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Vintage Fiesta® versus Contemporary Fiesta®

Vintage Fiesta® versus Contemporary Fiesta® – Pros & Cons for Collectors

By Lena Kunkle

If you are new to collecting Fiesta®, made by the Homer Laughlin China Company, you may wonder whether you should start collecting the vintage Fiesta® pieces or if it would be better to buy the contemporary Fiesta® colors. What are the pros and cons of collecting vintage versus newer Fiesta®?

There are innumerable joys to be had collecting any kind of Fiesta®. To decide which type is best for you, old or new, you may want to ask yourself, “What type of collector am I?”

What part of buying Homer Laughlin Fiesta® dinnerware do you find exciting? Do you enjoy trolling around flea markets searching for a long sought-after, Fiesta® tripod candlestick holder in cobalt blue? Won’t be satisfied until you get the winning bid on a medium green Fiesta® Tom and Jerry cup? If so, you collect Fiesta® for the thrill of the “hunt.” It’s all about the quest for you. You appreciate the classic lines and bright colors, but you are really searching for something unique. A piece of history or a one-of-a-kind Fiesta® find.

The original Fiesta® colors also appeal to those of us who recognize the value of vintage Homer Laughlin China. Certain pieces of Fiesta® dinnerware do command top dollar. Vintage Fiesta® can be a very good investment, provided you know where to find a good bargain, are savvy enough to know what to look for and can wait quite awhile to cash in. But buyers beware. Collecting Fiesta® solely for its future monetary value may not be as financially rewarding as you would like. The market for antique Fiesta® dishes is especially fickle these days. It is anybody’s gamble to try to predict exactly what Fiesta® piece will go up in value. You will pay dearly for any of the rare Fiesta® pieces. However, it is not a sure thing that the buyers who are willing to fork over beaucoup bucks for the Fiesta® medium green disc pitcher today will be willing to do so ten or fifteen years from now.

Another type of collector covets vintage Homer Laughlin Fiesta® China for its aesthetic appeal. They desire “art” that can be proudly displayed for enduring enjoyment, as well as for others to admire or envy! This type of collector takes tremendous pride in their Fiesta® collection, and loves to talk about how they came to find each piece. They may never want to handle the cherished vintage red Fiesta® cake plate, let alone actually eat off it. Of course, some collectors love that their “art” can do double duty on the dining table, creating the perfect compliment to any table setting with a Fiesta® sauceboat, Fiesta® relish tray or Fiesta® covered casserole.

On the down side, vintage Fiesta® is more expensive than its contemporary counterpart. Some collectors may feel limited with only the six original Fiesta® colors to choose from. Unlike contemporary Fiesta®, the older pieces are not dishwasher safe, so if you want to eat off vintage Fiesta® dishes, you will have to wash them by hand. In addition, depending on the rarity of the piece, it may not be easy to replace vintage Fiesta® pieces.

If you love to shop for affordable dinnerware, contemporary Fiesta® may be a good place to start. You can mix and match the contemporary shades to go with any modern décor. If you do not have the patience to wait for a particular vintage piece to appear on eBay or if scouring flea markets and garage sales is not your cup of tea, you can just head over to the local mall and pickup a set of demitasse cup and saucers in a hot new color like Fiesta® cinnabar. There are so many colors to choose from, you are sure to find one to match any culinary adventure. Imagine serving breakfast on tangerine Fiesta® plates, Thai food on a lemongrass Fiesta® platter or tiramisu on a square chocolate Fiesta® plate! Cleanup is breeze because contemporary Fiesta® colors are dishwasher safe.

Of course, there’s no telling how much today’s contemporary Fiesta® colors will be worth to future collectors. Because many factors contribute to the collectable value of Homer Laughlin China, it is not wise to buy contemporary Fiesta® colors that you don’t really care for in the hopes that they may increase in value over the next several decades. If you don’t really like the colors, you probably won’t use them. They’ll most likely sit in a closet somewhere and will never bring you joy. Fiesta®, as its name implies, is meant to be enjoyed.

There are many good reasons to collect both old and new Fiesta® that the best advice is collect what you like!

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  • Anita Levi says:

    Did new Fiesta marks include Fiesta HLC USA? Were the relish tray side insert pieces reproduced?

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