If you are looking to purchase a crystal chandelier for your home, then you should know more about this unique light fixture. The chandelier has been around long before the invention of the light bulb. And while they come in many different designs, crystal chandeliers are the most desired. What follows is information about this product, its attributes, and how to select the right one to accentuate your home.
What is a Real Crystal Chandelier?
Although the crystals are made from glass, this is not the type of glass that you see in windows. The crystal glass that is used contains more lead oxide which adds to the refraction and weight to the material. The result is a crystal that sparkles to a far greater degree compared to ordinary glass.
The lead oxide inside the glass is safe and presents no harm to those living or working inside. In fact, you want crystals that have a high lead oxide content because that provides more refraction which gives the crystal chandelier is remarkable appearance. There are three basic types of crystals based on their lead oxide content.
- Crystalline: 6% to 10% Lead Oxide
- Half Lead: 24% to 30% Lead Oxide
- Full Lead: Over 30%
Keep in mind that in the US, any amount of lead oxide will be considered crystalline, so you may not be getting even 6%.
There are three basic cuts of crystals used in chandeliers which determines their type.
- Machine: This is the most common and produces a sharp crystal
- Hand Cut: This includes Heritage, Regal, Crystalique, and more
- Hand Blown: Instead of a cut, the crystals are hand blown by an artisan
A hand-blown crystal will have smoother sides and is significantly different in appearance compared to either machine or hand cut crystals.
There are the three different methods used for cutting, but the number of shapes created for crystal chandeliers is considerable. Some of the most common includebut are not limited to the following.
- Baguette, Cut Ball, and French
- Hexagonal Prism, Icicle, and Kite
- Octagon, Rosette, and Spear
- Swedish Drop, Square Stone, and Finial
The different shapes available means you can choose from the different types until you find what you want. This helps you in making the best-informed decision about which to choose for your home.
What to Look for When Shopping Crystal Chandeliers
As with any product, there are certain guidelines that you should follow when shopping for the right crystal chandelier. Whether you decide that Swarovski crystal chandeliers are the only type for you or that you are open to any type, there is important information that you need to know first before making your final decision.
Colored Crystal: If you can think of a color, it may have been used for this type of chandelier. The crystals themselves are rather ordinary, but they have been covered with a coating that will reflect a certain color. The coloring is normally advertised, so you know what you are getting before you make your purchase.
Of the colored crystal chandeliers available, those made with Venetian crystals are common. Such crystals have a higher content of soda and lime compared to lead oxide, so they are relatively inexpensive. Another common type is Murano crystals which are hand-blown and shaped into flowers, circles, and the like