Is Bone China made of bone?

Yesterday, a client asked us what “bone china” was, so I thought we should put the answer on the blog.  Here it is:

Bone china ware have been been used and displayed for centuries. But what is bone china? Unlike “fine china”, bone china actually contains bone ash as one of its ingredients.  So unless bone ash is present (25% of all the ingredients), it’s not bone china.  Bone ash adds strength, whiteness, and translucence to china ware.

How do you identify bone china?

Hold an item up to the light and place an object behind it. You should clearly see the object contours through the item. You can also do that with your hand and your fingers will be visible. Bone china also makes a clear ring when flicked with a finger or gently tapped with a metal object.

Most people use their bone china items for display only. But if you do want to use your piece,  do not place it in the dishwasher, as the color and pattern fade overtime. Wash by hand, to be safe.


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