Round Chandelier with
Crystals: Crystals Then & Now
When you think of a crystal
chandelier, you might think of something traditional in style or maybe
something ornate; it all depends on your personal taste. But whatever that may
be, elegance certainly comes to mind. These grand light fixtures started out as candle
chandeliers. Today, chandeliers come in all shapes, sizes and materials, from a
tiered mesh chandelier to a round chandelier with crystals.
A Quick History Lesson
Some of the earliest forms of
chandeliers began as mobile candle chandeliers that were unfixed to any ceiling
or wall and were small enough to be carried from one room to another, making
them more like candelabras than chandeliers. They were usually made of cast
metals or gilded wood, or both. Going as far back as some time in the 15th
century, candle chandeliers began to take on more intricate forms and larger
sizes. They began to mimic the rings and crowns of royalty on a larger scale.
It wasn’t until about the 18th
century that lead crystals could be produced more affordably and used more and
more as a light dispersing material for chandeliers. This gradual progression
eventually led to the many varieties of chandeliers we see today in homes,
hotels, restaurants, banquet halls and more.
Today’s Crystal Chandeliers
Today’s crystal chandeliers come
in all shapes and sizes. Some are more traditional, with a tiered birthday cake
shape, dangling crystal beads and electric candelabras with twisted candle
shaped bulbs, while some are linear with a few dangling crystals and a mesh
lamp shade hiding the bulbs.
Whichever look you’re after,
there are a couple of things to consider when shopping for any type of chandelier
made of crystals:
are the types of crystals?
do you clean and care for the crystals?
Types of Crystals
All types of chandelier crystal offer that timeless sparkle
that has become synonymous with the material. However, the varieties each have
different types of oxides and oxide ratios, as well as different manufacturing
processes. Different cutting and polishing methods make some crystals are more
time consuming to produce and some crystals are more light reflective.
Some of the more common types of crystal include:
- Strass Crystal: the most expensive of the bunch,
this crystal includes Swarovski Elements as it’s made by Swarovski AG. These
crystals are usually machine cut and polished, making their edges very clean
and their clarity and luminosity very bright.
- Turkish Crystal: This is a handcut type of
crystal that is also called heritage handcut crystal. It is made using an old
technique from centuries ago. As such, it is laborious and time-consuming. It
is handcut using iron and then sandstone grinding wheels and is polished on a
wood wheel using marble dust.
- Italian Crystal: this crystal is also called
legacy or Venetian. Unlike the other two, this crystal is polished by fire. This gives the crystal a subdued
brilliance and shine.
How to Clean Your Crystal Chandelier
Some crystal chandelier manufacturers use a coating on their
crystal beads and prisms, making it easier to keep them clean. Dusting your
chandelier with a feather duster or microfiber cloth will help maximize the
time between deep cleans. When lightly or deeply cleaning your crystal
chandelier, it’s recommended that you lay down a thick blanket or sheet beneath
the light fixture to prevent any damage should a piece fall. For deep cleans,
all you need to use is a mild dish soap.
Today, there are not only more
varieties of crystal chandeliers but also more modern varieties, such as
linear, square and round chandeliers with crystals. With so many style options
now available for crystal chandeliers, they are great for any room of the house,
from the foyer to the dining table to the bedroom. To learn more about the
various types of crystals and how to care for them, speak to a lighting fixture