Difference Between Swarovski Crystal Beads and Glass Beads
To the long and interesting history of crystal beads, Swarovski is the only one contributor. Bead making began as far back as 400 A.D. in Bohemia and the modern Czech Republic. Glass beads were manufactured first, and with the creation of leaded glass came Swarovski crystal beads. Though glass beads and crystal beads have a similar look but each element has unique characteristics of its own.
Speaking of the history, glass beads were not crafted until the 13th century, when glass workers began producing a wide variety of objects for both practical and decorative uses, though beads have been present throughout history in one form or another. In the early 16th century, glass became the leading industry in the Czech Republic, which were considered stylish and fashionable, and jewelry designers worked tirelessly to keep up with the rather sudden, high demand for such jewelry.
Referred to as leaded glass, the creation of crystal can be dated back to the early 1400s.While no particular individual was credited with its invention, however, it is proved that the combination of lead and glass may have been accidental. The type of leaded crystal that is now mass produced is credited to Italy's renowned inventor, George Ravenscroft of Venice, who developed a method of crystal production that resulted in the clear, brilliant shine, which is still seen in modern crystal jewelry. When the formula's patent expired, glass manufacturers from around the world began using his method to produce their crystal pieces.
As jewelry has always played an important role in the fashion world, as well as symbolizing significant religious, cultural and social customs, either glass or Swarovski crystal, is a popular alternative to expensive gemstone jewelry such as diamonds and semi precious stones including sapphires and rubies. However, crystal costume jewelry can cost a considerable amount of money, especially Swarovski crystal beads. As a result, before making a purchase, it is wise to have a basic understanding of the difference between crystal and glass. Essentially, glass is crystal in its rawest form, and glass to which lead has been added becomes crystal. Indeed, glass with a lead content of at least one percent is regarded as crystal, and the quality of crystal is entirely determined by its lead content in the US jewelry industry; the higher the lead content is, the better its quality. Swarovski crystal features a lead content of 30 percent or higher, making it the best quality crystal in the world.
Still, there are other notable differences between Swarovski crystal beads and glass beads. As for crystal, it owes the brilliant sparkle to the lead it contains. But as for standard glass beads, they do not sparkle and shine as much as crystal beads as a result of contain no any lead. As a matter of fact, lead is the element responsible for the way Swarovski crystal beads reflect light. The higher the lead content, the more light and color will reflect from the surface of the crystal. Although plain glass has a certain light-reflecting ability, it pales when compared to the light reflecting properties of Swarovski crystal.
The uniformity between glass beads and Swarovski crystal beads is totally different. Swarovski beads are cut with sophisticated machinery that ensures each bead will feature the same size and shape. But as to the glass beads, it is not usually the case. The machines utilize a cutting method that is similar to the process used in diamond cutting, with which no scratch marks or bubbles are left inside the bead.
Although glass beads and crystal beads look similarly, however, with these things considered, you are able to distinguish the two, enabling you to get the genuine Swarovski crystal beads in the market when you are going to have them.