Parts taken from Canadian House & Home Magazine.
What is Crystal?
Crystal was first developed in England in the 17th century, but over the years France, Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Spain have become respected crystal producers. The intricate engravings and graceful patterns that distinguish crystal are made possible by the addition of lead oxide to the glass making process. Lead makes glass soft enough to cut, enhances sparkle and gives crystal its trademark weight and ring when tapped.
How To Spot Fine Crystal
Fine crystal has an even translucence, smooth surface and highlight-refracting quality. Janet Carlile, an Ontario-based antiques appraiser and H&H columnist, says to also look for:
Bubbles or "seeds". Small bubbles in crystal - usually formed during the melting process - can indicate that the crystal has been handcrafted and is, therefore, higher in quality.
Vertical seams. Sometimes hard to spot, seams identify pressed glass, which has been made in a mould.
The artist or manufacturer's name. Contemporary crystalware that has been hand cut often has a signature or brand name etched into the bottom of the piece.
Keep Crystal Sparkling
Wash in warm water using a mild soap and dry with a lint-free cloth. Do not wash crystal in a dishwasher as heat and abrasive cleaners can turn crystal cloudy.
To remove foggy buildup, mix ½ cup of uncooked rice with warm soapy water and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Swirl it around the decanter or glass for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
For stubborn stains, fill the container with warm water, drop in a denture-cleaning tablet and let it sit until the stain disappears.
To clean a chandelier, mix one part rubbing alcohol and three-parts distilled water in a spray bottle. Wearing white cotton gloves, spirits one hand with the solution, wipe the crystals and then polish them with the dry glove.
Decanter cleaning balls also work very well.
Click here to see Rosehill's selection of Cleaning Utensils.
To Fix A Chipped Glass
Most crystal manufacturers and jewelry stored can fix a small chip in the top of stemware by grinding the piece down below the nick. The fixed item, however, will always be shorter. To help prevent chipping, store stemware upright.
The Lowdown On Lead
Lead content in crystal commonly ranges from 24 to 33 per cent. Though rare, trace amounts of lead can be absorbed by food and drink. The amount increases with acidic beverages such as wine, port and juices. To reduce the risk of lead poisoning, follow these simple steps:
Do not store food or drink in crystalware.
Soak new crystalware in vinegar for 24 hours and rinse thoroughly before using.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Cut glass requires the most skill to produce, as the glass is first blown into a shape (either with or without a wood or cast-iron mould) and then cooled before being hand-cut or etched using a variety of tools to create the desired design.
Pressed glass is made by pouring molten glass into moulds that are later conjoined to create a single glass, vase or bowl. While the pattern in cut glass is created by hand after the crystal has cooled, the pattern in pressed glass is stamped into the moulds themselves.
Common in Ireland and North America, wheel engraving uses a small amount of fluid to move a wheel across crystal to carve a pattern. A meticulous skill, wheel engraving generally takes years to master.
The most common modern method, this involves using a diamond-tipped tool to carve a pattern in crystal. In addition to being strong and sharp, diamond doesn't leave and deposits on the crystal.
With this method, designs are carved with a sharp metal tool; then the crystal is doused with acid to etch the design.
A gift of crystal stemware, wine glass or a decanter makes a great corporate, bridal and wine lover gift! OR give a GIFT CERTIFICATE if you can't make up your mind.
The more you order, the more you save on delivery! Check out our delivery price for multiple items! Please note we have shipping minimums in place so while the initial delivery cost may seem high for the small cost for an inexpensive accessory , the more accessories you add delivery cost doesn't change by much! Please also keep in mind that as crystal is fragile, we need to ensure our product is extremely well packaged, this adds to the delivery cost.
Wine glasses, crystal & decanters are available for shipping throughout the USA and Canada.