Chandelier Light and Crystals

 By: Kathryn Dawson
These days crystal chandeliers are a familiar enough decorative piece of lighting that you see regularly in stores, public buildings and homes, some are small in size and quite unassuming, whilst others will catch your eye as soon as you walk in for their sheer size and ostentatiousness. Although you can pick up a quality product for an affordable price very easily, there are some extremely costly chandeliers around, priced so because of who has designed them, the materials used in their manufacture, and what types of crystals have been used.

Crystal chandeliers create a visual focal point in a room and give an impression of romance, elegance and intimacy that only this type of lighting can achieve. Not only will it please you and make your home unique from others, it will also prove to be a talking point for guests and visitors as they gaze upon its beauty in admiration. As the crystals catch the chandelier light it casts shards all around the room in the most effective and stunning way and creates the most beautiful dazzle of colours.

Today, Murano, Schonbek, James R. Moder, and Vienna Full Spectrum chandeliers, and many others create dazzling new designs using crystals. Not all crystals are the same, there are all different kinds used in the manufacture and design of chandeliers, full lead crystal, Amber crystal, Black hand-cut crystal, Italian, Majestic and Rose crystals, and Swarovski Spectra hand-cut crystals are just some of the most familiar and popular. Innovative designs and unique creations make stunning collections when teamed with crystal drops and pendalogues, 24 Karat gold and chrome plated finishes.

The highest priced chandeliers, and holding the top spot for crystals in the world, are Strass crystal chandeliers from Switzerland. Compared to sculptures of light and crystal, they are made with crystals guaranteed to last for a lifetime and manufactured by Swarovski AG, cut and polished by machine for clarity and purity. They then have an invisible coating applied to ensure dust or dirt doesn't stick to it making the cleaning process much easier. You'll know if your crystal is genuine Strass or not as the logo is laser etched in miniature inside each crystal piece.

Following closely behind are Swarovski whose crystals are the same as Strass but are less expensive as they don't have the optical coating applied. Spectra Swarovski crystal is only available in limited sizes and shapes whereas Strass crystal offers a lot more choice.

Italian crystal comes from the historic glass-making region around Venice and has a look and feel all its own. Venetian crystal is molded and fire-polished instead of hand or machine cut, resulting in a skillfully subtle luminosity and less expensive than cut crystal. Designs are generally very elegant and stylish, most people will have heard of Murano who use Italian crystal in their stunning designs and are one of the most expensive lighting designers in the world today.

Egyptian and Moroccan Crystal (Gemcut) is top quality and flawless, not surprising as the Egyptians are said to be one of the first makers of these lighting fixtures. They discovered how sand and lead can form into a stunning crystal with a brilliance and purity all of its own, and are amongst the most expensive crystal chandelier makers in the world.

Turkish Crystal, Handcut, Heritage Handcut, and Regal, still use methods that date back hundreds of years. First the crystal is cut by hand in 2 stages - on iron and then using sandstone grinding wheels - before each one is polished on a wood wheel with marble dust. If you see any traces of the wood wheel in your chandelier crystal, then you know you have the real thing.

A crystal chandelier will last you for ever, they never go out of date and are extremely durable. If money isn't an issue for you then why not splash out on a high quality stunning crystal, red or black chandelier for your home? They can really make a statement when placed in the right room and will be with you forever, you could even hand it down to your children in the future as an heirloom.
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