Learning with Litecraft : The difference between Glass & Crystal
It all lies in the amount of lead, here’s a little bit about glass that you may not have known, glass is made from melted silica, a constitute of sandstone, when this compound is melted and cooled down it produces a clear material which we call glass.
When it comes to crystal, there isn’t much difference except for the introduction of lead, the same process to make glass it used to make crystal. However, by adding a lead oxide into the process the material becomes fragile, thus making it easier to create a sharp facet cut, it is this clean cut edge that you need to look for when checking the glass. The shimmery diamond-like sparkle and chime ringing you get with crystal is also due to the lead content, where as glass appears duller and when tapped will create a thud like sound.
Determining whether something is glass or crystal differs around the world, in the European market if the material has a lead content of less than 10% it is usually classed as glass and anything between 10% and 30% will be classed as crystal. If the lead content exceeds 30% then it will be classified as lead crystal. However, in other countries such as the US glass with 1% of lead can be classed as crystal.
Clues to look for:
Tap the surface with your fingernail, if it chimes like a bell then it will be crystal, if it is more of a dull sound then it is more than likely to be glass
Hold the product up to a light source, if the light becomes diffracted and you can see a spectrum of colours pass through then it will be classed as crystal, if there is a single white light that passes through this will indicate the material is glass.
Check the weight, the lead content will make the glass heavier, the heavier the glass the more likely it will be crystal.
Lead content will increase the clarity of the glass so if the glass appears clearer instead of a dull then it will be crystal.
Now we’ve cleared that up, let us know if you have any other questions..