The Venetian Island of Murano made itself famous through the manufacture of its artistic glass pieces. Murano glass has been thought to be made on the island since the 13thcentury, with a long history of glassmaking innovations since then.
Europe’s first glassmaking center, Murano has built itself up to be the makers of the finest art glass today. Today, in the streets of Venice there are hundreds of shops that are part of this centuries-old tradition, selling decorated pieces and glassware to the tourists that throng the city.
Even though today’s modern techniques can make more advanced kinds of glass, most Murano glass lovers appreciate the pieces for these historic and artistic value. Some of these glass items, like beads and jars can be truly sensational in their appearance. They are extremely durable, have bright coloring, and make great investments. However, their popularity is also their Achilles heel, since the flood of demand has brought with it copycats and counterfeiters.
From our Artisans;
“I know that Chinese glass is in all the world, also in Murano, but for us is a cancer and a daily battle. All our beads are handmade from me and my family, likewise, bijoux(jewelry) assembly. For this reason, we are part of Consorzio Promovetro Murano that guarantees original products.”
With so many places to buy Murano glass, and the number of different prices, how do you find out which is authentic? Our expert tips in this article will show you how to ensure that you get authentic Murano glass.
- Inspect the item
The most important thing is to carefully examine the item (or photos if you are buying online), and inspect it for signs that it is handmade. Since each Murano glass is made by hand, no two pieces can ever be identical. Slightly uneven textures, bubbles inside the glass, and slight bumps are common, and good signs to be watching out for.
Murano glass has a distinctive color palette as well, with bright rich colors that seem to emanate from within. Watch out for online stores that have dull or low-resolution pictures.
- Identifying marks, Signatures, or stamps
Italians are proud of their work, and it is frequent to see markings, engravings or labels placed inside the pieces. It can make it very easy to identify the specific maker of that particular item, and many companies do in fact mark their work in this way. However, note that absence of a mark is not evidence of a fake. There is NO legal requirement in Italy that states that these items must have a mark.
The organization known as the “Consorzio Promovetro Murano, has taken it upon themselves to authenticate, defend and safeguard Murano’s one thousand years old tradition. Consorzio Promovetro is a consortium for the promotion of artistic glass of Murano. Founded in 1985 by a group of craftsmen producing artistic glasswork on Murano island, Promovetro has worked hard to conserve this age-old artistry, and at the same time to promote, develop and assist with proper marketing activities to popularize this important cultural heritage in the world. All members of this consortium are able to provide “Authentication Certificates” to their customers, ensuring “Certified” Murano Glass.
Our Artisan is an active member of this organization.
- Accompanying Paperwork
If the seller offers a certificate of authenticity, with clues to the origin and production process of the item, especially if that text is in Italian, it can be a good indicator of genuineness. The quality of the packaging also plays a role.
Be sure to get an “Authentication certificate” with each purchase of Murano Glass Jewelry.
- Check the seller
As with any purchase, sellers with no history or reputation are likely to have none of either, and be scams. Murano glass is an industry that is centuries old, and not likely to have many new entrants each year. Steer clear of drop shippers, and buy only from the Artisans themselves and their retailers.
Check out a live video of our Artisan in action!!
Generally, if you keep all these points in mind, and can answer most of them in the positive, you are likely to be getting authentic Murano glass. Even though there are a lot of companies that carry fakes, there are even more that proudly sell authentic products. It is worth going the extra mile to ensure you get the real thing, as Murano glass is beautiful, long lasting, and often turn into family heirlooms passed along for generations!
Check out our Artisans’ Collection of fine Murano Glass Jewelry!