Murano glass jewelry and glassware is beautiful and special glass found only on a small island that is located less than 2 kilometers north, off the coast of Venice. Murano glass it is native to Murano, Italy and it is manufactured nowhere else. Murano is part of a series of smaller islands that is located in the Venetian Lagoon, and it can be reached by bridge or boat.
Murano glass is famous worldwide, with a rich history that stretches back to the early 1200’s, when trade from this region initially began to flourish. It is famous and expensive mainly because it is of such high quality and made with such precision craftsmanship that the finest detail is dedicatedly applied. Since it is all handcrafted, no two pieces are alike.
You will however find cheap murano glass jewelry and glassware available in the market. These are all machine produced and are fake murano glass. Don’t spend your money on fake murano. Let’s see how you could spot compare fake vs real murano glass jewelry.
Characteristics of Real Murano Glass Jewelry
1. Certificate of Authenticity
Usually, there is a certificate of authenticity that is offered with every genuine piece of Murano artware.
Murano glass is usually found in Italy. The pieces describes in great detail the specifics of the murano. Certificate of authenticity is only given by genuine murano sellers.
There are some general characteristics to tell if something is made from genuine murano glass. Real murano is always unique, and there are slightly uneven dents and rough textures. They are never smooth and whole like machine made glass artifacts. Moreover, Murano glassware will have tiny irregularities and bubbles under the surface.
Since it is hand-blown glass there will always be a very vivid coloration and this will be set in precious and semi-precious stones and metals – which are also always of the best quality, and made of real gold or silver. The phrase used is always “Made in Murano, Italy” never “Murano Style Glass” or any such derivations. Phrases such as “sterling silver” “18 karat gold” and “gold leaf” are also indicative of real murano products.
The retailers will always display their merchandise, have proper cataloging and photographs, and allow for every customer to review and see each product before buying. There appraisal process is always extremely clear and professional.
5. Custom Made Packaging
There will always be special, custom made high quality packaging that is offered with each item – and this is always the best quality with a very attractive design.
6. Breadth in Variety
There will always also be a wide variety of merchandise sold: from home décor items (vases, chandeliers, bowls, etc.) to jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and rings) to other accessories and baubles (cocktail stirrers, cups and spoon handles, garden bulbs, lightbulbs, window-panes, etc.).
This includes the very particular style of “Millefiori” – and where this is offered there should always be a very large collection, in rich variety, intricate designs and patterns, and mosaics that are detailed and vivid.
7. Custom Order
You should always be able to custom order. If not, there is a chance that its all machine made and imitated.
The website/catalogue should be very professional – with people manning the helplines 24/7. Elite services that can represent to you any language you speak in; vendors with first-hand information and a fantastic knowledge of the Murano glass industry, techniques, production processes and the history. They should have firsthand experience with sourcing and buying the product; and any public information that is given should be open and detailed, such that you can always contact them if you need to.
Customer reviews or testimonials should always be available on the site – and if they are not, or if they have bad reviews, beware of fake goods! A lot of online websites have reviews verified by Google or other third party. That gives a lot of authenticity to the website and what people believe in. If the site has customers that recommend the purchase, it should be a fair deal.
How To Tell The Real From The Fake Murano
1. Made In?
Murano glassware is made in Murano and nowhere else – so if you see a “Made in China” tag or any other such discrepancy that looks suspicious, do not buy it in any circumstance unless you do intend to buy cheap Murano jewelry. Scour the website carefully for details – if it is not based in Italy, don’t risk it.
2. Fake is Identical
Every Murano piece is completely original and no two are alike at all – therefore, is you see two identical pieces, it is always a fake. Make sure you can inspect the ware before you buy it – if you see the same picture appearing twice or thrice in a catalogue, don’t fall for it. Each picture will be painstakingly unique if it is Murano original.
3. Price Tag
Don’t buy articles that are suspiciously cheap with arbitrarily high shipping and handling charges that ramp the price up – if you’re looking for Quality Murano glass, it will be expensive. At the same time, don’t fall for exorbitantly high prices either.
Things To Do Before Purchasing Murano Glassware:
1. Read Reviews
Read the reviews very carefully – buy from trusted websites or actual on-site vendors, and if customer reviews are even vaguely negative (“not from Italy”; “very poor quality”; “inferior product”; “dull finish”; “does not look like the item”; “Made in China” – are all very strong indicators towards an obvious fake.
2. Trust your instincts
Even if everything looks legitimate, trust your gut. If something tells you that what you’re dealing with is not the genuine article – better be safe and search for it elsewhere, than be sorry when you order a defective, fake product.
3. Ground Work
Make sure to follow some simple steps:
a. Look at the item itself – does it look machine made? Too symmetrical? Are the photos clear enough that you can see the handmade craftsmanship?
b. Look at the terms used – does it say “Made in Italy”? “Murano Glass” or does it say “Murano Style Glass”? are techniques such as Millefiori, Sommerso, Bullicante, and Fenicio applied to the picture? What else comes with the items – any certificates?
c. Look at the vendor – this glass is expensive. Does the site look legitimate and polished? Are the credentials creditable? Is it reputable? Is there lot of free and open information readily available?
d. Look at the assortment of products offered – is there a wide range of products? With a wide variety of styles? Is everything unique or is there repetition in the catalogue?
If you can you satisfy your instincts – go for it!
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