At the turn of the 16th and 17th century, the Czech lands became a world power in the manufacture of pure crystal. In the meantime, the entire world puzzled over why crystal is so fragile, and therefore practically useless for fine processing. Almost a whole century, the Czech Lands dominated this glass industry. Magnificent crystal chandeliers were made there, which still adorn royal residences and church temples. To this day, it is still encoded in some foreigners that the Czech lands is the country of glass and crystal
How crystal is made
The glass art of making crystal is extremely laborious. Its making therefore engages real masters in the field. It is manufactured by melting glass sand with potash (potassium carbonate) and lead oxides. Glass is soft with high gloss and refractive index. At a content of more than 24% lead oxide, it is called lead crystal. Also manufactured is glass containing lead oxide of 30%. Such glass is valued for high refractive index and colour dispersion (brilliance). Cut and polished glass is used in jewellery for making jewels, and as pendants for chandeliers. Characteristics of certain crystal manufacturers is a method without the use of lead oxide which is the basic building block of crystal. Such a crystal is usually considered lower quality because of its refracted light, and its clarity is weaker than in traditional manufacturing. Similar properties of light refraction are supplied to crystal by barium oxide.