Do you know what to look for when choosing handmade chandeliers and crystals for you home? Read our chandelier buying guide to find out what are the aspects that really matter and how to recognise quality crystal.
Born as a simple crossing of wood to hold candles, a chandelier is nothing but a light supporter, a relatively simple object to which in medieval times squires hanged their rudimental lights. In the past as well as today, crystals are the real value-adding parts of a chandelier, allowing its lights into the air and transforming them in little sparks of colours around the room. The enchanting effect is not only decorative, as we are used to perceive it today, but also functional, because the facets of crystal gems reflect the light enhancing the brightness of light itself, as a light multiplier. Imagine a world in which only natural sources of light – as the sun and fire – exist: crystal’s reflecting power immediately earns much more importance, doesn’t it?
Choosing the right kind of crystal can be quite difficult, because of the immense variety of shapes, reflection properties and quality. Just remember that a cut and polished high quality diamond is designed to capture whatever light is available and reflect and refract it back into your eyes, even under starlight, moonlight, candlelight, cave light and other low-light sources.
If your crystal does not shine in semi-darkness it means quality is lacking, because a real crystal reflects even the most insignificant light, even the ones that human eyes cannot perceive. Then, it has to be perfectly clear and reflect spectrums of light in form of little rainbows of colours at the same time. Excessive clearness without colours may suggest poor quality standards, but remember that every crystal – even the cheapest one – will shine if placed by a light, so turn off the lights while shopping for chandeliers and pay attention to the facets and their colours.
Variety is immense, tough. From the extremely selected products of important high-tech brands such as Swarovski, producing some of the most optically pure crystals on the market, to the over the top brilliancy of the Egyptian crystals, the choice is quite difficult, because all kinds are beautiful in their own right. The differences are in the way they are made, cut, polished, treated, if by hand or mechanically. Think about Murano glassmakers and their incredible mouth-blowing technique or to the wood-polishing method, consisting in hand-finishing the cut crystals on a rolling wooden wheel with embedded marble dust.
Before the purchase, your evaluation of the product has to consider a variety of factors, starting with how much money you intend to spend for your chandelier because good crystal is also quite expensive. Secondly, you need to chose the most suitable type of chandelier fixture for your room, so arm yourself of measuring tape, patience and imagination to create in your mind the atmosphere you desire.
And well, last but not least, turn off the lights and examine the crystals you prefer most in natural light, paying attention to colours and purity.