So what is "crystal" glass made of if not crystal? Traditionally, "crystal" glass was just regular glass where the calcium is replaced with lead oxide. A more accurate name is therefore "lead glass". Adding lead to glass raises its index of refraction.
The primary difference between crystal vs. glass is that crystal glass contains anywhere from 2–30% minerals (lead or lead-free). The key feature of crystal wine glasses is that the minerals strengthen the material, making it possible to produce durable but thin wine glasses.
Crystal and glass are composed of different materials, with crystal lending itself to a greater shine as well as more intricate designs. While glass is made from sand that has been liquified, crystal sets itself apart with something known as flint glass.
Crystals most commonly occur naturally on the earth, though the process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification. While, referring in the same context as glass, crystal refers to well glass.
Crystal is one of the most precious materials, just after diamonds, gold or precious stones. It is essentially a leaded glass. According to a European guidance, you can call a crystal, only glass which contains at least 24% of lead.
While Swarovski won't reveal its secretive manufacturing process, we know that Swarovski crystals are made of quartz sand and natural minerals. The actual product is a form of man-made glass, with a 32% concentration of lead.
Get a glass and hold it up to a light source. You can tell that it is crystal if it creates a rainbow prism effect. If it doesn't, then you are holding just a plain glass. If you tap the glass and you hear a musical ring with a little bit of echo, then it is crystal.
Crystal vs Glass
Crystal is also able to refract light while glass will typically lack that ability, making crystal more sought out for formal table settings and more expensive than glass.
The easiest way to identify lead crystal is by tapping it gently with a knife—if it makes a drawn-out chiming sound, chances are that it's lead crystal. Regular glass tends to make a duller, briefer sound when struck.
When it comes to washing crystal dishware, do it by hand! The material doesn't play nice with dishwashers because of the intense heat during the water cycle. The hot water has the power to chip, crack, and even break fragile crystal.
A recent study reported that wine and spirits can leach lead from crystal, and while no one is suggesting that $150 lead crystal goblets or $2,000 decanters be discarded, the Food and Drug Administration is recommending that people rethink the way they use lead crystal containers for food and beverages.
The value of older and more highly decorated crystal glassware can range between $1,000 and $4,000—sometimes even more, depending on its condition and design.
Because of the type of material, crystal glasses will shatter easily should they fall to the floor or be hit against a hard surface. In fact, the stem of a crystal glass can even shatter in your hand if you're not careful.
Real Clear Quartz crystals will often feel cooler to the touch than glass. Glass will feel room temperature, while quartz will be slightly cooler in your hand. Leave your clear quartz crystal on the counter for a few hours and pick it up - what is the temperature? If it's a bit cooler, it's likely authentic!
Glass beads tend to be lightweight and inexpensive, while crystal beads are often heavier, more delicate, and more expensive. Both are perfectly suited to jewelry making, but crystal often requires the use of sturdier accessory elements, such as clasps, clamps and beads.
Swarovski is More Expensive than Glass
This is because of the production process required to create glass vs crystals. Compared to other glass jewelry products, Swarovski uses higher quality materials. The process of creating even one crystal is also complicated.
Waterford Crystal pieces are valuable because they contain very intricate design elements, and the process to create them is both complex and labor intensive. The larger the piece, the more detail it includes, and the more expensive it is purchase.
Waterford is very upfront with its crystalware's lead content, containing over 33% of lead oxide, higher than the standard 24% for the full lead crystal.
Lead crystal is priced higher than the crystals. Lead crystal sparkles more than the crystals. This is because of the addition of lead oxide, which increases the refractive index. Unlike the crystals, the lead crystals are more clear and bright.
It is sometimes said that Swarovski Crystals have a 'softer' sparkle than Cubic Zirconia, having more of a 'vintage' feel to it. We would recommend choosing Swarovski Crystal pieces if you like a bolder, very sparkly approach to jewellery, and/or if you are looking for coloured pieces to match a dress or outfit.
Swarovski is a brand name for a range of precision-cut crystal glass which is made only by its producers in Austria. They do not occur naturally in the Earth.
Diamonds are more expensive than Swarovski crystals. It's because diamonds have higher quality and long-lasting ability. As a result, you can buy a diamond at around $1000 at the lowest price in the current jewelry market. If you are on a budget, go for the Swarovski crystals.