What Exactly Is China?

Why Is China Dishware Called China?

Tableware made of ceramic or porcelain is known as china. You’ll take a stack of plates if your grandmother asks you to set the china on the table.

Although the word “china” typically refers to a fine, high-quality type of ceramic, you can use it to refer to dishes or plates in general.

Chinaware, later abbreviated to china, was the original name for this delicate type of dish because it was imported from China.

What Exactly Is China?

You might believe that “china” is simply expensive dinnerware. It’s true that fine china is more expensive, but there are other factors at play as well.

In its purest form, china is made up of a mixture of clay, kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. It’s fired in a kiln, and some of its more delicate accents, like gold rimming or hand-painted patterns, almost always require hand washing.

China is not porcelain. While there is a difference between these two words, they are frequently used interchangeably and are very similar. The manufacturing process is what distinguishes porcelain as porcelain and makes china. Because porcelain is fired at a higher temperature than china, it is more durable.

Porcelain vs. China

The distinction between “china” and “porcelain” is often unclear. The same product is actually described by the two terms. The word “porcelain” derives from the Latin word “porcella,” which means seashell, and the term “china” is derived from the nation of origin.

It suggests a product that is glossy, white, and smooth. In Europe, the word “porcelain” is preferred, whereas, in the US, the word “china” is preferred. Because of its delicate beauty and the extraordinary care and skill required to produce it, China is “at the top of the list” for ceramic products.

China is known for its great strength and resistance to chipping, which results from a high firing temperature. It is only delicate in appearance.

How To Assess The Value Of Old China Dishes?

You can determine an item’s value by comparing a hallmark or other distinctive feature you’ve found on the underside of cups, saucers, or the backs of dishes to data on websites or in books, or by taking the item to an appraiser or antique collector.

While you can look at online craft or auction sites to see what other sellers are asking for their wares, it is best to speak with a professional for advice as these methods may not always reflect true or full value.

You might be able to get a general idea of the replacement value of individual pieces as well as the most collectible china patterns from websites that offer replacement pieces for your china dishware set.

Overall, a set will be worth more than new pieces if it is more complete, in better condition, and contains rare old china dishes.

What Different Kinds Of Chinese Dinnerware Are There?

Here is a short list to assist you in choosing the proper restaurant China dinnerware when buying new plates, bowls, and cups.

Bone China

The kind of china that comes to mind when you think of fine dining establishments is bone china. It has a very elegant appearance and is strong enough to withstand repeated use.


Ceramic china is a very distinctive addition to any table because each piece can vary. As a result of its low cost and reasonable durability, it is one of the materials that are most frequently used in restaurant dinnerware.


At a lower cost, China offers you the elegance of Bone China. Additionally, you can choose from a wide range of hues, designs, and finishes that are not available with other dinnerware materials.


Some types of glass, but not all, can be used from the oven to the table. To check if a plate is oven-safe, look for a stamp on the underside.


Check the bottom of the porcelain object for a stamp, just like with glass, to see if it can go in the oven. Porcelain typically only comes in white and has a classic design that works well in fine dining establishments.


Stoneware is one of the most adaptable materials for dinnerware because it can have a wide range of colors and finishes, including satin, matte, shiny, etc.

Related Questions

How much is fine china worth?

Fine china simply refers to high-quality china; it is not a technical term. Unless it’s rare or collectible, modern or hard-paste china is typically not worth much. Your china might be extremely valuable if it’s bone china, particularly if it’s old or rare.

Why is expensive fine china?

Due to the more expensive ingredients (yep, the bone ash) and the added labor needed to make it, bone china is typically more expensive than other types of china despite being lightweight and durable. However, not all bone china is created equal; the quality varies according to the proportion of bone in the mix.


Dinnerware is a very general term that refers to anything you would use to set a table, including plates, serving bowls, and platters. Dinnerware includes china as a subset, but it also includes materials like melamine and stoneware, the latter of which is more popular and is made in China.