Crystal is a material used to make fine glassware. Crystal and lead crystal differ in composition, cost and quality. Those who want to purchase crystal glassware should consider whether crystal or high-end lead crystal is the best choice.
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Crystal is a type of glass. Crystal is often more delicate that regular glass tableware. Lead can be added to the crystal to give it more weight and stability.
Both crystal and lead crystal contain manganese, silica sand, soda and lime. Materials such as arsenic, borax and saltpetre can be added for colour. The only difference between crystal and lead crystal is the added lead content.
The lead contained in lead crystal is not dangerous. Those who own lead crystal can use the crystal to eat and drink from.
If you are storing alcohol, use crystal without lead. Lead crystal decanters can only hold alcohol for three months before there is risk of lead leaching into the liquid.
A significant difference between crystal and lead crystal is the price. Lead crystal is often made with special care to rid the material of all bubbles and flaws, increasing its prismatic qualities. A crystal glass can cost £19 to £32, while the same glass made from full lead crystal can cost £65 or more.
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