The glass making techniques used by the glass makers on Murano have held their secret to glass making for centuries. They were moved to the island of Murano in 1291 because there was a fear of their glass making furnaces would start a fire. They became famous throughout the world with the glass they made. No one could make glass vases, chandeliers, lamps or jewelry like the glass makers of Murano. Today, their glass is still much sought after. However, there are many who sell “Murano glass” that isn’t from the island.
There are several types of Italian chandeliers that are sold with the name of Murano, but they aren’t real glass from Murano. Chandeliers can be made with three different types of glass. The first is rock crystal, which is a natural mineral from the earth’s crust. They are sometimes used as imitate diamonds and are still used to make jewelry. They come in several colors from transparent quartz to amethyst to rose quartz. They are not made into Murano chandeliers.
The second is lead crystal where lead is added to the glass. It helps the glass break light into a prism of colors when struck with sunlight. It make is reflect and refract. Lead crystal is never used in Murano chandeliers.
The third type of crystal is a rhinestone or an imitation diamond. They cut them just like they do real diamonds but they are mostly used for fashion and interior design and on costumes, especially for pop artists and ballroom dancing costumes.
None of these crystals are using in making Murano crystal chandeliers. The word crystal clear came from the Italian word cristallo, which means crystal-clear. It was used when the glass makers of Murano created the first “crystal clear” glass in 1450. It was perfectly transparent. That means it didn’t have any flaws, bubbles, or smoking part in the glass. At the time, it was such an awesome technology because the glass was “clear like a crystal”. That word has led to many misunderstanding about Murano crystal chandeliers.