Are the Celestial Crystal® glass or real crystals? They seem to be referred to as both in various areas of the catalogue. What constitutes the difference between glass and crystal? Thanks.
Celestial Crystal glass beads are not lead-crystal beads. Crystal just happens to be part of the name of the bead. However there are some colors of Celestial Crystal, red, purple and pink, that contain a small amount of lead to create the red-based colors.
Glass is made from silica (quartz sand) and other ingredients including soda (sodium carbonate) and lime (calcium oxide), although secondary ingredients can be used. In a solid state, glass has an amorphous (non-crystalline) structure.
Lead crystal is by definition glass with a lead content. It is actually a glass (non-crystalline structure) in which lead has replaced the calcium as one of the components of the glass. The lead changes the refractive index, which increases the brilliance of the lead crystal. Another name for lead crystal is flint glass.
- Maura Buckner, Jewelry-Making Expert