What is the Difference between Bone China and Fine China?

15 Sep.,2022


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Is bone china better than fine china?

In short, the answer is yes! Bone china and fine china dinnerware differ in various elements. But picture it together or put both side by side, you may not immediately distinguish the two apart. Most of the time people get confused over the two and are misinformed.

 If you intend to purchase a set, it is important to know that two types exist; fine china and bone china. Is it fine china or bone china that you seek? Are they really that different? Many have come to believe that both look similar. Some even suggest that bone china is far superior and more robust than fine china.

The following guide breaks down the differences between fine china and bone china. Whether you're looking to buy a new dinner set for your home or intending to look for the perfect housewarming gift for your loved ones, this article is for you.

Fine China vs Bone China

There are many misconceptions on what makes fine china different from bone china. Fine china is made through a combination of mixed clays, kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. Other materials may be added depending on the manufacturer. Each piece is carefully moulded into the desired shape and placed under a series of firings at extremely high temperatures.

According to Noritake, the process of making bone china starts the same way as fine china. The main difference between the two is that bone china has cow bone ash mixed in the ceramic material. The firing temperature is relatively lower compared to fine china due to the bone ash material.

Colour and Texture

Bone ash gives the ceramic piece its milky white colour. Bone ash also adds a luminous sheen to the body of the particular tableware piece. For instance, when you shine a bright light at bone china, you will find that more light travels through compared to fine china which is slightly more opaque. Bone china is also lighter in weight and its glaze is far smoother compared to fine china. Hence, bone ash makes ceramic pieces slightly lighter and more resilient against breakage. Bear in mind that bone china does not mean stronger china. You still ought to handle it with proper care.

Bone china is generally more expensive compared to fine china due to its bone ash content. At this stage, there isn’t a specific amount for bone china to be considered a high-quality piece. But Noritake believes that a good quality bone china should have at least 30% bone ash. No matter how low the percentage may be, it can still be considered bone china as long as cow bone ash is present in the mix. So it’s always good to know how to gauge the difference between low or good quality bone china dinnerware.

It’s a matter of taste and preference.

Many favour china dinnerware due to its delicate appearance, but few know of its great strength and chip-resistance. Whether you enjoy fancying up your table for special occasions, or if you're looking to invest in quality everyday dinnerware, china dinner sets are a great option to consider. If you prefer setting the table with creamy white hues, then bone china would be your first pick.

Brands like Noritake and Wilkie Brothers offer great high-quality bone china dinnerware. If you prefer fine china, you can always for the following options:

  •  Robert Gordon - a renowned 3rd generation Australian company that still operates one of the last remaining commercial pottery factories in Australia
  •  Royal Doulton - a British favourite that has been around for decades
  • Ecology - A modern tableware brand with affordable fashion-forward designs
  • Maxwell and Williams - an Australian iconic tableware brand that collaborates with various famous designers and artists to create striking and elegant ranges of tableware.

If you are keen on investing in a good quality set but still unsure which ones to buy, simply get in touch with our customer support. We will be happy to help you choose the right set for you. We have a wide selection of teacups and saucers, plates, teapots and dinner sets pieces that include fine china and bone china made with the best quality in mind.