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Crystal Gifts Offer a Surprising Variety

Jun 11, 2008
Crystal is one of the most beautiful materials ever made by man. Those who appreciate the finer things of life owe a debt of gratitude to the first person who conceived the notion that molten sand could ever create something so useful. Glassmaking is actually art. The Mesopotamians were producing glass, by the third millennium BC and the Egyptians in the second millennium. It was, however, quite dear, considered to be on par with gold.

Glass making evolved through the centuries. Around the first century AD it was revealed that blowing glass was a more effective means of shaping pieces. It was not until the late 1600s that lead crystal first made. George Ravenscroft, who opened a glass house in London in 1673, experimented with adding minerals to glass to make it more perfect and brilliant. It was he who first added lead oxide to glass during the melting process, finally winding up with what was called "flint glass". Putting in lead made the glass stronger and more refractive. It also made it softer. Whether because of the discovery that the new, softer material was not as difficult to cut or simply because of changing tastes, cut crystal became highly desirable about this time.

There are some creative artists working in crystal today, and the multitude of articles to be had in that material is amazing. Crystal gifts can be elegant, whimsical, traditional, or very modern. No matter the occasion, there is something to please. Consider the singularity of a cut glass numeral "1" paperweight to let someone important know where he or she stands in your life. Or for something offbeat with a link to the past, a hand cooler makes an exquisite gift. Originating in the 1700 and 1800s, these elegant objects were held in the palm of the hand as a means of cooling off. Steuben releases a new, collectible hand cooler annually.

For a wedding gift, there are many beautiful choices, such as a crystal beehive for dispensing honey, a Waterford "biscuit barrel," or a sleek set of five Block-glas candleholders. For the bride, a sweet crystal bridal memento box is sure to be loved for a lifetime.

There is no occasion for which a gift of crystal would not be appreciated. The heft and warmth of a piece of crystal in the palm of a human hand is something unusual. Exceptional crystal pieces are wonderful to receive on any occasion.
About the Author
If you are in the market for fine crystal gifts , be sure you purchase from a respected retailer of crystal gifts .
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