Scalloped is used to describe a series of curves that repeat. So if the edge of your plate has a repeating pattern of humps or curves then it is considered to have a Scalloped edge. When considering China & Crystal Dinnerware there are many types of scalloped edges, the curves can be very small to large or some may be rounded while others have squared off scallops. The patterns you find can very tremendously as well. You may find a simple pattern of repeating small humps continuously around the edge of the entire item or you may find three small humps that are broken up by a large hump and this pattern repeats around the rim. Just like any art form, artists and pattern makers put their own twist on commonly used techniques to create unique and beautiful looks.
Knowing this term can definitely help when looking for replacement crystal or china dinnerware. There are many patterns that come in both scalloped and non scalloped edges and if you are trying to match your pattern it is important to know what you are getting. Not all patterns have to match exactly, maybe you will decide you appreciate both the scalloped version and the straight edge version of your pattern and want to intertwine them.
Next time you are browsing for china or looking for something new to your collection, pay attention to the different edges and rims you encounter. Scalloped edges to me are like an art form and I always enjoy finding new variations to add to my collection!