At first glance, crystal can look almost identical to glass, but peer a little closer, and there are some essential differences to note.
Both are similar in composition and created using the same process – melting sand to become glass. The intricacies come as you consider the aesthetics and quality of the material.
Below, the Cumbria Crystal team have compiled five key differences between crystal and glass for your consideration.
1 - Crystal is thicker than glass.
Lead crystal is generally blown thicker than modern glass; this density is required for Cumbria Crystal’s intricate decorative cutting to be applied. This thickness can also make the crystal more resistant to breakage than comparatively thinner glass.
Our crystalware comprises thin, elegant creations that would be unobtainable using traditional glass. In comparison, standard glass would have to be blown much thicker to achieve similar structural integrity and avoid breakage.
2 - Crystal boasts a brilliant sheen and clarity.
The composition of crystal awards each piece impressive refractive properties; much like a prism, this produces some mesmeric, rainbow-like displays of luminescence as the crystalware catches the light.
The inclusion of lead oxide in the raw material increases the weight, which in turn, changes the refractive index of the glass. This results in a far more brilliant sparkle than lead-free glass.
Diamonds, prized globally for their aesthetics, have an extremely high refractive index of 2.42. In contrast, the index of lead crystal crystal is around 1.7, while standard glass is around 1.5.
When properly cared for, the crystal will contain its beautiful brilliance, gleam and sparkle for many years to come.
3 - Each piece of crystal is art.
At Cumbria Crystal, each piece within our many stunning Crystal Collections is painstakingly produced with exquisite detail by our experienced artisans.
We use historic techniques (something you can witness as one of our Experiences), keeping the art of glass blowing and glass cutting alive through our passionate craftspeople. These techniques include hand-cutting the crystal and roughing and smoothing using a sandstone wheel – a rarely used method in modern times.
With a sandstone wheel, Cumbria Crystal’s artisans can achieve a sharpness and quality of finish that cannot be replicated by machine. This artistry requires meticulous precision and an exceptional quality of crystal.
4 - Our crystal is highly collectable.
Cumbria Crystal’s fabulous collections are lovingly crafted to withstand the test of time, so long as they are handled carefully and well looked after, of course.
Such is their collectability; many of our creations, such as our popular Grasmere range, are stealing the limelight on significant film and television productions, including James Bond: Casino Royale, Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders.
Our collections also grace British Embassies and Residencies worldwide, appearing at formal dinners and state occasions. We are also stocked in prestigious London retailers LINLEY, Harrods, Thomas Goode, and Fortnum and Mason.
If you want to start or add to your crystalware collection, browse our Shop or contact the team with any questions.
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