Collectable figurines made of glass or crystal can be repaired using glues especially designed for mending those materials. According to Jewelry Made 4 U, “Crystal is made by adding lead oxide to glass, which makes crystal heavier than glass. The lead in crystal is what makes it sparkle and reflect colours much more than plain glass. When the lead content is higher--the crystal is a better quality.” Both glass and crystal figurines require glues that dry clear so repairs cannot be detected. Many brands of glass glue are available for purchase in grocery, hardware and discount stores.
Squirt a dot of glass glue onto the broken section of the glass crystal figurine and on the portion of the figurine where the broken piece fits. Glass glues are sold under many brand names, some of which are: Loctite Instant Glass Glue, Elmer’s China and Glass Cement, and Superglue. Before using a glass glue, read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the glue dries clear.
Hold the broken piece onto the glass or crystal figurine for at least one minute. Most glass glues on the market today have a setting time of one minute. This is not to be confused with the curing time, which is the time it takes for the glue to completely bond with the glass or crystal.
Allow the glass crystal figurine to sit in an out of the way, ventilated place for about three days. Do not move the crystal glass figurine while the glue is curing. Most glass glues are nonflammable; but read your product label to determine your particular brand of glass glue’s flammability.
Inexperienced or unknowledgeable collectors often use the terms glass and crystal interchangeably. According to Jewelry Made 4 U, “In Europe, glass must contain at least 4% lead to be called crystal. In the US, glass must have at least 1% lead content to be classified as crystal.” Just as the old adage says “all that shimmers is not gold," so is it true that all that is clear and glasslike is not crystal. Crystal is heavier in hand than glass and often is thicker and reflects more light, giving it a shinier appearance. If you’re in doubt as to the material of your glass crystal figurine, many antique and jewellery stores offer appraisals and evaluations of such products. These services can be invaluable when considering insurance for your figurine collectibles.
Use caution when handling glass glue, as it will adhere flesh to the item you're repairing.