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  • Writer's pictureSam Lowes

What Is The Difference Between Glass & Crystal


The terms "glass" and "crystal" are often used interchangeably, but there are key distinctions between these two materials. While all crystal is glass, not all glass is crystal. Let's delve into the intricacies that separate these seemingly similar substances.

 

Demystifying Crystal's Identity

Unlike its name implies, crystal glass doesn't possess a crystalline structure. The moniker traces back to the Italian word "Cristallo," which signified high-end hand-blown glass in Murano, Italy.

 

Essentially, crystal is a subcategory of glassware distinguished by the presence of strengthening minerals like lead oxide, potassium carbonate, or barium oxide. These additives enhance the material's durability, enabling it to be moulded into intricate and delicate shapes, contributing to its sophistication.

 

Crystalite

Crystalite, a revolutionary glassware, offers the same stunning brilliance as lead crystal, but ditching the harmful element entirely. This innovative technology utilises alternative minerals, resulting in exceptionally clear and bright glassware. Not only does it boast lead-free safety, but it also allows for intricate cuts and etchings, adding a touch of elegance to any table setting. So, raise a toast to Crystalite, the sustainable and breathtaking choice for all your glassware needs.

 

Glass: A Versatile and Sustainable Material

Glass, on the other hand, is an inert and natural material, composed primarily of sand, soda ash, and limestone. These ingredients, often augmented with recycled glass, are melted in a furnace to form a malleable liquid that can be shaped into various forms.

 

The versatility of glass extends to its recyclability. It's 100% recyclable, reusable, and refillable, and can be endlessly recycled without compromising its quality or purity. Recycled glass, also known as cullet, plays a crucial role in glass manufacturing, reducing energy consumption by up to 40% compared to virgin materials.

 

Optical Crystal’s Brilliance

Stepping beyond regular crystal, we encounter optical crystal – a high-purity silica glass engineered for its exceptional clarity and light-manipulating properties. Unlike standard glass, it boasts minimal defects and impurities, making it the champion of transparent materials. Optical crystal also transmits light with minimal distortion and scattering, crucial for scientific measurements and high-quality visuals. It also has very precise refraction to bend light at controlled angles, enabling applications like prisms and lenses to focus, disperse, or manipulate light beams. Its manufacturing also allows it to withstand wear and tear better than standard glass, making it suitable for demanding applications.

 

Optical crystal can mostly be found in microscopes, telescopes, lasers, camera lenses, and our high end awards that showcase its brilliance and ability to capture light.

 

Within the crystalline lattice of some optical crystals reside tiny heroes called crystallites. These ordered regions, barely larger than molecules, further enhance the material's optical performance.


Choosing the Right Material for Your Order

The decision between glass, crystal, and optical crystal often hinges on personal preferences and specific needs. While glass caters to sustainability and everyday needs, crystal offers elegance and durability. Optical crystal, however, transcends both, stepping into the realm of scientific precision and breathtaking clarity.

 

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