The world of crystals
Manooi crystal chandeliers only are made with premium-quality crystals, due to the complexity of their manufacture. The chandeliers are made with full-cut octagon crystals with special grindings to recall the cut of diamonds. This special cut helps to absorb the natural light and to create the unique sparkling effect that only crystal can provide.
We use different sizes of crystals to give a streamlined shape and an airy effect to our chandeliers. As a final touch, we decorate the chandeliers with various shape, design and style of crystal pendants.
But what is crystal? What does it mean and where is it used?
Overall, the word crystal describes a material whose components are arranged in a regular structure, but it can also be one piece of that material: meaning “a” crystal or “piece of crystal”.
Crystal is also a mineral that has a regular shape, like when salt crystallizes from evaporated seawater. Or, it can also be a clear, transparent rock used in a piece of jewelry.
Crystal in the Manooi Universe
Or a crystal can be a piece of high quality, cut glass whose patterns reflect light, like the single pieces of crystal Manooi uses in its chandelier creations. Such crystal pieces – the ones that shine and dazzle our eyes – are truly the stars of our universe.
Sometimes called “pendalogues”, these chandelier crystals, which are cut and polished into various shapes and sizes, reflect and amplify the light from our contemporary crystal chandelier models, which can accommodate both classic and modern interiors. When it comes to crystal, we couldn’t do what we do without them!
How long has crystal been used in chandeliers?
The use of crystal in chandeliers was part of the evolution of ceiling lamps, the first one being the candelabra, which hung from the ceiling holding candles as a light source.
The chandelier, an upgrade of sorts of the candelabra, came about in the medieval period. Over time, chandeliers became increasingly sophisticated and were fashioned from precious materials (like gold), making them status symbols in a home or estate. Eventually, Murano glass from Venice was used on chandeliers to reflect their candle light.
Then, lead glass was invented. In the 17th century English glassmaker George Ravenscroft came up with it. Now commonly called crystal or lead crystal, this special glass reflected light more decoratively than regular glass and was also easier to work with than Venetian glass.
Owing to a deep tradition of glass making that began at the end of the 13th century, manufacturers in Bohemia (in today’s Czech Republic) became renowned for their crystal glass production, which featured unique colours and cuts.
The “golden age” of crystal
Starting in the 19th century, within a remarkably short period of time Bohemian crystal earned world renown for its design and quality – one Bohemian glass maker even won the highest award at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
However, in the meantime, in 1895, Daniel Swarovski, who had emigrated from Bohemia to Austria, invented a machine which cut and polished crystal, a development that revolutionized how it was made. Today, of course, his company is world famous in the worlds of design and fashion, and is Manooi’s biggest supplier of crystal pieces.
Lead crystal versus “regular” glass
While everyday glass comes from sand (containing mostly silicon dioxide) heated to 1700 degrees Celsius thus turning into a liquid that can be fashioned into objects, to make crystal glass minerals are added to the glass-making process to strengthen it. The mineral content of crystal glass runs anywhere from 2-30%, with or without lead.
If you’re wondering how to differentiate between real crystal and ordinary glass, just tap on it: a glass made of crystal will ring, while ordinary glass doesn’t. Also, objects made of crystal are much more brilliant and dazzling to the eye than common glass. And crystal is stronger and thinner than glass, so it’s used , for example, to make delicate wine glasses.
Health and environmental concerns from the production of lead crystal glass drove crystal makers to invent a way to manufacture lead-free crystal. Today this is done by replacing the lead oxide used in the traditional process with other compounds that do not entail possible health risks.
With the help of today’s most advanced technology, for the production of crystal chandeliers Swarovski has succeeded in creating a sustainable, lead-free crystal glass material that shows off the same lustre as the original lead version, ADVANCED CRYSTAL, a development which the company considers proprietary knowledge. In connection with this, Manooi crystal chandeliers are made with the highest quality crystal materials, and the pinnacle of such crystal making is a custom-made crystal from Swarovski, the Artica crystal, a piece of which serves as a trademark and token of authenticity on every Manooi creation.