Crystal or Glass
During special occasions, we make toasts. Usually we focus on the celebration itself, but there are connoisseurs who pay attention to details such as the type of glass in which champagne or wine is served. Crystal or glass? Yes, it’s a major difference.
Differences between crystal and glass seem subtle. While choosing between crystal and glass it is worth to consider however, that they differ in terms of chemical composition, clarity, glass thickness, light refraction and sound they make. All these factors allow us to distinguish between glass and crystal products, which appear to be identical at first glance. In order to determine whether a given product is made of glass or crystal, we have to use methods described below.
One of the factors, which allow us to distinguish glass from crystal, is the thickness. Crystal is thinner than glass. Delicate walls of crystal products are highly ornamental. This is because the addition of lead and lower temperature enable further processing. Addition of lead makes crystal more prone to scratches. Crystal and glass can be distinguished on the basis of clarity. Clarity describes transparency and shade of glass. Soda-lime glasses are often cloudy, even with light shining through them. This is why crystal glass is often a glass of choice for the production of chandeliers and glasses. In case of glasses, crystal structure allows for estimating the colour and viscosity of the liquid and this possibility is greatly appreciated by wine connoisseurs.
Light refraction is also very helpful in telling glass from crystal. As is the case with thickness, this factor is influenced by the addition of lead. Crystals are shinier when subjected to sunlight and glass is less transparent. When crystals are placed directly in the sunrays, a characteristic prism can be observed. Most often, crystal is polished in a precise way and its surface is extremely smooth. On the other hand, glass is very fragile.
One of the most commonly used methods, which allow us to distinguish glass from crystal, is the sound. In case of glass, a light hit produces low, massive sound, whereas in the case of crystal the sound resembles that of a bell. Weight plays an important role in distinguishing glass and crystal. Given the addition of lead, it is not surprising that crystal is heavier than glass.
The ability to tell glass from crystal is not useful in everyday situations but it will surely allow you to shine during special occasions – like a real crystal!