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  • Writer's pictureLauren Hass

Why You Should Use Your Good Dishes

Plus a Reality Check if You're Planning to Sell Them

Photo courtesy of 3wishes Events, a CT-based planning and consulting company

I often see beautiful sets of china collecting dust in an attic. Or I'm helping to clean out the home of someone who has passed and we come across china that was rarely, if ever, used, and is now being donated.

My advice: Use your good dishes! If you have china (or crystal or silver) that is sitting in a cabinet or a basement or attic collecting dust…what are you waiting for?

I see too many people who have these special, beautiful items, but never use them. They just collect dust.

My Wedgwood India place setting, which I love and use multiple times per year.

> “But one might break.” (So what?!)

> “But I’m missing part of the set.” (Your guests - or family members - will understand.)

> “But they are a pain to wash.” (These dishes will likely have little resale value (see below), and who knows if your kids will ever use them…so what are you preserving them for? I throw mine in the dishwasher.)

Selling Your China

If you are holding on to a set of china with the plan to one day sell it, please educate yourself on the realities of that scenario. In my experience as a member of The Keys Guild network of Collectibles Advisors, the value is significantly less than what you anticipate and most definitely less than what was originally paid.

Where to start: Look up comparable sets by searching for your pattern on or and filtering for "completed items." Armed with that knowledge, decide whether it's worth your time and energy to pack up, ship and insure items that are so fragile. To avoid shipping, selling locally on Facebook Marketplace (or similar) or as part of an estate sale may be your best option, but again, be realistic about the dollar amount you can expect, especially from your local community. If anything, doing this research will hopefully convince you to enjoy that set of china more often!

Whether they were a gift or you inherited them (rarely do we purchase these things for ourselves), break them out and enjoy them.

Happy (fine) dining!

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