A Chip by Any Other Name – by Rosemary Trietsch

January 6th, 2010 by


Once a piece of glass is chipped, you can’t make it whole again. After all, whether it’s a ‘flea bite’ or a chunk, there’s glass missing that can’t be replaced. Oh sure, sometimes you can glue the piece back in place, but what about the sliver missing from the rim of your favorite wine goblet? When Crazy glue just isn’t an option, it’s time to look for a glass repair person.

 Now there’s one very important thing to remember: the only way to fix a chip is to remove more glass. Whether you call it restoration, repair, or polishing, it comes down to the same thing. The glass repairman is going to grind down the chipped area and polish it to restore the luster. The amount of glass removed depends on the size and location of the chip, and the skill of your repairman. In some cases, a chip can be polished out so that the repair is virtually invisible. But if the chip is large, you will end up with a goblet that’s shorter than the rest of your set. Then what do you do? Should you throw it out and start hunting for a replacement?

 At this point, you have to ask yourself two things: 1. Why do I want to repair this piece? and, 2. Am I doing more damage to it than if I left it alone?

            Let’s answer question 2 first. If you can have the chip removed so that the repair doesn’t compromise the integrity of the item, then it’s probably a good idea to fix it. If the edges remain intact, the etching or decoration on the glass is untouched, and it looks the way it did before it was chipped, then ‘restoring’ it isn’t a bad thing. Glass golfbluecollectors generally agree that such a repair is acceptable.

            Now on to question 1. If  you’re repairing the item so that you can use it without getting hurt, then repair it and enjoy. There’s a lot to be said for restoring your grandmother’s crystal so that it can once again be used at family gatherings. And given the pioneer spirit of our ancestors, chances are good that grandma would have taken an emery board and smoothed the chip herself. Once again, glass collectors would applaud your decision.

            BUT: if you’re repairing the item so that you can sell it as ‘perfect’ to an unsuspecting buyer, then I know I speak for the entire glass collecting community when I say leave it alone. Glass collectors have enough trouble trying to keep up with all the reproduction junk that’s flooding the market, and we don’t need the added headache of dishonest sellers misrepresenting things just to make a buck. Do us all a favor: leave the chip alone and get a job at McDonalds. They’re giving out really neat Coca Cola Glasses right now  – you can sell them instead.