the everyday consumer.
The company rapidly became a renowned brand in the crystal ware market with a successful direct selling model and an emphasis on quality and ethics. In particular, Princess House has provided key opportunities for a range of women from diverse backgrounds. In the early days of the company the female consultants were given the nickname “Crystal Ladies”.
The fine crystal stemware produced by this company are considered an heirloom to be passed down through the generations. Some of their most notable crystal designs include Highlights, Esprit, Fantasia and Heritage.
Today, Princess House is still in production and offer a wide range of kitchen products, not just crystalware. The CEO Connie Tang is responsible for heading the company’s modern healthy living campaign.
How To Identify Princess House Crystal
Perhaps you have inherited a stunning piece of crystal ware or found some crystal stemware at a yard sale or vintage store. You may have come across a valuable piece of Princess House crystal, but how can you tell?
Princess House crystal tends to be unmarked – you are not likely to find any brand logo or markings on the underside of the crystal pieces. Therefore, identifying Princess House crystal is a matter of recognizing their iconic crystal patterns and being able to identify real crystalware.
Ideally, items will come in their original packaging or retain their original Princess House sticker, making your identification job much easier! In this case it is also much easier to authenticate an item.
How To Tell Crystal From Glass
Crystal is a type of glassware but it contains different materials compared to standard glass. While glass is composed of liquified sand with a higher calcium content, crystal is composed of flint glass with a higher lead content.
The extra lead oxide within the crystal glass lends it a unique shine due to higher levels of refraction. Often crystal is cut in geometric patterns (cut glass) or etched to create patterns on the surface.
There are a few key ways to identify whether a piece in question is real crystal or simply glass:
1. Ringing sound
When a crystal glass item is “dinged”, it makes a beautiful ringing sound. You may notice this when someone dings a wineglass to signal a toast. Glass on the other hand makes a duller clunking sound in comparison.
2. The rim
If you wet your finger and glide it lightly around the rim of a glass you may be able to create that unique crystal glass ring that some talented people had made into a musical artform. Standard glass will not create this sound. The rims of crystal glasses tend to be thinner than those of standard glasses.
3. Cut smoothness
If you have a cut glass piece, you can inspect the edges of the cuts closely. If they are incredibly smooth and of high quality they are crystal glass. If the cuts are rougher and have lower precision they may be standard glass.
Holding the piece up to the light (sunlight works best) will help you to observe how well the glass refracts the light. Crystal glass creates a prism effect, refracting the light strongly and dividing it into the visible spectrum.
Crystal glass tends to be much heavier compared to a standard glass item of the same size.
Princess House Crystal Pattern Identification
Here, we will list the most common Princess House patterns – the most iconic which are likely to be the most valuable patterns available.
The well-known Heritage pattern is typified by an exquisite cut glass floral design on a clear glass background. More specifically, it features flowers and small leaves along a trailing vine or stem. This pattern began to be produced in 1974 and is still an active pattern from Princess House today. Find out more and see some useful examples here.
The Fantasia pattern contains a complex pressed glass design featuring delicate leafy vines and large flowers. This pattern has a pleasant festive aesthetic on a clear glass background. The Fantasia series have been produced since 1965 and the pattern is still in production today. This series includes Fantasia Amethyst (purple glass), Sapphire (blue glass), Emerald (dark green glass), Ruby (red glass), Mocha (brown glass), and Leaf (light green glass) Find out more and see some useful examples here.
The Highlights pattern, also called Royal Highlights, is a simple and classical design. It features vertical cut glass shapes which fan up from the stem of the glass and criss-cross over one another. This pattern was produced in 1988 and has not been discontinued. Find out more and see some useful examples here.
Esprit is another classical Princess House pattern featuring vertical cuts and a geometric stem reminiscent of a Grecian column. The vertical cuts spike upwards from the stem and onto the bowl like a starburst. This pattern is rare than the previously mentioned patterns so Esprit pieces in mint condition are likely to be more valuable. Find out more and see some useful examples here.
Another pattern featuring vertical cut glass and, more unusually, cut ovals is the Regency pattern. While the glasses may look deceptively simple, their elegance and the way in which they moderate the light shining through them is exceptional. Items such as fruit bowls and saucers with this pattern are distinctive for their oval designs. Find out more and see some useful examples here.
Princess House Crystal Value
The value of crystalware depends greatly on the type of item in question as well as the condition and the pattern it features. Larger items tend to cost more while smaller items will go for less. However, a full set of dinnerware for example can sell for a high price.
Here, we have broken down the value of various Princess House crystal items according to the type of item and the pattern. All values listed are approximate and based on current auction values at the time of writing according to varied sources including eBay. Values are based on items in mint condition without notable damages.
Items with damage such as wear, chips, cracks and scratches, or those which have been repaired will be much less valuable.
The most desirable items are those in mint condition, preferably with the original box. Even better are particularly intricate items featuring rare and discontinued patterns.
Type Of Item
Dinnerware often comes in sets of items. The more complete the set the higher the value. Typical Princess house crystal sets and the average prices you can expect for items with no damage include:
- Iced tea glasses; $100-$200
- Wineglasses or goblets; $100-$250
- Tumblers or juice glasses; $50-$100
- Champagne flutes; $30-$75
- Luncheon plates; $50-$150
- Nativity sets (typically 14 pieces); $200-$400
One of the most recent top-selling complete sets of crystal glassware featured the retired, etched Clipper Ship pattern. It sold for $575 in October 2022!
Larger, single items will sell for more than smaller items as a general rule. There are many more larger items than we have listed here, but these tend to be the most valuable or representative of similar items. Typical Princess House standalone items and the average prices you can expect for items with no damage include:
- Cake plates with cover; $60-$90
- Cupcake stands; $50-$150
- Beverage dispensers; $100-$170
- Teapots and infusers; $45-$100
- Canisters; $50-$75
- Jugs and decanters; $30-$60
- Candy jars and punch bowls; $30-$70
Take a look at this beverage decanter sporting the Moderna pattern. It sold for $125.99 in September 2022!
Now we’ll take a look at some smaller, single items – those with higher value. There are many more smaller items than we have listed here, but these tend to be the most valuable or representative of similar items. Typical Princess House standalone items and the average prices you can expect for items with no damage include:
- Figurines; $50-$80
- Vases; $15-$70
- Covered butter dishes; $20-$60
See this crystal “Wonders of the Wild” trout figurine which sold for $61.97 in September 2022.
Iconic and retired patterns tend to sell for the highest prices. In addition, the older the pattern the more valuable it tends to be, especially as items manufactured between 40-100 years ago are classed as vintage.
The most popular and recognizable patterns include Heritage, Fantasia, Highlights, Bordeaux, Esprit and Regency.
Some of the most desirable discontinued patterns include Highlights, Bordeaux Clear, American Rose, Holiday Treasures, Clipper Ship, Capri, and Poinsettia.
Of the patterns which include colored glass variants, the clear glass items tend to be more valuable. For example, of the Fantasia series the clear items tend to value more highly than the colored items from the Amethyst, Ruby or Leaf items.
Buying And Selling Princess House Crystal
The best way to find out how much a Princess House crystal item is worth is by performing thorough searches on online auction or vintage/antique platforms. Some of these include:
- eBay – this online auction platform is an excellent place to find a range of vintage and new crystal ware. You can narrow your search by date, condition, brand, color, type of item, and price.
- Etsy – vintage and unique items are often sold through Etsy by both retailers and private sellers. Make sure you refine your search using keywords, and read through the listings carefully.
- Amazon – while you may be able to find some excellent, genuine Princess House crystal via Amazon, be sure to read the listing details carefully and only buy from sellers with a good reputation. Amazon is a platform full of replicates so be sure you are buying a genuine article.
- Replacements Ltd. – this site specialises in collectible crystal, china and silverware. They offer a range of different Princess House patterns on a range of stunning crystal items.
Search for the item you would like to buy, or for the item you would like to sell. Make sure you filter the results for pattern, production year, and condition. This will help you to form a picture of how much a particular item in a particular condition is worth.
When buying crystal, make sure you go for listings with plenty of detailed information and images. Only buy from reputable sellers with a positive selling history. Do not be afraid to ask for more details or close-up images of items you are interested in.
When selling crystal, make sure you include as many details as possible about the item you are selling, and answer buyer’s questions as soon as you can to maintain buyer interest. Be transparent about any damage and whether the items have been used or not. Make sure you package items extremely carefully to avoid breakages in the post!
If you need to find out more about a particular item, or get it evaluated, you can try to find a local vintage glassware expert or reach out online. Bear in mind that appraisals are a pay-for service. Specialist forums where glassware enthusiasts gather to discuss collectible glassware, offer advice, and exchange precious crystal items are another great resource. You can check: