Types of Crystal
If you are curious about all the references to crystal that one hears these days, I'll try to give a little information to help clarify things for you. I'm no expert, but I have learned a little bit on the subject, and am happy to share at least that much with you!
I have also included links at the bottom of this page where you can get some more in-depth info on the subject, if you would like.
The beautiful Swarovski Crystal that we are seeing so much of right now (and which is the type that I use almost exclusively), is simply a brand name of Austrian crystal, and just like any other "Austrian" crystal, is a product of that country.
There was a time when all of the crystal from that country was simply called Austrian crystal, but as the Swarovski brand was seen to be superior to the others, it came to be that many jewelers and jewelry-makers made a point of advertising their crystal as being "Swarovski", to let the buyer know they were getting the best quality available.
There are still other manufacturers of Austrian crystal, and it should all be appreciated for its brilliant sparkle and beauty.
However, only that crystal manufactured by Swarovski can be referred to by that name.
Another type of crystal, being made in the Orient, is called Celestial Crystal, and it is supposedly of a very brilliant quality, just as Swarovski. I have yet to see it firsthand, but from what I can tell from photos, it is a beautiful type of crystal.
What these two brand-names have in common is that they are both made from lead crystal. Where they differ is in the fact that Swarovski is machine-cut, which gives each crystal a completely uniform appearance and size. Celestial crystals are handmade, giving a subtle difference to the individual beads, and lending a more natural, handmade quality to whatever application they are used for.
An example of Swarovski Crystal...
There is still another type of crystal in this category
of "decorative" crystals - Czech Glass. Czech glass is sometimes referred to as Czech crystal because it has a truly brilliant shine to it!
Czech glass is imported from the Czech Republic. The beads are manufactured by pressing glass in a mold to make the bead. The beads are roughly faceted by machine, then the surface of the bead is slightly liquified by putting it back into a red-hot oven to glaze (called fire-polishing). It is this entire process which gives the Czech fire-polished glass beads their lovely shimmer.
Although they may not have quite the brilliance of Austrian crystal, they do have a lovely sparkle, just the same, and come in a myriad of shades!
Finally, there are those crystals that are promoted as healing crystals. These types of crystals are often left unfinished, in their natural state, and would include all different types of naturally occuring crystalline stones such as quartz, amethyst, and so on.
There is quite a lot of information to be found on the subject, and I have noticed that many websites which sell crystal or crystal jewelry have whole pages listing a myriad of stones along with their healing properties.
It is a fascinating subject and one which I felt I should include some information on since I do use so much stone and crystal in my own work.
However, rather than be like everyone else and simply create a long list of stones (I have provided links to a couple of those lists on the page-link listed just below), I decided I would like to take another approach and give you some real information on the nature of crystals, how they are formed, what their very real scientific qualities are known to be, and how this has led people to thebelief that these various stones have healing properties.
I have devoted this page to what I have learned so far about
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