WHAT IS CRYSTAL? IS IT A RAW MATERIAL?
The word “crystal” comes from the ancient Greek word for “ice”, and is characterized by purity, transparency and lack of color. When a naturally colorless, pure and transparent mineral made of mono-crystals of silica (quartz) was discovered, it was so reminiscent of ice, that it was named after it. This pristine, much sought-after mineral later became known as rock crystal or clear quartz.
TODAY "CRYSTAL" HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH A SPARKLING, TOP QUALITY, MAN-MADE PRODUCT
Though quartz is the second most abundant mineral on earth, clear quartz is usually only found in mountainous regions. The cost of finding and extracting it is high. As a result, in ancient times, people started to attemptto create a synthetic material with similar characteristics and properties. This led to the creation of glass, and then “crystal” as we know it today. In the 16th century the art of man-made crystal and glassmaking came to the Czech Republic (Bohemia), a country rich in natural resources (sand, wood and water). We have been making glass in the Crystal Valley ever since.
WHY IS "CZECH CRYSTAL" SO FAMOUS?
Crystal Valley, located in the northern region of Bohemia in the Czech Republic, grew into an important glassmaking center in the 16th century. Ever since the first kiln was fired up in 1548, the art and tradition of glassmaking has been passed down from generation to generation of skilled craftsmen in the Valley. Both the glassmakers and the crystal they produced soon developed a prestigious reputation throughout the world. Cut and polished Czech Crystal became synonymous with glass that had the highest brilliance and extraordinary optical-aesthetic properties. Today, Preciosa continues this tradition, carrying forward the reputation of its forefathers while developing new techniques and technologies to become a prominent international manufacturer of jewelry stones, beads, and other crystal products.
WHAT IS CRYSTAL MADE FROM?
Preciosa Crystal Components are made from a compound of the purest silica sand, sodium, potassium carbonate, minium and other materials. These are melted at extreme temperatures, the resulting mixture from which we mould, cut and polish our components. We use only finest raw materials combined with our own cutting-edge Preciosa® Hi-Pure Crystal™ technology, ensuring that our crystal components are unmatched for their optical-aesthetic properties, including more intense fire effects, more frequent scintillation, and higher brightness and brilliance.
WHY ARE PRECIOSA CRYSTAL COMPONENTS YOUR BEST CHOICE?
Preciosa uses the purest raw materials including silica sand, sodium, potassium carbonate, minium and other compounds. These, combined with advanced glassmaking technologies and proprietary cutting and polishing techniques ensure that Preciosa Crystal Components possess exceptional optical-aesthetic properties, including superior color consistency, fire effects, scintillation and brilliance. Coming in a large assortment of shapes, colors and sizes, they are also more resilient, making them the ideal choice for fashion and décor designers and manufacturers. Not only does Preciosa deliver top quality crystal, but our flagship brand, MAXIMA, offers premium lead-free crystal that is unrivalled in quality and value, making Preciosa the world leader in the glass industry.
WHAT IS YOUR STANDARD DELIVERY TIME?
Delivery times depend on the items ordered, the volume of the order and our inventory levels. We carry inventories of our most popular top-sellers so that they can usually be dispatched the same day. Special request items may take up to several weeks to ship, depending on the particular item, colour and order time. We are always happy to help should you need to check on stock.
HOW DO I RECOGNISE AND AUTHENTICATE PRECIOSA CRYSTAL COMPONENTS?
Preciosa Crystal Components are always packaged in distinct envelopes and standardized boxes with a number of security features to ensure quick and easy identification. Each package has the Preciosa logo and hologram seal, guaranteeing premium quality brand authenticity.
ARE PRECIOSA CRYSTAL COMPONENTS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
Preciosa strongly believes in safety, ecology and the preservation of the environment for future generations. We enforce safe working conditions and utilize ecologically responsible technologies. We also strive to ensure the safety of those who use our products. Preciosa Crystal Components are certified according to all international standards, including the European Standard EN 71 – Safety of Toys and the International Standard OEKO-TEX 100. For all current certifications or for more information click here.
WHAT DOES "GROSS" MEAN?
A gross (often abbreviated as "grs" or "gro") is unit of measure used in the jewelry industry in the purchase of large volumes of components. A gross represents twelve dozen, or 144 pieces. Our components are packaged into envelopes or standardized boxes in the multiples of grosses ordered. Another unit of measurement frequently used for larger items is the dozin (abbreviated as "doz"), which represents 12 units. A full conversion chart is available in our Product Catalogue.
WHAT IS "FOILING"?
Foiling, first developed in 1878 in Crystal Valley, is the application of a reflective “mirror” layer to underside of a stone to give it maximum brilliance. Typical foiling layers include aluminum, silver and “gold” (a silver layer with an additional bronze protective layer). In 2011 the Preciosa Research and Development team created the revolutionary new Dura-Foiling™ layer, which gives crystal components higher brilliance, better adhesion (hot-fix) and even better processing resilience during secondary manufacturing.
HOW MANY COMPONENTS ARE IN AN ENVELOPE OR STANDARD BOX?
The number of components in an envelope or standard box depends on the type of product and its size. Standard crystal jewelry components like chatons and chaton roses come in multiples of 144, or a gross. Nacre pearls and chandelier trimmings are sold by the piece, while cabochons come in multiples of a dozen, or are sold by weight. Banding and chains are sold by the meter. For specific details please see the standard packaging chart for the product group you are interested in (found on the last page of each product group in the Preciosa catalog).
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE PRECIOSA CRYSTAL COMPONENTS?
Preciosa Crystal Components are sold in over 100 countries throughout the world. To find the most convenient Preciosa Sales Office or Authorized Distributor for you please click here.
WHAT ARE “EFFECTS”?
Effects refer to a variety of metal, oxide, salt and compound coatings that are applied to finished crystal components in a vacuum. These coatings, or effects, give stones unusual and unique properties. One of the most popular and well-known effects is AB. Effects can be applied to the top or bottom of a stone and they can be full or partial (half-coating). Colors can be applied as an effect as well – this is usually used in chandelier trimmings. A matt effect or finish can also be added to crystal components.
WHAT ARE PP AND SS – AND HOW DO THEY CONVERT TO STANDARD MEASURES?
Crystal jewelry components come in many different colors, shapes and sizes. Three units of measurement are typically used when sizing fashion jewelry stones: pp, ss and mm. PP (Pearl Plate, or sieve size) is used for round stones, such as chatons. SS (stone size) is typically used for chatons and chaton roses. MM (millimetres) is usually used for other components such as fancy stones, beads or chandelier trimmings. The units are fully convertible, for example: SS 00 = 2 PP = 0.9 – 1.0 mm. Click here for a full conversion table for MC Chaton MAXIMA or click here for a conversion table for other Round Stones.
WHAT MAKES A STONE “HOT FIX”?
Hot-Fix refers to flat back crystal components that have a special low melting-point adhesive applied to their base (underside). This allows the stones to be applied to a variety of materials, including elastic fabrics and leather, with heat and pressure (e.g. ironing). The hot-fix adhesive layer can be either transparent (unfoiled components) or grey (foiled components). For more information about our wide range of Hot-Fix components click here.