Bone china and bone china are two different types of ceramics that are very similar. You may have seen these types of dishes at your grandmother’s house, or you may have been given some at your wedding. Or maybe, you’re interested in scouring the millennial trend incorporating these bowls and bowls. In any case, knowing the differences in your dinnerware materials can influence your decision when it comes to using them in your home.
In short it all is that both types of ceramic are very nice dinnerware that are usually used on special occasions. Whether you have some dishes of your own or have recently inherited them, you will probably want to know what kind of dishes you have. Many people cannot tell the difference when it comes to bone china vs porcelain just by looking at it, but there are some important differences beyond what meets the eye. Here are the biggest differences and how you can tell them apart.
What is bone china and what makes it unique?
Bone china gets its name because it is made from bone ash. Bone ash is exactly what it sounds like – animal bones – usually, cow bones, ground to an ash consistency. Bone china contains a certain percentage of bone ash, generally between 30% and 45%, mixed with other ingredients that can include quartz, kaolin (a type of clay), feldspar, clay ball, silica, and more. The mixture is then carved or shaped into the desired shape and prepared for firing.
Firing is the process that ceramics go through to harden it for use in food and drink. Bone china is unique in that it can withstand twice kiln firing, which is the kiln used to ignite ceramics. The first stage of firing causes the bone china piece to shrink, and the second stage causes the glaze on the china to set so that it becomes one piece. Typically, bone china is fired at a maximum temperature of 2,228°F (1,220°C).
What is porcelain?
Porcelain differs from bone china for one major reason: it does not contain any bone ash. Porcelain ingredients have varied throughout history and region, so it can be difficult to know exactly what porcelain dishes are made of unless you know when and where they were made. European porcelain is usually made from clay, ground glass, feldspar, and other materials, while Chinese porcelain is made from granite and kaolin.
The main difference between bone china and porcelain, other than the ingredients, is that porcelain is harder than china and is fired in a kiln at a higher temperature. Porcelain is fired at approximately 2,650 degrees Fahrenheit (1,454 degrees Celsius).
How is fine china different from other ceramics?
Fine china is neither bone china nor earthenware, but another type of porcelain exists to confuse things even more. Fine bone china does not contain bone ash, and it is not fired at a high temperature like porcelain, so it is a different class of ceramic. The main difference between bone china and porcelain is that fine china is not as durable as porcelain because of the lower temperature at which it is fired.
Bone China vs. Porcelain: What’s the Difference?
At a glance, you may not be able to tell the difference between bone china and bone china. However, if you look closely, bone china will not be as bright white as bone china or porcelain.
- Bone china has a more white color than porcelain.
- Porcelain is also more durable and feels heavier in your hand than china.
- Usually, the words “bone china” are marked on the bottom of a piece of bone china.
- If you hold china to light, you will see that bone china is more translucent than fine china.
Knowing these tips and tricks for identifying these materials will not only help you distinguish their unique patterns, but will also enable you to take better care of your dishes. These materials may sometimes require special attention and often have different maintenance needs. So, knowing what type of ceramic you have can make a huge difference in how you choose to use it in your home.
No matter what kind of casserole you have, they should be taken out of their storage and used every now and then. Sure, they may be family heirlooms, but what good are fancy dishes if you never flaunt them?