Trivia Thursday: Waterford Crystal – Ireland’s Gem

The town of Waterford, 85 mi/135 km south of Dublin and founded by Vikings, is home to one of Ireland‘s most beautiful “Gem” – Waterford Crystal.

The Waterford Crystal story first begins in 1783, when George and William Penrose founded their crystal manufacturing business in the busy port of Waterford. They seized on the opportunity to produce “plain and cut flint glass, useful and ornamental” in their factory, which was situated in the heart of Waterford City. It was the enterprise and skill of these founders and their successors, which had such an impact for generations to come on the appreciation of glass, which is stronger today than when they began two centuries ago. They employed 50 –70 people who were led by renowned glassmaker John Hill from Stourbridge in England. He brought with him experienced glassmakers and is given credit for setting up the Waterford Glass.

You may recognize three of the Waterford patterns: Lismore, Colleen, and Irish Lace.

Lismore is the most enduring crystal-cut in history. Its beauty and elegance had made it Waterford’s most loved collection. In 1952, the Lismore Collection was launched. Now over 50 years later it is the only design from this period that still remains.


Distinctive in its olive and diamond cuts; Colleen (the Gaelic word for young lass) is a striking collection of classic, stylish pieces that resonate with all the tradition, authenticity and heritage of Waterford. The intricate diamond cutting offset by gracefully fluted ovals, with a close diamond pattern on the buttoned stem. This is one of the most richly cut of all Waterford Crystal suites.


Deliberately woven with fine crystal cuts, the Irish Lace collection is a sparkling celebration of an artistic tradition. The complex pattern of diamond cuts exudes sparkle, fan cuts and crisscross wedge cuts celebrate the artistry of lace making.


Some can spot Waterford Crystal from far away, but to make sure it’s the real deal, hold the glass up to a bright light and turn it slowly until the etching appears in a brilliant sparkle of light. You might just see the seahorse.


If you’re interested in touring Waterford and seeking out Waterford Crystal, then check out this offer.

[SOURCES: Waterford Crystal, eBay]

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