Fine Crystal Basics
All about Fine Crystal
Crystal is something that almost everyone loves and appreciates. There are many pieces that are made of crystal such as vases, chandeliers, figurines, light fixtures and drinking containers. The key to finding good quality crystal is knowing which brands to look for and what to be watching for.
What Defines Good Crystal
Good crystal will appear to be perfect and flawless. It is beautiful for the eye to behold and will catch the light, allowing it to dance and sparkle around the piece. Crystal adds beauty and elegance to any room that it graces. It is often confused with glass, but there is one important factor that distinguishes between glassware and crystal. In order for a piece of glassware to be advertised as crystal, it must have been made with at least twenty four percent lead. If the lead content used to make a piece of crystal is over thirty five percent, the crystal literally sparkles. A high quality piece of crystal will exhibit rainbow colors when held up to the light, and will have a silvery purple tinge.
The Leaders in Quality Crystal
When it comes to fine quality crystal there are a few names that stand out above the rest.
Lalique was an accomplished jeweler who created masterful pieces of jewelry and was renowned for his talent and skill. He was a master glassmaker and began a line of magnificent crystal and used the female form many times in his work creating vases and other fine pieces of crystal. His style is elegant and fluid and intricate. Lalique also has an exquisite collection of perfume bottles that are elegant and regal.
You can expect your fine crystal from Stueben Glass to be unique, complex, and amazingly beautiful. The designer, Stueben, is well known for creating lovely crystal sculptures.
The crystal in the collections designed by Baccarat are as intricately beautiful as any high quality or luxury establishment could desire. Included in their collections are several gorgeous vases that would add an elegant centerpiece or accent to any table.
What to Watch Out for With Crystal
When purchasing or choosing crystal there are a few things to look out for. The perfect piece of crystal will have a repeating pattern that flows evenly. Many crystal pieces will have defects caused by the pattern being interrupted. There are a few defects you should be aware of and know how to find so you can be sure you are getting the best quality crystal.
• Vacancy Defects – this happens when there is an empty space where the crystal atom should be.
• Interstitial Defects – this occurs when an atom is squeezed in where it does not belong
• Dislocation Defects – this will cause the strength of the crystal to be diminished.
• Impurity- this occurs when the wrong kind of atom is found in a crystal.
• Twinning and Grain Boundary – this type of defect will cause the crystal to not be oriented properly. This will affect the overall appearance and quality of the crystal making it less desirable.