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Lead and lead-free crystal

Lead and lead-free Bohemia Crystal    Do you know the difference between lead and lead-free crystal? Do you want to know more about the differences and features of both types of crystal? This article will briefly explain everything.

The difference between lead and lead-free crystal is not nearly as complex as it might seem at first glance. The raw materials for the production of lead and lead-free crystal are more or less the same. The main ingredient that only lead crystal contains is Lead Oxide. The proportion of PbO in the glass is usually 24%.


Properties of lead crystal

Products made of lead crystal are usually thick-walled, more massive pieces, often decorated with a cut décor.


Lead crystal has been used longer than lead-free crystal - it carries with it the quality and tradition that made Czech glass famous. In general, you can recognize lead crystal products by the fact that they are slightly heavier than lead-free crystal products. Lead crystal is suitable for both machine and hand production. Compared to lead-free crystal, it is much more suitable for decoration with more complex cut decors, such as the famous Pk500 decoration. There is a reason for this, the cut surfaces of lead crystal create a very interesting refraction of light, which is why lead crystal is characterised by a beautiful lustre which, in combination with the cut decoration, creates a beautiful play of colours against the light. At the same time, lead crystal is a more pleasant and pliable material for cutters than lead-free crystal, which is harder to cut because it often splits and breaks even under experienced cutters' hands.

The production of lead crystal is more demanding, which also translates into a higher price for the products. Therefore, this material is mainly used for gift and luxury products. Among the most popular products made of lead crystal are products from collections: Sheffiled, Dover, Brixton, ZigZag, crystal figurines and almost everything from our Ultra Luxury Collection. 

Lead crystal is generally dishwasher safe. Only products that are decorated with gold or platinum should be hand washed to avoid damaging the decoration.


Properties of lead-free crystal

Lead-free crystal is often used for thin-walled everyday use products. They are often smooth, without decoration, sometimes with a fine cut, engraving or gold line.


Lead-free crystal is more often used for the production of thin-walled table, household and gastro glass (glasses and decanters), but it is also used to make vases, bowls and jewellery. Its quality is as high as that of leaded crystal. Lead-free crystal is used for both machine and hand production. Lead-free glasses are suitable for decoration with a fine light cut such as glasses from the Stardust or Atlantis collection. It is also possible to see engraved decoration, as in the case of Victoria, or in gold and platinum, as in the 43081 collection. The lead-free crystal products are lighter in weight and dishwasher safe. Again, there is an exception for gold and platinum decorations, which only need to be washed by hand. 

As we have already mentioned, both types of crystal are high quality, so you won't go wrong if you choose one or the other. We will deliver a first class product exclusively from the Czech Republic every time.

And what about lead and safety, you ask? We have prepared a whole article on this topic. And in short - lead is really not released from our glasses. More in the article mentioned above. READ THE ARTICLE