Above are two of the most common back stamps.
Did you inherent or buy dishes at a garage sale, and wonder whether or not it is genuine Fiestaware? Fiestaware pottery is still made today and can be found at various retail outlets. The collectible side of fiestaware is focused on Fiesta made before 1959.Some items are not marked because of design considerations. These include salt and pepper shakers, vintage juice tumblers, demitasse cups, and teacups. Also, some onion soup bowls, ashtrays, egg cups, sweets comports and are marked, while others are not.
Notice the band of concentric rings on genuine fiestaware is graduating in width. In the design, the rings closest to the rim are more widely spaced.
Vintage Fiesta back stamps use a lower case “f” in the word Fiesta. However, since 1986, Fiestaware has also used a rubber back stamp to mark some of its Fiesta items. All the back stamps are applied by machine.
Note a series of three small letters in the back stamp itself. This is HLC’s date coding system which it has used since the 1960’s. The letters AA indicate 1986, BB indicates 1987, CC indicates 1988, and so on. The last letter indicates what quarter of the year an item was made. Therefore, A represents the first quarter, followed by B, C and D. Therefore a back stamp with the letters BBA indicates that the item was made in January, February or March of 1987. This indicates when the item was originally formed, it doesn’t take into account any additional time for firing or glazing. Therefore the date coding should only be used as an approximation.
In 1998, Homer Laughlin added a small raised H to the undersides of all Fiesta made from the original molds, like for example the bud vase. However this convention was added only during the midpoint of the post 86 pearl gray production.
There are some easy ways to tell vintage from new.
The information above should help you distinguish between similar colors from different years, such as turquoise and grey.
If there are rings inside the mugs or cups…it’s old.
If the bottom of the cups are flared and worn….it’s old; it’s hand turned.
Used mainly on cups and bowls, it uses the words HLC USA and genuine. The new stamp capitalizes the “F” in the name.