Bone china dish sets are often reserved for holidays and special occasions rather than being used as everyday dishes. These beautifully translucent plates, cups and bowls add an air of elegance and fine dining to any occasion. However, the place settings are not complete until they are accompanied by crystal glasses. Crystal adds a layer of glitz and glamour to any place setting with its unique ability to sparkle and shine. It makes every beverage take on the taste of a fine wine or liquor. It tempts the palate and elevates the occasion to a higher level.
The making of crystal glasses is a process that has been known for many years. Originally, lead was added to the glass mixture. The lead makes the glass easier to work and hold patterns. It also adds the refractory index to the glass by scattering the light throughout it. Light within this crystal bounces around in the same manner as a diamond. This accounts for the sparkle of truly fine crystal.
Lead has been identified as harmful to human health. Zinc and barium have replaced this harmful element because they do not cause any known health hazards when used in glass making. They have the same refractory properties as lead when mixed into glass. This means fine crystal is still the same product as before. It is simply safer for humans to use over time.
The price of a set of crystal glassware is expensive. Not every glass maker produces this beautiful product. Those that do have elevated it to an art form with intricate scoring on the outside surfaces. This scoring scatters light even more than plain glass and adds additional shine to every table. Fine crystal is an investment in a lifetime of luxurious living and dining.