A Guide to Crystal Chandeliers
Purchasing a crystal chandelier is similar to buying a diamond. Not all crystal is created equal. Crystal may be machine-cut, hand cut or molded. The cost of your chandelier can fluctuate drastically depending on the quality of crystal you choose. Most fixtures are available in four qualities of crystal.
Lights of Distinction - the Crystorama Lighting Group and James R. Moder are two of the largest manufacturers of Crystal Chandeliers.
Strass Crystal is considered the finest in the world. Strass is manufactured by Swarovski AG in the Austrian Alps. Strass is an optically pure crystal, clear as spring water, totally free of flaws, unique in purity and brilliance. Strass crystal is characterized by razor-sharp cutting of facets (surfaces) with the lead content in excess of 30 percent. Cutting and polishing are done by machine to achieve perfect optical clarity. Strass crystals are treated with an invisible coating, which eliminates dust attraction and makes it easier to clean and maintain. Each crystal (over 12mm) has the distinct STRASS® laser engraved signature, identifying it as a genuine STRASS® Crystal .
Swarovski Spectra Crystal:
A passion for perfection has made Swarovski the world leader in the production of cut crystal. Swarovski & Co., manufacturer of Strass Crystal, has created a new alternative quality crystal. Swarovski has used advanced technology with olde world knowledge to produce a brilliant crystal with precision cutting and superior light reflection. This crystal type is designed for a crystal connoisseur demanding quality at an affordable price.
Imperial Crystal (Available only through James R Moder):
Imperial crystal dressed chandeliers contain brilliant crystals created by precision cutting sourced from Austria , Egypt , Turkey and the Czech Republic . The Imperial crystal is a combination of quality crystals to achieve a great look at an excellent price point.
Regal Crystal (James R Moder) / Majestic Wood Polish Crystal (Crystorama):
This crystal is cut by hand in two stages on an iron and then a sandstone wheel. Each crystal is then polished on a wood wheel with marble dust. These methods go back centuries. If you look closely you will notice faint traces of the wood-wheel attesting, the concentrated labor of the artisan. This is a mark of authenticity. Each piece is a unique and original masterpiece.
Italian crystal also known as Venetian Crystal (from the glass-making regions in and around Venice ) is molded not cut. You will notice a rounding of edges that comes from fire polishing. Molded crystal, though never as brilliant as cut crystal has a subtle charm and is an exceptional value. It is an ideal budget crystal for heavily dressed chandeliers.