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Fiestaware is a well-known tableware brand that is well-liked for its vivid and colorful designs. It is now regarded as a treasured aspect of American dining culture.

Most Fiestaware pieces bear an HLC design stamp on their underside. During a conversation with a friend new to Fiestaware, one question he asked was “What does HLC mean on Fiestaware”.

His question startled me, assuming it was common knowledge. Realizing this, I recognized that many others might be curious too. So here we are about to find out the meaning of HLC in Fiestaware.

The Fiestaware marking could vary in appearance; it could be stamped or imprinted. The appearance of the letter could indicate the series and year of the Fiestaware brand.


HLC Fiestaware is a well-known brand of ceramic tableware known for its brilliant colors, unique designs, and long-lasting appeal.

The abbreviation “HLC” refers to “Homer Laughlin China,” the company responsible for producing this renowned tableware.

HLC Fiestaware Dinnerware set

Fiestaware dates back to the 1930s when the Homer Laughlin China Company created this ceramics line. It immediately became popular because of its original, daring, and upbeat designs.

The original Fiestaware collection had a variety of vibrant colors such as red, blue, green, and yellow that could be mixed and matched to create bright table settings.

Fiestaware has gone through several production phases throughout the years, each with its own color palette and design components. Collectors are quite interested in this “vintage” Fiestaware.

HLC Fiestaware is noted for its durability and chip resistance, making it appropriate for everyday usage in addition to its eye-catching beauty.

Its adaptability, from informal dining to special events, has contributed to its longevity.

Collectors frequently value both classic and contemporary Fiestaware, which demonstrates the growth of design and manufacturing techniques throughout time.


What does HLC mean on Fiestaware

HLC on Fiestaware means Homer Laughlin China Company; it is seen underneath the Fiestaware brand.


As indicated on blog.fiestafactorydirect.com, Fiestaware proudly boasts a 100% “Made in the USA” label.

The company has a rich history dating back to 1840, demonstrating a longstanding presence in the tableware industry.

HLC Fiesta Made in USA

This longevity has enabled them to emerge as significant players in the field, consistently meeting the needs of American households.

The HLC Fiestaware Company’s manufacturing facility is situated in the charming town of Newell, West Virginia, characterized by just a single stoplight.

The phrase “Made in the USA” carries with it a sense of excellence, impeccable craftsmanship, and the promise of exceptional quality.

Below, you will discover a selection of Fiestaware products proudly crafted in the United States.


In my workplace, we often say, “To kickstart your day, don’t settle for just any coffee mug – choose the right one.”

The HLC Fiesta USA Mug is an excellent option for coffee lovers, offering a blend of practical and beautiful qualities.

HLC Fiesta USA Mug

These mugs are adept at keeping your coffee piping hot while remaining lightweight and easy to handle.

With dimensions of 4.5 inches in length, 3.5 inches in width, and 3.5 inches in height, they strike a perfect balance between form and function.

Moreover, they are available in a variety of colors, allowing you to select one that suits your style. These mugs can even double as decorative pieces in your kitchen, adding a touch of vibrancy.

Fiestaware Jumbo Cups and Mugs

What’s more, they are budget-friendly.

Above, you’ll find a selection of Fiesta Mugs made in the USA, ensuring that you start your day on the right note with the perfect coffee companion.


Fiesta’s HLC USA Bowl lineup boasts a delightful variety in terms of shape, size, color, and weight, making them indispensable in the kitchen for a wide range of meal preparations.

Fiesta HLC USA Bowl

The Fiesta USA bowls are typically crafted from porcelain, these bowls measure 10.25 inches in diameter and stand at a height of 1.5 inches.

These versatile Fiesta Bowls serve multiple purposes, from presenting salads and soups to hosting cereal or dessert treats like pie and ice cream.

Their practicality extends to being safe for use in the microwave, freezer, oven (up to 350°F), and dishwasher, ensuring convenience in food preparation and cleanup.

Fiesta Bistro Serving Bowl

They are heat-resistant, preventing cracking, chipping, and fading, making them durable and reliable for your culinary needs.

Popular examples of Fiestware Bowls are:

  • Fiesta Medium Bowl
  • Fiesta Serving Bowl
  • Fiesta Fruit Bowl
  • Fiesta Gusto Bowl
  • Fiesta Rimmed Soup Bowl
  • Fiesta Cereal Bowl
  • Fiesta Mixing Stainless steel Bowl set with Lids

However, it’s advisable to avoid placing them close to direct heat sources when using them in the oven.

Fiesta’s HLC USA Bowls are the perfect combination of functionality and style in your kitchen.

Above are a few Bowls made in the USA by Fiesta HLC.


Is HLC Fiestaware Lead Free

When determining whether HLC Fiestaware is lead-free, it’s not solely about the materials used, but primarily about the amount of leachable lead that may come into contact with food.

The key factor is whether the leachable lead levels comply with the requirements set by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for safe food contact.

HLC Fiestaware, like many reputable dinnerware brands, takes great care to ensure that its products meet these stringent FDA standards.

Lead Free HLC Fiestaware dinnerware sets

They are designed and manufactured with glazes and finishes that are formulated to minimize the risk of lead leaching into food or beverages.

This dedication to safety is why HLC Fiestaware is considered lead-free, as it successfully adheres to the FDA’s guidelines.

In essence, the term “lead-free” in the context of dinnerware, including HLC Fiestaware, means that the products are designed and tested to ensure that the leachable lead levels remain well within the safe limits established by the FDA, assuring consumers that they can enjoy their meals without the concern of lead contamination.


Fiestaware has grown to be a prized collector’s item thanks to its vivid and constantly shifting color palette.

Since every color has a distinct history and set of properties, it’s critical to know how to distinguish Fiestaware colors, particularly in terms of age and scarcity.

Now let’s take a closer look at identifying Fiestaware colors, concentrating on a few standout hues.

1. White (1986 to Present): White Fiestaware is timeless, versatile, and has been in production since 1986, continuing to the present day. Its color number is 0100 or F100.

This classic hue complements various table settings and is highly sought after by collectors for its simplicity.

2. Black (1986 to 12/2014): Black Fiestaware was produced from 1986 until December 2014. Its color number is 0101 or F101.

This bold and elegant color is ideal for adding a touch of sophistication to your table. Due to its limited production timeframe, it is considered relatively rare.

3. Rose (1986 to 2005): Rose Fiestaware was available from 1986 to 2005 with a color number of 0103 or F103.

This soft, romantic shade is characterized by its pinkish hue. It is no longer in production, making it a collectible choice for vintage Fiestaware enthusiasts.

4. Apricot (1986 to 1998): Apricot Fiestaware, produced from 1986 to 1998, had a color number of 0104 or F104.

Its warm, peachy tone adds a touch of warmth to the table. As it is no longer being made, it’s considered a collectible item.

5. Cobalt Blue (1986 to Present): Cobalt Blue is one of the original colors from 1986 and remains in production today. It’s a rich, deep blue hue that captures attention. Its color number is 0050 or F050.

6. Yellow (1987 to 2002): Yellow Fiestaware was available from 1987 to 2002. It radiates a sunny and cheerful vibe.

Its color number is 0051 or F051. Yellow is no longer in production, making it a sought-after collectible.

7. Turquoise (1988 to Present): Turquoise is another original color from 1988 that remains in production. Its vibrant blue-green hue is both visually appealing and enduring. The color number for Turquoise is 0052 or F052.

8. Periwinkle Blue (1989 to 2006): Periwinkle Blue Fiestaware was produced from 1989 to 2006. Its color number is 0053 or F053.

This soft and calming shade is no longer in production, making it a valuable find for collectors.

For both collectors and fans, it is essential to recognize the colors of Fiestaware and the corresponding timeframes.

For those who are interested in this classic American dinnerware, Fiestaware is an interesting quest because each color offers a story about its history and design growth.


Yes, there is an unmarked Fiestaware. It happens when there isn’t enough room for the signature markings that Fiestaware usually puts on the bottom of tableware pieces.

This is especially typical for curved Fiestaware products, like mugs, where marking could detract from the piece’s overall attractiveness.

In these situations, Fiestaware purposefully chooses not to use any stamps or markings so that the final product’s beauty is preserved.

Adding a mark to these smaller Fiestaware pieces could detract from their charm and allure. However, when seeking unmarked Fiestaware, caution is advised to avoid potential counterfeits.

In a previous article, I explained simple techniques for determining the authenticity of real Fiestaware.

By using these techniques, you can confidently distinguish real Fiestaware from fakes and make sure you’re getting a genuine piece of this renowned dinnerware.


It can be difficult to tell how old your Fiestaware is, but certain obvious indicators can help you tell the difference between new and ancient pieces. The markings hold the key.

Vintage Fiesta items typically feature an all-lowercase “Fiesta” logo, which is a strong indicator of their age. Conversely, if the “Fiesta” emblem displays uppercase letters, you likely have a newer item.

If you spot an imprinted Fiestaware marking with an “H,” it is unmistakably new. However, the absence of an “H” in the marking can leave you with some uncertainty, as it might be either new or old.

For a pre-1973 old Fiestaware piece, look for distinctive colors such as rose, chartreuse, grey, medium green, ancient gold, light green, yellow, turquoise, old ivory, forest green, and red.

Generally, Fiestaware produced after 1986 leans towards the modern category.

It’s essential to note that the original Fiesta emblems from 1936 to 1972 feature “Fiesta” in all lowercase letters with a handwritten appearance.

They also include the initials HLCO (Homer Laughlin China Co.) or H-L-Co, “Made in USA,” and sometimes, “authentic.”

Keep in mind that Fiestaware’s markings and features may evolve as new dinnerware pieces are introduced, potentially altering the criteria for distinguishing between old and new Fiesta items.

Is not over, here is one more way to tell old Fiestaware from new.

Fiestaware date codes play a crucial role in distinguishing old from new pieces. These date codes, often imprinted on the underside of the dinnerware, include a series of letters and numbers.

The first letter indicates the decade, with ‘A’ for the 1930s, ‘B’ for the 1940s, and so on. The subsequent number signifies the year within that decade, and the final letter reveals the specific month.

For instance, ‘H7’ translates to 1987, where ‘H’ represents the 1980s, ‘7’ signifies the seventh year of that decade, and the month is depicted by the letter ‘G,’ which corresponds to July.

By deciphering these date codes, collectors and enthusiasts can precisely pinpoint when a piece of Fiestaware was manufactured, helping them determine whether it falls into the old or new category.

This valuable information aids in assessing the rarity, value, and historical significance of each Fiestaware item.


In the world of vintage Fiestaware, “Red 1,” or the original radioactive red, is frequently regarded as the most desirable Fiesta color.

Several elements contribute to its value: its scarcity, the period in which it was made, and its historical relevance.

Production of radioactive red took place between 1936 and 1943. The use of uranium in the glaze gives this color a rich, brilliant red hue that makes it stand out.

Its distinctive color comes from this radioactive element in the coating. Its attractiveness is further enhanced by the historical background.

The United States was actively fighting in World War II during the beginning of the 1940s. Uranium, a crucial ingredient in the glaze’s composition, was consequently diverted for military uses.

As a result, the radioactive red was discontinued, making it one of the least common Fiestaware hues. Its scarcity is increased by the short production period and the impact of wartime events on its availability.

Items that evoke a particular time or place are highly prized by collectors, and the radioactive red Fiesta China accomplishes just that.

Being the most precious Fiesta color, it’s highly sought after in the world of Fiestaware collecting because of its historical significance and the difficulty of acquiring pieces in good condition from this era.

Determining the most popular Fiesta color largely hinges on user demand, and the most accurate insights are typically provided by the company itself.

Nonetheless, I can offer information on a popular color choice. According to Fiesta Factory Direct, Scarlet has held the title of the most popular color since 2004.

It’s important to note that consumer preferences can evolve, and the most sought-after Fiesta color may change as consumer behavior and trends shift.

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