In your childhood home, there's a very good chance your mom served everything from breakfast to snacks on vibrant Fiesta-branded plates and bowls. At the time, you may not have appreciated the bright hues of the dishware, but, as the saying goes, it seems everything really does get finer with age. That's exactly the case for the Homer Laughlin China Company's line of Fiesta dishwares, which are now highly sought after online by eager homemakers hunting for vintage sets.
If you've inherited a set from your family or know a relative or friend who may be willing to part with one, now's the time to dust off any Fiesta dishes or serving pieces, per a new report from NBC's Today. Homer Laughlin China has been producing Fiesta serving pieces and dinnerware sets since the early 1930s, according to the company's website, and even the oldest sets are selling for substantial amounts in online auctions. According to Today, single Fiesta serving pieces (including a vase, a casserole dish, and a pitcher) each have sold on eBay for upwards of $500. Currently, a brand-new Fiesta pitcher is selling for $49.99 on Homer Laughlin China's direct-to-consumer online warehouse, meaning similar vintage pieces could be selling for 10 times as much elsewhere.
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Wondering if your vintage set might be worth something to avid collectors? Merrill Miller, a Fiesta collector who has been collecting pieces for 20 years, told Today that the piece should be in very good condition beforehand. "Many people think because an item is vintage it is worth money, but that's often not the case," she said. "Unless the piece is extremely rare, collectors are not going to pay for pieces with damage or crazing." Some of the rarest Fiesta items in existence are covered onion soup crocks, Miller said, as well as covered demi pots and carafes, glazed candleholders, covered marmalade and mustard jars, relish trays in mixed colors, and fluted vases that range between eight and 12 inches in height.
Certain colors may be worth more, too. Red-striped Fiesta dishes and glassware seem to earn the most in online auctions, Miller said: "A medium green egg cup is impossible to find but very common in another color." If you're truly interested in getting your Fiesta dishware appraised, you can do so without even leaving your house; Miller shared that there are plenty of Fiesta collector's groups and communities on Facebook who might be able to point you in the right direction. "Values are determined by how many people want a piece and what they are willing to pay," Miller said. "Some people get caught up in an auction, and a piece can sell over its value if you have two people who fight over it."