If you grew up in a home where your mother kept her crystal and china protected behind the doors of a china hutch or breakfront, you know the value of crystal. If you were like many children, you waited until your mother was busy to sneak a look at the forbidden crystal. You might have even picked up a delicate piece of stemware or a crystal candy dish. Read more here for five amazing facts you never knew about crystal.
Crystal Is beyond Antique
If your mother or grandmother had pieces of Waterford crystal in the china cabinet, they owned a piece of history. Well, at least they owned a piece of crystal made by a company with a long history. Waterford crystal is one of Ireland’s most famous exports. The factory began making the famous crystal in 1783. The company closed in 1851 and re-opened 100 years later. Now, most Waterford is made in Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Germany.
Did you know you can make crystal glasses and bowls sing? It’s true! There’s a scientific reason behind singing glasses. Even if you don’t completely understand the science, it’s still fun to show off your musical talents. All you need is a few crystal glasses or bowls and water. Fill the glasses with varying amounts of water. Dip your fingertip in the water and run it around the rim of the glass or bowl. Continue moving your finger in a circular motion until you hear a musical note. If you’re fortunate enough to own Waterford crystal bowls, try making them sing.
Crystal or Glass?
There are significant differences between glass and crystal. One of the more fun ways to differentiate between the two is to tap the rim of the glass. When you tap glass, it makes a “thud” sound. Crystal is heavier than glass due to its lead content. Weight is another way to determine whether the glass you’re drinking from is indeed crystal vs. glass.
From Ireland to England
In an ironic twist, the Guinness family was convinced to fund the cost of Waterford Crystal chandeliers in London’s Westminster Abbey. The occasion was the 900th anniversary dedication of the church. Waterford Crystal chandeliers also hang in Windsor Castle and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Auld Lang Syne
Next time you watch the New Year’s Eve countdown, make sure you look closely at the crystal ball in Time’s Square. Waterford Crystal designs the ball every year. Crystal isn’t the only material used in the New Year’s Eve ball. Its frame is constructed of aluminum and it’s filled with wires used to light it up. New crystals are created and attached each year. The total number of Waterford Crystal triangles that cover the ball is 2,688.