Although ‘glass” and “crystal” are often used synonymously, there are differences between the materials. Broadly speaking, there are three types of “glass” used in the manufacturer of awards and gifts: glass, crystal and optic crystal. The major difference between the three is clarity. If you place three identical pieces next to each other, one made of glass, one made of crystal and one made of optic crystal, you can readily see the difference in clarity. Glass is the least clear while optic crystal has the best clarity.
Glass is the least expensive of the materials, primarily because it’s made from silica sand, an abundant resource. Lead crystal is just that – it has the added element of lead oxide that softens the glass ad gives it sparkle. Optic crystal is the highest quality crystal used to make gifts and awards. Three are no impcrfections, like bubbles, in optic crystal, and it is much clearer than glass or leaded crystal. Of course, it’s also a much more expensive material.