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Considered by many the pinnacle of glassmaking perfection, crystal vase pieces are
guaranteed to catch everyone's eye. Crystal vases add a glint of glamour with their
remarkable refraction of light, a characteristic quality that distinguishes it from its regular
Vases themselves date back to the earliest days of glassblowing, which facilitated the
creation of vessels for storage and display. As tastes for glassware grew and patrons
increased in wealth, crystal became the medium of choice for vases, as it allowed for both
a clarity that surpassed glass and a weight that reduced the likelihood it would tip
Crystal vases also dazzled the eye with their substantial sparkle, with the refraction of
the glass along its faceted edges resulting in pieces that seemed to shine. These aspects
that initially captivated human culture in the early days of crystal pieces continue to
compel collectors today.
If you're unsure whether your piece is glass or crystal, then listen closely: a
flick to the side of the vessel that results in a resonant note rather than a dull thud
suggests your piece is crystal
Leaded crystal glass typically contains around 30% lead oxide. Some of the most
elite producers, including Waterford, boast 33% content while others can include as low
as 24% lead oxide to just make the cut for the lead crystal category. Less than 24% lead
oxide means that the glass is simply crystal
A pair of early 19th century mounted crystal vases currently hold a record as some of
the most expensive such vessels to appear at auction. Featured at a Sotheby's London
sale in 2000, the 40 inch high vases sold for $100,144