How to Identify Antique Crystal Whiskey Glasses

If you’re a crystal connoisseur, you know that there’s nothing more beautiful than antique whiskey glasses. These ornately decorated glasses are often difficult to find. Whether you’re a collector or simply an admirer, spotting a real crystal whiskey decanter and glass can be difficult. Use these tips to help you identify actual crystal.


In order for crystal to be considered antique, it must be at least 100 years old. If you don’t know when the item was crafted, pay attention to how much it weights. While glass and crystal may look the same, antique crystal is much heavier. This is because they typically contain lead. Adding lead to the crystal made it easier for the glassblower to shape it into whiskey glasses and decanters.

Crystal Identification

If you’re unsure whether an item is glass or crystal, hold it up to the sunlight. Crystal will fragment the light into seven colors, much like a prism. Glass won’t display any colors. You can also gently tap the item with a metal spoon. If you hear a typical clink, you may be holding glass. If the sound is much like a bell, it’s crystal. Crystal glasses will also sing when the rim is rubbed with a wet finger.


Crystal whiskey glasses are cut and molded with specific patterns. If you’re looking for a specific set of whiskey glasses, familiarize yourself with that maker’s mark and patterns. Inspect the bottom of the glass carefully and note any symbols that could distinguish the maker. This will make it much easier to find matching pieces or differentiate glass from actual crystal. The more pieces you have from a particular maker, the more valuable your collection is.

Crystal whiskey glasses are beautiful. Whether you tuck them away for a special occasion or leave them on display, these antique beauties are rare. While they may not be easy to find, few people know how to spot them. If you come across a decanter or glass, add it to your collection!