Discontinued china, inactive china, and obsolete china are terms that are sometimes confused by customers looking to replace pieces in a tableware pattern that is no longer being made. A quick review of the definition of discontinued china, and related terms, yields the following -
Discontinued china - discontinued china (or crystal or silver) is no longer being produced by the manufacturer. The discontinued pattern is typically removed from the company records and inventory due to lower demand. This removal from inventory often includes storage or destruction of molds, decals, etc. associated with the discontinued pattern.
Inactive china - as opposed to discontinued china, inactive china patterns are defined as patterns that are not currently being produced by the manufacturer due to low demand, but the molds, decals, etc. are available to be used if increased demand dictates that more be produced.
Obsolete china - obsolete china indicates that both the pattern, and the company that made the pattern, are non-existent. Some examples of companies that were once prominent sellers of very popular dinnerware patterns, but are now out of business, include Castleton, Syracuse, Cambridge Crystal, and Imperial Crystal.
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