18 May

How to choose authentic antique crystals

Antique crystals are coveted not just for their beauty but for their age as well, having withstood the test of time and proven their quality over ages. The manufacture and design of antique crystals started over hundreds of years back – with numerous designers and manufacturers giving their shots each. These designs came in all sizes, shapes and textures – and while that gave us the variety that we all wanted, it now complicates the process of picking genuine and authentic antique crystals from counterfeits and mere glass.

Content is the primary distinguishing factor between antique crystals and mere high-quality glass. While antique crystals also consist of some glass materials, there is more to it that sets the two apart. Antique crystals normally have lead in them, and not just lead. For a quality antique crystal, the amount of lead contained in them should be at least twenty four percent to qualify bas crystal. In fact, the term crustal is said to have been coined by Italian glassmakers to distinguish high quality glass from just ordinary glass, based on the possession of lead that made it easier to make thin glass.  Crystal with a lead content over thirty five percent will definitely sparkle distinctively, which makes it the primary identifying factor for the antique crystals that should achieve this threshold.  Remember that the presence of lead also gives crystal a smoother texture and feels heavier than glass.

The second most important factor to hunt for involves the look and sound of antique crystals. With different contents, expect the two to look and sound different, because they are made of different things anyway. Apart from being distinctly beautiful, antique crystals do sound nice as well. Tapping on them will produce a ping sound, while the same action on glass will simply be met with a dull sound. So the dull one is glass, obviously!

Whenever you wet your finger and run it on the antique crystals you will be met by a tonal effect, like that of a musical instrument, but do not expect the same to happen with glass.  Light passing through antique crystals is always refracted somehow, giving it a prism appearance that is also a primary source of their beauty when it comes to lighting up houses. I guess the difference from glass here is obvious. Glass does not have the refracting effect, which is why it cannot compete against antique crystals in beauty of light.

Finally, professional advice is key. From looking up for the emblems of manufacturers to the distinguishing features that mark crystal antiques from specific manufacturers, there are those small details that will finally distinguish authentic antique crystals from fakers.  Different manufactures will always identify their work by logos or emblems and other specific marking at specific parts of the antique, making it unique for them. Further, there are specific base designs that each manufacturer uses on their antiques – and looking for these standard will help learn on the original. We The Light Switch have thousands of antique crystals in our possession, all of which have been tested against basics to ensure they are authentic, so you can check in with us, and with the help of our experts, be sure to land the deal.