So you decided to take the plunge and buy a piece or two of that beautiful, wonderful colored glass you enjoy so much. What should you look for when you go shopping? Condition is important. If you are shopping in person then check the pieces over before you buy them. It is amazingly easy to miss tiny nicks and scratches. I know I have missed many a nick. Look the piece over carefully first. If it passes the eye test, then run your fingers over it. Go over the rims, top and bottom and edge, handles, foot, any place that sticks out. You are feeling for a discontinuity or a rough spot. Not all roughness is from damage, since you might find seams with raised bits of glass or little wrinkles in the rim. Hold the piece to the light and look for wear or haziness. If it's dirty then wipe a bit off with a tissue. If you can't wipe it off then it may be permanently hazed from hard water or hard usage and you might want to pass. The other thing to know about condition is that it affects value. If you can see a chip by looking at a piece then you shouldn't pay much for it. How much you care about condition depends on how you plan to use your pieces. A plate with wear is fine if you want to use the set for dessert service but it's not so fine if you like everything to be perfect. You wouldn't want to drink out of a cup with a chipped rim, but it may look lovely in your china cupboard. Just remember that this glass is not perfect and it will have mold marks and blobs in the seams. I don't think you would want to use these Fostoria Trojan tumblers!You may still choose to get a piece with minor damage - that is up to you - but you will be wise to check carefully before you fall in love with a piece! If you are buying online then read the description and look at the pictures. If you are still not sure then ask the seller. If the person selling the glass cannot answer your questions they may not be very observant or they may not know what you are looking for. So if something is important to you, then ask about it. For instance, inner rim roughness is important to me but many people don't know what it is. If I ask a seller I will describe what I'm concerned about and ask them to check. Remember you are buying glass for fun and to set up memories, so don't go overboard worrying about miniscule signs of use. Just use your judgement and don't buy stuff that is all chipped up or badly worn as you will at some point wish you had not.
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