9 Facts About Waterford Crystal That Makes It So Special

Waterford Crystal is the epitome of elegance, class, and fine craftsmanship. These goods remain the prized possession in households around the world and are one of the most popular wedding gifts for couples to cherish for decades. If you have recently come across the brand in a home décor magazine or perhaps on a registry, you may have wondered what makes Waterford Crystal so special. To help familiarize you with the renowned crystal producer, here are nine facts about Waterford Crystal that make it so special.

1. Waterford Crystal has a long and rich history.

Waterford Crystal is over 200 years old. It was founded in 1783 in the town of Waterford, Ireland, by brothers George and Willian Penrose. The brother’s mission was to “create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home.” One of the original pieces, a decanter made in 1789, can still be found in Bishop’s Palace in Waterford today. The producer’s success and reputation for superior clarity and purity grew until they were forced to close their factory in 1853. The Waterford Crystal brand was reborn following WWII in 1947, with Kael Bacik and Miroslav Havel bringing the Penrose brother’s vision back to life.

2. Waterford Crystal’s Lismore pattern is iconic.

The Lismore pattern is the world’s best-selling crystal pattern. In 1952, Chief Designer Miroslav Havel created the pattern. The artisan drew his inspiration from the rugged elegance of the Lismore Castle that is nestled in the countryside of Waterford County. The pattern features signature diamond and wedge cuts and has a particular way of reflecting light, creating a great deal of sparkle. The iconic Lismore pattern adorns many household goods such as wine glasses, picture frames, barware, vases, and bowls.

3. Waterford Crystal has a vast portfolio with a large selection of products.

Waterford Crystal has expanded significantly while still maintaining their superior quality and crystal cutting traditions. Their line of crystal can now grace every room in your home with a range of luxurious pieces, including fine china and flatware, bowls and centerpieces, stemware and barware, vases, collectibles, lighting, paperweights, gifts, and chandeliers.

4. Waterford Crystal has partnered with famous artists from various industries.

To expand their line and creative reach, Waterford Crystal has collaborated and partnered with leading fashion and luxury living designers around the world. This has resulted in an unrivaled level of unique décor items to enhance homes and the dining experience with an extra splash of excellence and luxury. Some of their famous collaborations were with Vera Wang, Gordon Ramsay, John Rocha, and Jo Sampson.

5. Waterford Crystal is used to create many popular awards and trophies.

The incredibly talented Master Craftsmen at Waterford Crystal have created a number of iconic, world-renowned awards such as the People’s Choice Award, the PGA Tour of America trophy, the French and German Grand Prix Formula One trophy, the Tennis Master Series trophy, and the Volvo Ocean Challenge trophy. The National College Football Championship commissioned Waterford Crystal to make their trophy as well, and it reportedly took several months and cost $30,000 to complete.  

6. A Waterford Crystal bowl is given to the U.S President each year on St. Patrick’s Day.

The Irish culture is rich in traditions, and one of these traditions involves Irish politicians giving a Waterford Crystal bowl to the U.S. President on St. Patrick’s Day. This bowl is filled with shamrocks and sent to Washington every year. The bowl isn’t the only piece of Waterford Crystal you’ll find in Washington. There are Waterford Crystal chandeliers hanging in the Kennedy Center as well.

7. Waterford Crystal chandeliers are found in the Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

In 1966, on the 900th anniversary of the Westminster Abbey in London, England, the Church had elaborate and elegant crystal chandeliers installed. These were Waterford Crystal and a gift from the Guinness family. There are also Waterford Crystal chandeliers hanging in Windsor Castle.

8. Waterford Crystal made the infamous New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball.

Since 1999, Waterford Crystal has designed and maintained the infamous sparkling ball used in the ball drop seen worldwide on New Year’s Eve. To welcome in the new millennium, New York City wanted to step up the ball drop with an elaborate new ball. This is why they commissioned Waterford Crystal and Phillips Lighting to design the Millennium Ball. In 2007, on the 100th anniversary of the ball drop, Waterford Crystal revamped the ball once more. Weighing 6 tons and 12 feet in diameter, it features 2688 Waterford Crystal triangle panels that are illuminated each year.

10. The “Apprentice Bowl” is made by crystal cutter apprentices in their final year.

You will find the Apprentice Bowl in the Waterford Collection, and it is actually one of their most popular items. It’s like the final exam for a crystal cutter apprentice. The bowl is cut in their fifth and last year and requires an astounding 600 precision cuts, all by hand. The apprentices are only allowed three attempts to get it right before being graded. If it passes, it will receive the Waterford Crystal watermark, and the apprentice has successfully completed their apprenticeship.

It’s clear with these nine facts that Waterford Crystal is special when it comes to crystal craftsmanship. When purchasing a piece, you must ensure you buy it from a reputable retailer like ShopHQ.com. This online retailer is an authorized seller, so you can trust you are getting the quality crystal Waterford Crystal is known for.

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