Commemorative Plates or Dinnerware:

What’s the difference between pottery, china, porcelain or ceramics?

We are often asked, “Are your plates china, pottery, or porcelain?” Short answer is stoneware and if you are now confused you are not alone. We found a nice overview of dinnerware types on the Replacements, Ltd website and hope after reading it you might have a deeper understanding of the terms used to describe dinnerware.

Are your plates American made?

We are proud to produce quality pieces of American made dinnerware.
Homer Laughlin China Company
was chosen to manufacture the 10 5/8″ dinner plates in our Collectors Series. Homer Laughlin has been operating in Newell, West Virginia for more than 135 years and is recognized as an industry leader in the production of 100% lead-free products. Their Fiesta® line has been in American homes and restaurants for over 70 years.Our primary supplier of commemorative items is WC Bunting Company. For an expansive view of their products visit their website linked below. We also work with two other decorators, to best match our customer’s needs with a supplier’s capabilities.

Are your plates Wedgwood?

Wedgwood plateOur University of Michigan plates were inspired by similar Wedgwood® plates that were produced from 1920s through the 1960s. The Wedgwood® plates, made in both blue and rose color, are now prized collectors items. If you are interested in buying or selling these plates, please visit our Wedgwood shop established for this purpose. We expanded into the custom plate market in 1997 and have enjoyed helping customers make their custom plate desires become reality. Our varied customer base makes answering the phone and e-mail an exciting and interesting experience.

What plates do you offer?

As seen here on our website, we produce beautiful plates to commemorate church anniversaries, family reunions, historic buildings/events, or as special recognition gifts.

Can I eat off these plates?

The art design and illustration on our dinnerware plates are in-glaze. This means they can be safely used as a plate for food service, in a microwave, and even washed in the dishwasher. The plates can be at home on a dinner or tailgate table as well as on the wall in your home or office.

Some of our commemorative plates are not intended for food service use.

Are your products officially licensed?

officially licensed collegiate products sealOur products bear official seals, logos, and designs registered by their respective university. We are licensed by the appropriate company or university agency to use the specific marks and royalty fees are remitted.


Where does your art work come from?

We have more detailed information on commemorative plates that we will mail on request. Many of the plates we have done are shown on our website, but they all represent someone else’s design idea. Our talented artists and designers are ready to help turn your ideas into a beautiful plate.

Do you ship outside the United States?

Yes, we do ship to countries outside the United States. Contact us to get a shipping estimate for delivery to your country.

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What is involved in producing a plate?

Producing a memorable plate does not have to be difficult or expensive. There are, however, several decisions that need to be made when preparing a commemorative plate.

We have prepared a list of most of the variables, to help guide you through the process of creating your plate. When we know your choices regarding these options, we will have a clear idea of what you are seeking and can then provide an accurate price estimate. We can also send you a sample and further information if needed.

Variables for Consideration:


Best prices start with a 12 doz. quantity, smaller orders are possible but price per plate increases. The more you order; your cost per plate is reduced. But, if you desire, we can even provide custom one-of-a-kind plates. (see out Wedding/ Anniversary plates)


A ”look at” (maybe serve cookies) plate vs. a plate intended for regular food service. The prime differences are in the way the design is put on the plate, possible lead content and if it will withstand dishwasher washing, etc. “Look at” or decorative plates are usually less expensive than food service plates.

Plate type/style:

Different sizes and designs of plates offer many options. The undecorated plate prices alone can vary from less than $10.00 per plain small plate to around $35 for a dinner size with a ½” gold trim. We can provide samples for you to examine and compare. We can even decorate plates that you provide.

Art design:

If you can provide the art, costs are less since an artist doesn’t have to be paid to create a drawing/design. Photo’s can often be used direct or line drawings produced from them. If you have an illustration or a line drawing don’t worry about the size as we can adjust to fit. If you are using a logo or design owned by another, there is a chance that a royalty might have to be paid. We can help get licensing permission if needed.


It is possible to do a 4-color design on a plate, but it’s much more expensive than a one color. Two colors are fairly inexpensive (where you might want to put text in a different color than your illustration).

Design or copy on the backside of the plate:

This is often used for a short history of the featured design and only adds around $1.00 to finished plate price.

Other variables:

Shipping or display boxes, easels, and hangers are also available. Plates can also be consecutively numbered, or even personalized, but all of these type additions increase the final costs.

How sold:

Will you be taking orders before ordering or requesting a number of plate(s) for sale or distribution. We can help with suggestions in this area. Many organizations add $5-10 to actual plate cost when selling, which means that they don’t have to sell the total order to break even (reducing their financial risk), and when all are sold the surplus can then go to a designated cause. If your church or organization are considering selling your plates as a major fundraiser, we certainly want to assist you, but our experience has been that commemorative plate sales rarely generate the high margins of profits that sales of other items or a silent auction often produce. Another option being used successfully is when an individual or company underwrites all or part of the production of the plates. With or without recognition noted on the plate backs such plates could then represent a potential 100% of sales profit.

How long will it take?:

Usual production time is 1½ to 3 months depending on art and design work, complexity of order, etc. If you need plates yesterday, let us know and we’ll check with our manufacturers to see if it’s possible. Original Custom Dinnerware projects may take 3-9 months to a year to complete depending on source of china selected and design work required.

When we have given you a written quote, we ask for 30% deposit when you place the actual order. Balance will be due 30 days after delivery.

Lots of options:

“Ballpark Price” for Plates (example: 150 plates.) If you have art/design and pick a common plate size/style, price will run somewhere from $12-$20 per plate. We can help you go less if needed, and would also be pleased to help you design an exclusive design for a special event where cost is no object. Shipping costs are not included in quotes, but we can give you a rough idea when we know where the plates are to be shipped. (Shipping plates to Alaska in February is expensive!)

Let us know your choices from the options and we can provide specifics, such as price, and delivery time. Write or e-mail and let me know when it’s good for me to call or just pick up your phone and call toll-free (888-866-9321). Leave a message if you get the machine and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Thanks for your interest!
J. Downs Herold, President
Call toll-free 1-888-866-9321
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