Crystal chandeliers are available in different shapes, designs, and styles. You can easily choose one that suits your home décor and style. For this, you will need to consider certain factors like the room size and theme, you plan to install the crystal chandelier. Even consider the lighting needs of the room!
Some crystal lightings are more expensive because the design patterns are fancy and its labor cost is more. You can even see crystal chandeliers with significant low-cost, which does not mean you, got a great deal. The crystals may not be authentic but glass. Ordinary glass chandeliers can duplicate the light spectrum like real crystal chandeliers, so it is crucial to determine the credibility before investing.
How to differentiate crystal chandeliers from ordinary glass?
Both materials can be distinguished at first glance. Just get to know the concept, so you don’t get confused between naturally mined crystal and artificial crystal glass used in chandeliers.
Crystal glass contains PbO or lead oxide. The PbO percentage is not uniform and glass goods quality can be determined using the following guidelines.
- Less than 4% PbO means only glass
- Over 10% PbO means crystal glass
- Over 24% PbO is called lead crystal
- Above 30% PbO is termed as highly leaded crystal
Crystal chandeliers including 24% to 30% lead are termed as the highest quality. Adding lead, desired changes in glass properties are achieved. PbO offers weight, high density, and a high refractive index that reveals a high gloss light reflection. Lead oxide makes glass pliable, so the process for detailing and engraving becomes easy.
Crystal glass is extremely brittle in comparison to regular glass, so glassmaker has to be highly skilled in designing this material. The crystal has to be clear without any bubbles or distortion.
Helpful tips to identify crystal chandelier
- Lead is dense, so it adds weight to glass. If it is the crystal, it will be heavy. Lift a crystal piece to find out if it is heavy or not.
- The crystal piece is clear because of the lead additive. More lead percentage means more clarity, so check the pieces closely.
- Hold crystal piece towards the light. Lead creates a dazzling light spectrum, which can be recognized easily.
- If the fixtures frame material is iron, bronze, or copper then it is a crystal chandelier because lead crystals weigh more and the framing has to be robust.
How the crystals get polished can make a difference in quality?
Prisms made from lead glass need to be polished as soon as they get retrieved from the mold.
- Hand polishing – You get a clean surface & crisp edges. In this technique, each side of the prism is held against a wooden spinning wheel. Artisans spend lots of time in making each piece perfect.
- Fire polishing – Prisms get little distorted and the edges are dull. It is the least effective and less expensive technique.
Today, a third technique involves automated machinery polishing. Technically, you get perfect crystals but lack handwork passion.