Different type of crystals in jewelry
Lead glass, the purveyor of modern lead #crystals has been around for thousands of years. Historians have found antiques with lead glass imitating natural crystals from the #Mesopotamia empire (area of present-day #Iraq, #Iran, #Turkey and #Syria) and the #Han dynasty in #China. Lead crystals sometimes known as flint glass historically contains a minimum of 24% lead oxide. Adding lead oxide to glass increases it’s refractive index, light dispersion and brilliance. Contemporary crystal cutting techniques allows the finished product to have a brilliant, multi facet surface that reflects and transmits light radiantly. The addition of a metallic or a synthetic metallic foiling in the back of a crystal provides additional optical mirror reflection.
Premium high quality accessories are made with branded crystals, cubic zirconia or K9 crystal. The different combination depends on the design and availability of certain sizes or shapes.
- The two leading branded crystal manufacturers are #Swarovski and #Preciosa. Swarovski is a manufacturer headquartered in Wattens, Austria with history dating back to 1895. Swarovski crystal is produced by combining quartz sand, soda potash and other components. Since 2012, products from Swarovski are lead-free. Preciosa is a producer founded five centuries ago in Crystal Valley of Bohemia, Czech Republic. Preciosa crystals are made from silica sand, sodium, potassium carbonate and other materials.
- Cubic zirconia is known as man made diamond. Unlike crystal it is made of zirconium dioxide and is technically not a crystal as the material component is different.
- K9 crystal is borosilicate crown glass with 9% lead content. K9 crystals are popular as it can be cut in to many different shapes, large and unusual sizes. K9 crystals are available with a metallic foiled or un-foiled backing.