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For the best in decorative glassware, crystal bowls are a classic selection.
Showcasing both brilliant sparkle and detailed designs, crystal glass bowls celebrate the
beauty of the medium along with an essential evolution in glassmaking history.
The craft of crystal glass is a relatively recent innovation and was not perfected until
the 18th century in England. Prior to that point, transparent glass was common, but its
color and clarity were far from ideal. The iron inherent in silica sand, one of the primary
elements of glass, gave the final product a green tint. As innovation progressed,
glassmakers tinkered with different glass formulas in an effort to counteract these
limitations and to create the utmost clarity in their pieces.
The champions in this quest were the English, who learned that the addition of lead
oxide to their glassmaking mixture yielded impeccable clarity and miraculous refraction
when formed or cut. This leaden addition catapulted formed crystal glass, particularly
decorative crystal glass bowls, into the upper echelons of production.
A Waterford crystal bowl filled with shamrocks is gifted to the United States
President every year on Saint Patrick's Day
Traditional lead crystal can have up to a 33% lead content. An easy way to tell how
much lead your piece has is to hold it up to the light: the greater the refraction, the higher
the level of lead
Concerned about the lead in lead crystal? Fear not: while it's not recommended to
leave liquids in lead crystal vessels for extended periods of time, research suggests that
straightforward serving from these pieces is not risky