Crystal Gifts

Written by Scott Martin
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Crystal gifts make lovely display pieces that can be enjoyed especially on coffee tables and desks. Because of its beautiful refraction of light, crystal is used to make vases, figurines, paperweights, and many other decorative products. Crystal refers to a range of specialty glass.

Understanding Lead Crystal
Whereas regular glass is composed of silica and calcium, potassium, or sodium oxides, crystal replaces these oxides with lead oxide. When 24 percent of the glass is composed of lead oxide, the glass is considered lead crystal. At 30 percent, it is considered full-lead crystal.

The addition of the lead changes the properties of the glass with brilliant results. The first thing you will notice about this glass is the way it sparkles. Furthermore, the lead makes the glass softer, allowing it to be cut, ground, and engraved to especially capture the light. However, greater care needs to be given to crystal because it is soft and can be scratched easier than standard glass.

Another thing to notice is how much heavier this glass is than regular glass. This is because the lead adds a considerable amount of weight. This weight is useful, especially in objects like paperweights. Even though this glass contains lead in it, it is safe to use crystal glasses and to handle crystal products. However, one should not store food or beverages in lead crystal for a prolonged time.

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