How do I know if a Murano Glass item is genuine?

How can I be sure that I am buying a genuine work of Venetian masters, a piece of authentic Murano Glass? This question is by far the most common one among those we receive. And this does not come as a surprise to us, since so many counterfeits have flooded the market in recent years, especially with the advent of the World Wide Web. Most Murano Glass lovers appreciate this glass not only for its beauty but also for its historic, artistic, and sentimental value. So understandably they want to be sure they are buying the real thing, handmade by the masters and artists in Venice, rather than some cheap imitation. Here are our top 5 expert tips to ensure you are buying authentic Murano Glass, whether in a store or online.

Tips to Identify Authentic Murano Glass

1. Look at the item itself (or its photos if buying online)

Authentic Murano Millefiori Bowl

  • Does the item appear to be hand-made with a slightly uneven surface or texture, or, perhaps, tiny bubbles inside the glass? If two of the same item stand next to each other on a store shelf are they identical or can you spot small differences? If it’s the latter, you are on the right track, as there can never be two completely identical authentic Murano Glass pieces.
  • Are the photos clear and professional, high resolution and high definition, showing the surface and texture of the glass? Can the photos be enlarged so you can clearly see the patterns
  • Are the colors bright and rich? Does the item seem to glow from within?
  • Does the description say “Murano Glass” (and not “Murano-style” or similar)?
  • Does it talk about real 24K gold or genuine silver being used during production of the glass?
You want to be able to answer YES to ALL of these questions when you are looking for a genuine article. Always look for the evidence of the hand-crafted nature of the items, good photos, rich colors and specific descriptions.

Finally, look at the price and research where it fits in comparison to prices other sellers charge for similar objects (make sure the style and size of the objects you compare is similar and technique is the same). Be on alert for prices that are way too low, this may be a sign of a counterfeit.

2. Look for labels, markings or signatures

Authentic Murano Glass Label

Are there any markings, stickers, or engraved signatures on the piece? It helps if there is a label identifying a certain Murano company or a signature of the master glass-maker on the item, and some Murano Glass companies do stamp or sign their work in some way.

However, if your piece does not have any markings or labels, it does not automatically mean that it is not genuine. Keep in mind that there is no legal requirement in Italy or beyond that Murano Glass come with some sort of a standard stamp, sticker or any other identifying sign. Different Murano Glass masters choose to mark their glass in different ways, including various stamps, stickers, glass masters’ signatures, while many make no markings at all.

While there exists the official Murano Glass Consortium, the membership in it is not compulsory and is fee-based, and at present only a relatively small group of Murano’s  glass-making companies are the members of that consortium, mainly for practical and financial reasons.

3. Look at what else comes with the item

Murano Glass Certificate of Authenticity


  • Does the seller offer a certificate of authenticity stating the origin and the production process of the item?
  • Does the certificate display any text in Italian language?
  • Are there any brochures supplied by the seller explaining Murano Glass and its historical and artistic significance?
  • Is special packaging offered with the item? Does the packaging look attractive and is it of good quality?
If the answer is always YES you are on the right track.

4. Look at the seller

Murano Glass Store

  • Is the seller reputable? Does it share information about itself? Does it specialize only in Murano Glass or Venetian products and nothing else? Does the seller demonstrate good knowledge of Murano Glass industry, techniques, production process, and history? Does it possess Italian background, education, or extensive travel experience to Italy? Does it offer a generous Return/Exchange policy?
  • If it’s a website, is it professional-looking? Is there a real business address and phone number listed on the site? Look out for the addresses in Asia or in developing countries as this often is a BIG counterfeit warning sign.
  • Does the seller have a very large assortment of various Murano Glass products? Always try to find the sellers that specialize in and know Murano Glass and beware of the large and faceless web portals selling lots of items unrelated to each other.
  • Does the online seller have lots of things in stock? Can they pick out a piece with specific patterns/colors at your request? If yes, they probably have their own warehouse. If not – they are drop-shippers, which means they have an agreement with other companies to ship to their customers, while never actually seeing the products they sell. Steer clear of such drop-shippers.
  • Are any client testimonials or product reviews readily available on the site? If yes, that often indicates that the seller is confident in the quality of their pieces, even if they get purchased by Murano Glass collectors who often shop at such websites and can easily spot the fakes.
Positive answers to these key questions indicate that the seller is likely to sell genuine Murano glass. On the flip-side, if the seller also sells lots of other cheap-looking jewelry and accessories, is known as a large seller of cheap household names, can’t tell you much about Murano or Murano glass, will not consider custom requests, does not seem to have any links to Italy, or has a shady website with little business or product info, you are probably looking at counterfeits.

5. Look at the assortment of Murano glass products the seller offers

Murano Glass Selection

  • Does the seller offer a wide range of Murano glass products that include jewelry, home decor items and high-end Murano glass items such as vases, sculptures, chandeliers, or art glass?
  • Does it offer any Millefiori items? If so, is there a large variety of them and are they of good quality, displaying intricate patterns with many mosaic pieces in them, and rich colors? Millefiori is one of the most difficult and labor-intensive Murano Glass-making techniques and is harder to fake than some other ones.
  • Does the seller offer to work with you on procuring any custom items or items not in their inventory, such as chandeliers? If yes, that means they have ways of dealing directly with the glass masters.
  • Generally, if you can answer YES to these questions you can be reasonably sure you are dealing with the seller who offers authentic Murano Glass.

    Despite the large number of companies that sell fake glassware labeled as Murano, there are many more that proudly carry the real thing. Authentic Murano Glass is worth purchasing, owning and passing to the next generations, or gifting to your loved ones. The beautiful Murano Glass pieces make great wedding or anniversary gifts and often become family keepsakes and sentimental objects.

    Please do not be put off by all the publicity about the rarity of genuine Murano Glass. When you are armed with the right information, it is very much possible to find a reputable Murano Glass company and purchase from them confidently. GlassOfVenice.com is one such place, where passion for Venice, its cultural and historic heritage, and its beautiful Murano Glass is at the heart of everything we do.

    Should you decide to buy from us, or anyone else, just go by this guide to have confidence in your choice. Above all, trust your instinct and common sense when buying Murano Glass. If something tells you “beware”, try to find out as much information as possible from the seller, and if you are still not satisfied, just steer clear of it and look elsewhere.

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128 thoughts on “How do I know if a Murano Glass item is genuine?

  1. Joal

    Hi, I purchased a vase from Venier, Fondamenta Andrea Navagero 54/B, 30141 Murano. Vase has no signature nor markings/label and although I have a “warranty” signed by one of the masters, still not convinced it is genuine Murano? How can I find out if it is genuine?

  2. Joal

    Hi, I posted a question on 31st March and it showed that under review. But the question is not showing in above – can you advise why please – thanks

  3. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Jennifer, to help you identify this piece we would need to see good photos from different angles. The word “vetreria” (which is translated as “glassworks”) typically precedes the name of the Murano Glass factory, so the fact that no name is stated is strange. Also the combination “le arti” sounds strange, usually it’s l’arte di Murano or simply “arte di Murano”.

  4. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Joal, to the best of our knowledge Venier is just a showroom, they don’t make their own glassware but work with many hotels in Venice to get tourists in on a free “tour” by private boat from their hotels, and then try to sell them pieces at high prices. See one review here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g681249-d1674134-r169280585-Venier-Murano_Veneto.html. If it is a large expensive piece it is strange that there are no markings or labels but some masters don’t label or sign the pieces so this alone does not mean the piece is not genuine. You can send us the photo and we’ll take a look and let you know. Or you can research in places such as http://www.1stdibs.com and http://www.20thcenturyglass.com to see if you can find similar vases there.

  5. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Joal, it sometimes takes us a while to review and approve blog comments – we need to have the approval step in order to avoid spam. Your comment is now approved and showing up, and we posted a reply below. Thank you for your patience.

  6. Caroline ouk

    Hi I got a ruby red with gold and flower appliques on it . It has six goblets and the decanter. I got it from a op shop as someone had bought it in from a deceased owner. Its beautiful but not sure if the real thing . I paid $80 for it as I am in Australia.

  7. Sue

    Hi I purchased a lamp back in the early 1980’s, it’s measurements are approx 48cm high X 36cm wide. It is a cream mushroom shape lamp made out of one piece of glass. It has no markings on it only a sticker which I assume is a stock number from where I purchased it. The number is R7033 there is another number above it but it’s difficult to make it out. Could this be an orthentic Murano or is it possible it’s a fake.

  8. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Caroline, what you are describing sounds like a Tre Fuochi wine set, which may be similar in design to what we have at https://www.glassofvenice.com/murano-tableware/murano-barware/murano-glass-goblets.html?filters=117_126
    The glasses we sell are Murano-made but similar type of glassware has also been produced for about 2 centuries in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), and while it looks similar it is not Murano Glass. So depending on the look of your set and most importantly on any labels or signatures on it, or lack thereof, it may or may not be authentic Murano Glass.

  9. W. KEITH RICHARDS

    I HAVE A 22 POUND MURANO? GLASS AQUARIUM
    WITH 5 LARGE FISH AND MANY STRANDS OF BENT AND CURVY GRASS. IT IS 12 INCHES LONG BY 8 AND 3/4 HIGH BY 2 AND 1/2 INCHES THICK. CAN YOU TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT IT. THERE ARE NO MARKS ON IT.

  10. Brandon

    I think that as long as the quality of the glass products is good and the price is cheap, the place of production is not important, right?

  11. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Brandon, this is an interesting question. Murano is more than merely a geographical place of production – it stands apart from all other places of decorative glass production because it signifies a long-standing tradition, history, professionalism, and skill of the local master artisans. It stands for a way of working the glass, a set of glassmaking techniques, and the source materials the likes of which do not exist elsewhere. This unique combination of exceptional quality source materials, talent, and skill, as well as the presence of a thousand-year-old Venetian glass-making tradition, all tightly concentrated in one geographical place, lead to creation of not merely pieces of decorative glassware but art glass in a true sense, which is unique and highly valued around the world, not to mention the sentimental value of Murano Glass produced in Venice, Italy. In addition, we have to note that Murano Glass is not cheap, nor it should be, as every step of the glass-making process on Murano is completely manual and very labor-intensive, not to mention the artistic aspect, which is certainly not cheap. Hence, those seeking cheap decorative glass who do not see the special value of Murano Glass should look at pieces mass-produced in China and in other low-cost production centers.

  12. Sarah Ruffle

    I have various blue/gold leave glass items left to my after my grandmother died and my mum has moved to a smaller house. Please can I send you photos? How do I tell what it is – apart from my mother saying she was told it was Venetian. I am interested to find any information I can about the glass.

  13. Wayne

    I have seen paperweights advertised as Murano. The bases are crosshatched or rough cut. Did/do Murano craftsmen finish their items in this fashion?

  14. Joyce Tyler

    My family’s Dona Maria came to the U.S. from Italy in the early to mid 1900’s with a glass bowl that’s been passed down for four generations. I believe it’s by a Murano artist but there are no marks and I can find none others like it on the web. Can you tell me of anyone in the Phoenix area I can take it to for accurate evaluation?

  15. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Authentic Murano Glass can be re-sold on a number of specialized online marketplaces, such as https://www.1stdibs.com, https://www.rubylane.com, the shopping section of The 20th Century Glass encyclopedia at https://www.20thcenturyglass.com/ and also on general auction sites such as eBay. If your piece has a label, a signature of the master, or the paperwork or certificate specifying its Murano origin, you may be able to sell it more expensively than if it lacks any marks or signatures recognized as indicative of the Murano origin. We recommend that you research first, going through the above websites or Google images in search of the Murano Glass pieces similar to yours. This way you can scan the prices for similar items first to make sure you are asking the price that is in line with the market expectations for similar pieces. If you cannot establish the Murano origin and see no similar pieces online it may mean that your art glass piece is actually not Murano-made. It is important not to mislead potential clients if after doing the research you yourself are not sure in the origin of your item, as doing so would erode customers’ faith into the honesty of the online sellers and will hurt the entire online market of authentic Murano Glass.

  16. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Sarah, it is usually hard to say who made a certain Murano Glass vase without a sticker or signature, as multiple factories and masters have been making similar styles of items over the years. You can send the photos of your Murano glasses to us but as we are very busy with our day-to-day operations, thus it may take us a while to get back to you.

  17. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Wayne, yes, some Murano Glass artisans did finish paperweights in this fashion, the design of the base itself (polished or unpolished) is not necessarily a sign of Murano vs. foreign workmanship.

  18. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Joyce, it is usually hard to say who made a certain Murano Glass vase without a sticker or signature, as multiple factories and masters have been making similar styles of items over the years. You can send the photo of your Murano Glass bowl to us but as we are very busy with our day-to-day operations, thus it may take us a while to get back to you. We are not affiliated with any dealers of Murano Glass in Phoenix area or anywhere else in the US, for that matter.

  19. Pingback: Is Murano Glass Made In China? | Everything About Venice and Murano Glass

  20. Helen Walker

    How can I send you a photo of a Bronze and Murano Glass 76″ high floor lamp? I have the original invoice/ receipt from 2003 for $8000 US dollars from La Gondola s.r.l. MURANO VENETIAN GLASS 30100 VENEZIA, S.MARCO – BACINO ORSEOLO 1166
    I want to sell it but since I don’t see any signature or stamp anywhere. I have been asked (even with receipt and appraisal) the art broker wants to KNOW who was it made by?
    Description: Contemporary Italian hand crafted patinated bronze standard holding 18 hand blown Murano glass tulip shades with electric lights. Leaves and stems are green patinated. The glass is white and caramel colored. Excellent condition.
    Thank you very much! I live in California, USA I am hoping I can send the photo to you for your examination.

  21. Jean Carter

    Hi I have very heavy, wavy shaped, ruby coloured glass bowl with a star like pattern within the glass on the inside bottom of the bowl. It was purchased second hand, I think it is murano bbut would like to find out a bit more about it. Would be glad of any help you can give me thank you. Jean Carter.

  22. Nilda Bienes

    Hi just inherited a couple of Murano pieces and I don’t know much about them as to confirm their value… I have been researching online and ended up here because they don’t have certificate of authenticity or signatures, I believe then they’re vintage and it seems they fill all the requirements of a true Murano, except I see small tiny “black specks” throughout the small pink glass pitcher that has controlled bubbles through out with gold specks in handle, would this be also considered normal? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! =)

  23. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Helen, you can send us the photo by email at support@glassofvenice.com. However, we probably wouldn’t be able to help with determining exactly who made it. La Gondola SRL where you bought this no longer exists. Many Murano Glass factories have created pieces that are very similar to each other, many factories have merged, closed, or got sold multiple times, and apart from a few very prominent Murano Glass masters, the works of most others cannot be reliably identified. You can try to sell this in one of the specialized online marketplaces where the original receipt will be enough evidence to establish authenticity.
    Regards,
    Glass Of Venice

  24. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Jean, it is impossible to determine by the description. A piece like what you are describing may have been made in- or outside of Murano. You can email us the photo and we can take a look but please note that these requests may take a long time to respond to since we do this as a courtesy only when time allows and we are normally very busy with fulfilling orders and serving customers. You can also do some research yourself by searching in Google images for pieces similar to yours and researching those pieces further to understand where and by whom they may have been made.
    Regards,
    Glass Of Venice

  25. GlassOfVenice Post author

    Hi Nilda, it is hard to say what black specks you have in mind and whether they are there by design or by accident. If it’s the latter, typically Murano masters wouldn’t allow such accidents as they are very proficient. You may want to do some research into similar pieces using Google Images or 1stdibs.com to see if you can find others with the same black specs.
    Regards,
    Glass Of Venice

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