The history of Fiestaware is documented by the Homer Laughlin company of Newell, West Virginia. They began production in 1936 and the colors used to glaze their dishes changed over the years to create a record of the product's evolution and rarity. The five original colors were yellow, ivory, red, blue and light green. A band of concentric rings is a pattern that identifies all Fiesta wares; they graduate in width with the ones closest to the rim being spaced most widely apart.
Identify the color of your piece and check the bottom for any markings.The earliest pieces do not have any trademarks on the bottom. They will always be in the original colors. Turquoise was introduced in 1937. Red was discontinued during World War II and was not produced from 1943 to1959.
Look for a "fiesta HCL USA" logo stamped or molded into the bottom of the piece. The small "f" indicates that it is an early piece. The stamp "fiesta Made in USA" is also a vintage mark. Large "F" markings designate later production.
Classify the piece by function. The 12-inch divided plate and a covered onion soup bowl were the first items to be discontinued from the Fiesta line.
Determine if your color was one from the new palette introduced in 1951. These colors are forest green, rose, chartreuse and gray. These were short-lived colors produced before Fiesta pottery production diminished in the 1960s. Medium-green is the most valuable color because it had the shortest production time.
Patti Perry is currently attending West Virginia University and expanding her knowledge base. She has worked as a freelance visual artist for 30 years, with specialties in watercolor and scherenschnitte. Originality of creation is her motivation and she continues to pursue this avenue in her writing. Perry is currently contributing articles to eHow.