Presidential China represents one of the most interesting and cherished areas of political memorabilia. The practice of buying State china as we know it today began with the first monetary allotments to early Presidents for household goods and furnishings for the presidential home. Though there is no official “State” china ordered until the presidency of James Monroe, early presidents ordered china services to use for entertaining. After James Monroe’s presidency, it became common for presidents to procure an official set of china to use for entertaining at the White House. Some presidents opted to use china from a previous administration or reorder pieces to match a previous set, so not every president has his own unique pattern, but many do. Collectors will have a hard time finding china on the open market – much of it is held by museums or by the White House itself. Some pieces do come available from private collections occasionally at a high price. Much of the china from the most recent presidencies is still in use, while the oldest china sets are mostly missing. In fact, it was once common for old china services to be completely destroyed when a new service was ordered, so as to prevent resale to private individuals. Potential collectors should note that many replications of presidential china exist, and most of the pieces that seem readily available will be such.