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Factors to consider when choosing the best crystal vase include size, shape and style. It is also important to determine how and where the vase will be used before making a final selection. Consideration should also be given to whether you prefer a clear, colored or patterned crystal vase and how much money you want to spend.
Lead crystal vases come with varying degrees of lead oxide, which typically impacts the vase's ability to reflect light. Higher lead oxide content means greater refractive power, thus, more sparkle. Likewise, less lead oxide content means less refractive power and less sparkle. Many crystal vases, such as Bohemian crystal, have 24 percent lead, and most lead crystal vases range between 24 and 33 percent.
If you prefer a crystal vase with a pattern rather than a plain, smooth finish, choose a pressed crystal vase. Pressed crystal involves pressing a pattern into the glass while it is in a near molten stage. For a higher-quality crystal vase, choose a vase hand-cut and hand-finished by a glass craftsman.
For the best quality, choose a vase from a high-end crystal company, such as Waterford®, Lalique® or Swavorski®. Lalique® offers a wealth of vases to choose from, ranging from short and sleek bud vases to larger vases featuring the company's signature neo-classical female nudes, fairy and nymph designs. Steuben®, an American crystal company based in New York, has crystal vases featuring honeycomb patterns, inspiration from ancient Greece, and vases with curves reminiscent of a pocket handkerchief's folds.
Many crystal manufacturers, including Waterford®, offer vases in a range of colors, such as cobalt blue, crimson and emerald. Diamond cuts add elegance by creating a pattern in the colored glass which allows clear glass to shine through. Crystal vases are made in a variety of styles, from traditional and modern to artful styles. Scalloped edges, traditional shapes and modern cuts further differentiate crystal vase styles.
Consider the weight of the vase and how you intend to use or display it. Tall flowers can overwhelm a lightweight vase, causing it to tip. Consider choosing a streamlined style of vase rather than an ornate or intricately-decorated vase if it is going to be frequently used. If you have a particular display area in mind, make sure the crystal vase you select will easily fit into the space.
The cost of a crystal vase can range from just a few dollars to tens of thousands. Antique crystal vases by famous crystal manufacturers typically have a hefty price tag. More common crystal vases found at local big box stores and department stores are often more affordable.
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