Fine China vs. Bone China, Do You Really Know The Difference?

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We’ve got a lot to be thankful for over here at Unique Settings. We’re so excited to be going into our 3rd year of business, we have a brand new website, and now the ability to share our experiences and knowledge with our readers -on this blog! Not a bad way to start the year, huh?
With such a big collection of both bone & fine china plates and tea cups, tea pots and serving dishes, I often get asked the questions that many don’t really know the answers to. Like, “What does ‘Limoges’ mean? “How do you know a piece is an original?” And, “How can you tell if a piece is ‘fine’ china?” Well, you’re in luck- I’m going to start tackling these questions in our posts, along with gratuitous beautiful pics of our plates and rental items of course. He he he.
So, to kick off 2016, and to tackle the first big question of the year- “What’s the difference between bone china and fine china?”, we’ll take it to the industry experts Noritake to clear this up. Enjoy the read, I know I did. (And, share your newly found info with others too!)

From the blog June 21, 2013; “Difference between bone china and fine china”:

One of the most commonly asked questions is “what is the difference between bone china and fine china?” There are lots of misconceptions on what makes bone china different from fine china in the online world so we thought we share with you what we as a manufacturer of tableware tell our customers.

First of all, let me start by saying bone china does not mean stronger china. I repeat, bone china does not mean stronger china. If you are looking to buy bone china because you believe it is unlikely to chip compared to fine china, DON’T because I can tell you now that it doesn’t matter. When I tell this to my clients, the response I get is “but then how come it’s more expensive?” The reason behind bone china’s tendency to be marketed at a higher price point is due to its material. And that magic material is cow bone ash.

The main difference between bone china and fine china is that bone china mixes cow bone ash into the ceramic material. Now I know you are tired of me saying this but they don’t do this to make the material stronger; they mix cow bone ash to give it a unique colour tone. A bit hard to tell from an image but still you can tell the difference between bone and fine china above. Hertford which is bone china has creamy soft white colour compared to Hampshire Gold which is made from the fine china (or sometimes called fine porcelain) without any cow bone ash content. By mixing the bone ash in the ceramic material, it gives your china a warm soft looking colour and translucency. It’s easier to see the difference when you lift up a cup under the light. You will find that bone china is more translucent and will let more light in compared to fine china.

So it all comes down to your preference. If you are like me and prefer creamy white colour in your china, you should definitely choose bone china. But careful when selecting your bone china as you might risk paying more for what you are getting. Unfortunately, at this stage, the industry does not have a standard on minimum cow bone ash content necessarily to claim chinaware to be bone china. So it doesn’t matter if the china only has 5% or 30% bone ash content, they can both claim to be “bone china”. Not many people know this and pay more for low quality bone china.

If you are looking to buy bone china, ask the store or brand how much bone ash content is in that product. Noritake bone china has cow bone ash excess of 30% and that is what we believe the standard should be to be considered high quality.

When buying quality bone china, you definitely want to make sure it is of quality that they claim to be!

Posted by Yoko Gomi

Starkeytown Cove Photoshoot

This gorgeous shoot by Star Noir Studio, Custom Love Gifts & Events, LB Floral, The Gilded Gown, Unique Settings Mismatched China Rentals & Starkeytown Cove is just a sneak peek at the beauty that this venue holds when an amazing team of vendors come together to make a bride’s day simply perfect.

Here’s more on Starkeytown Cove: “Bordering the Smoky Mountain National Park, Starkey Town Cove offers a private outdoor wedding venue in a rustic setting, where brides can choose to build their own wedding package or purchase an all-inclusive, hassle-free package. Experience the history and beauty of the old home place with two dressing rooms, along with scenic views, woodlands, and streams.
If you’re searching for a wedding destination off the beaten path, look no further. Starkeytown Cove is the best kept secret of the Smoky Mountains! Located on property that borders the National Park, your wedding can take place among the singing birds, towering trees, and flowing mountain streams.

Many brides consider a wedding in the National Park itself, only to discover the hassle of red tape and regulations, not to mention this doesn’t guarantee that nosy tourists won’t be a part of your sacred ceremony. Starkeytown Cove is a much better choice.

The old home place has been around for 150 years, but a few modern conveniences have been added along the way. Elaine Starkey, the great-grand granddaughter of its original builder, remodeled the interior in 2013 to include two dressing rooms and 2 restrooms for your wedding guests. The property is rustic and vintage, with long-term plans to re-create the exterior of the home exactly as it was 150 years ago.

This goal, along with Elaine’s desire to share the true feel of what it’s like to be “up in the mountains,” is why Starkeytown Cove is now open for rental for weddings with up to 120 guests.”

We had a wonderful time at Starkeytown Cove and can’t wait to be back.



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Vendor Credits:
Photography: Star Noir Studio
Styling, Coordination & Favors: Custom Love Gifts

Florals: LB Floral

Dress & Jewelry: The Gilded Gown
Hair & Makeup: Southern Sirens

Mismatched China: Unique Settings Mismatched China Rentals & Tabletop Rentals
Venue: Starkey Town Cove