Do you know that Czech crystal is not just glasses, vases, bowls and decanters, but also jewelery and various accessories?
Please also visit the Jewelry and Accessories category and choose a Crystal Sunrise Crystal Jewelry or an original lettering knife with a Crystal Brooch Handle.
Is the lead crystal safe?
Keep your granny's mementos
Do you keep a lovely cut bowl at home from your grandma? Or a much-loved vase that you keep your birthday bouquets in? Or perhaps a delightful set of glasses you received as a wedding gift. After all, it's entirely possible that these cut gems were made from lead crystal, which is what most traditional cut glass is made from. There's really no need to worry, then please don't throw your gorgeous glass away and keep using it nicely.
What is lead crystal and what is it used for?
Lead crystal is a refined material that was developed hundreds of years ago to replace lead crystal, which was a limited source and the more it was used, the more costly it was. When it finally succeeded in replacing it with the lead crystal, it was a great success. The lead crystal usually contains 24% lead oxide (PbO) and is used to make traditional crystal products with a rich cut - for example, the famous Bohemian cut PK500.
classic objects made of lead crystal - handmade by Czech glass Masters
Why is lead oxide added to the glass at all?
Maybe you were surprised, too. Why add lead to the raw glass? It is simple. PbO and its correct ratio in the raw glass ensures a brilliant shine of the final product and an irresistible play of light, which stands out when breaking in cut glass. It´s the beautiful rainbow reflections that glass lovers enjoy so much. In addition, it is softer but stronger, so it can be cut better. It is a perfect substitution of the original rock crystal.
It is more expensive, heavier and more luxurious.
The lead oxide in the raw glass ensures that perfect shine and refraction of light, we already know that. This glass is more demanding in terms of production, especially in terms of material and energy consumption. It is therefore usually in a different price category than lead-free crystal products. Not to mention the work of Masters of Glassmakers, grinders, painters, who often create finished masterpieces decorated with gold or platinum. It is also much heavier and more durable than ordinary glass.
Lead-free crystal - what's the difference?
We mentioned lead-free crystal above. It is currently widely used in ordinary gastro glass. Classic representatives of lead-free crystal are elegant wine glasses, which you may know from classy restaurants, hotels, or even from home. This material is not suitable for complex refined and deep cut designs, but rather for sandblasting and other modern decoration techniques. Thanks to the lower price of the material and machining, lead-free crystal is mainly used for consumer glass. Although exceptions reinforce the rule.
classic items made of lead-free crystal - quality Czech machine production
So what's with the lead?
In the past, information has been released to the public that lead crystal is harmful to health. Fortunately, there was a marketing move and misinformation that was deliberately omitted due to the competition between two large corporations, one producing lead crystal and the other lead-free crystal. The two giant corporations wanted to harm each other and there was an unnecessary panic about the traditional material and therefore the products. Under normal consumption conditions, no dangerous lead is released from lead crystal and it is therefore safe to use it.
What to watch out for?
Lead crystal, which is commonly produced in the Czech Republic and, in fact, throughout the EU, is under the close supervision of strict directives and quotas. And is also suitable for use in gastronomy. It's safe. But be definitely careful about any cheap glass that is not primarily intended for normal contact with food and mouth. We are mainly talking about glass candle cups. Some people buy or get a candle in glass that is beautifully decorated - painted, glitter, wearing various ornaments, or some scenery. And as soon as the candle burns out, they're sorry to throw it away. So they wash them - properly and thoroughly - and start drinking from them and using them normally. However, this glass was not made for normal use in gastronomy - that is - colors and decorations can really contain releasing lead, cadmium, bismuth or chromium this time. Substances you definitely don't want in your body! Try to use your imagination and use the cups differently than in gastronomy, or just take them and recycle them - glass is a great material and can be recycled all the time over and over again.
Caution - do not use candle cups for drinking. Use them for pencils or recycle them, they are not intended for contact with food and mouth.
The Czechs are Masters of the glass.
Glass, whether leaded or lead-free, can be found anywhere today. But if you want quality and tradition, choose a Czech manufacturer. Czech glass does not have its good reputation in vain. The traditions and art of Czech glassmakers have been built for centuries. Czech glass is unique and in demand all over the world. You can see it in the most luxurious hotels, facilities, trade fairs and on television. If you need a beautiful gift or you want to make your home cozy, look for Czech glass. For example, you can find it here in one pile from all over the Czech Republic.
Luxurious Czech glass from all corners of the Czech republic makes people happy all over the world.
If you want to know more about the difference between lead and lead-free crystal, we have prepared an article on this topic for you.