Why Is It Called Fine China?

It’s the perfect dinnerware to show off at dinner parties but why is it called fine china? It’s made of a delicate material, often comes adorned with intricate patterns, and can cost a pretty penny to purchase.

What’s the story behind its name? On the surface, there’s a statement of its quality to be had but it turns out there’s more to it. There is a long history of fine china production, trading between cultures, and even claims of being the best tableware in the world.

Let’s take a look at why fine china is called that and why this material holds so much value.

Why Is It Called Fine China?

If you’ve ever noticed the label “fine china” on a dinner plate, you’ve likely wondered where the name comes from. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the term and why it’s used to refer to certain types of dinnerware.

Origins of “Fine China”

The origins of the label “fine china” are centuries old and go back to the Chinese art of making porcelain. Porcelain, which was highly valued for its beauty and durability, was traditionally produced in China and was referred to as “china” in Europe as early as the 1500s.

The term “fine china” was often used by retailers in the late 1700s to differentiate higher-quality porcelain from the more common, less-expensive types. Initially, the term only referred to dinnerware that was imported from China — anything else was labeled as “earthenware. “

The Definition of “Fine China” Today

Today, “fine china” typically refers to dinnerware made of porcelain or bone china.

This type of dinnerware is notable for its delicacy and beauty. Porcelain dinnerware is usually white and typically decorated with a light blue or gold border, while bone china dinnerware is often more colorful and less delicate.

It’s worth noting that dinnerware made of stoneware or earthenware isn’t usually referred to as “fine china. ” This is because those materials are less delicate and require less effort to produce than fine china.


The term “fine china” goes back centuries and has been used to describe dinnerware made from porcelain and bone china since the 1700s.

Today, when the label is used it typically describes dinnerware made of porcelain or bone china, which has become popular in Europe, America, and elsewhere for its beauty and delicacy. Citations: https://www.

thespruce. com/what-is-fine-china-4158178https://www. britannica. com/topic/porcelain/History

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