March 1, 2011

Is Lenox China Really Worth the Expense?

For most of us, the days of formal dinners at home are long-gone. Elaborate affairs in which one “breaks out the good china” are becoming scarce, leading many people to wonder if china is still worth the hefty price. Despite many china companies producing more cost-efficient versions of their valuable dishes, the common idea is that it is a frivolous and unnecessary expense. So why might someone still consider buying it?

To Give as an Heirloom
For many decades, it has been tradition for a parent or, more commonly, a grandparent to hand down their china set to a newlywed. This set was often highly valued by the grandchild, especially after the giver had passed away. However, as this tradition declines, it will be the younger generation affected, as these special heirlooms become scarcer. One woman said, “I would really like to have my grandma’s china when she dies…it’s sort of a sentimental thing combined with just loving the pattern. It’s the only thing I hope she leaves me.”

It Maintains its Value
Due to its superb quality, Lenox china is one of the few items which holds (if not increases!) its value from generation to generation. Early services from as long ago as the nineteenth century are still being passed down, surpassing the lives of one owner after another. However, one cause of this is oftentimes due to the obsessive care shown by some owners: “I hate when my mom gets her china out and looks at us sideways when we cut too loudly on the dishes.”

It is Easy to Replace
Due to its value and brand recognition over the years, collectors ensured it wasn’t carelessly discarded over the years. Therefore, finding and replacing pieces of a set is as simple as looking on eBay or the official Lenox website.

It is Made in America
In these times of economic uncertainty, “Buy American” bumper stickers can often be seen adorning the back end of many cars. It is reasonable to want to buckle down, to keep the money close to home, when you are unsure of your country’s financial future. Since it was founded in New Jersey in 1889, Lenox has remained a domestic producer, creating most of its products here in the United States.

But Then Again…Many people just can’t justify the price or don’t see themselves as “fancy” enough for upscale dinnerware: “We’re very informal. Can you imagine me and china? ‘Ok, here’s your Miller Lite, beer koozy, ashtray…oh, you need a saucer!’” Many people also stated lacking the space to store it or not having an occasion to use it. However, for those who enjoy the formality of dinner parties or just like the tradition of using china, it is absolutely worth the cost: “I think if you plan to entertain a lot and you like having fancy things, then it’s a good idea. I bring out the china whenever I have people over. I also break out my Christmas dishes from mid-November until mid-January.”

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