Crystal Types

Strauss Lighting Crystal ChoicesCrystal is prepared in three ways. It can be machine-cut, hand-cut or molded. The finest crystal contains few flaws. It has no cloudiness, milkiness or inclusions. At Strauss, we pride ourselves on selecting only the finest crystals for our fixtures.

The following crystals are the main types used on our fixtures.


Strauss Signature crystal

The Signature crystal is a full lead, gem cut crystal.  This crystal virtually meets all standards of perfection in terms of optical quality and brilliance.

Originally discovered by Englishman George Ravenscroft in 1674, he found that by adding lead oxide (in quantities of between 10 and 30%) the result was an improved appearance of the glass, making it more brilliant and easier to work with. Therefore a new form of glass was born, the “lead crystal”. The name is retained from the Venetian word “cristallo” which means rock crystal and lead from lead oxide. This naming convention has been maintained to the present day to describe this type of crystal, while the term “full lead crystal” is used for the crystals that contain the maximum amount of lead oxide possible at around 30%.

The brilliance of lead crystal relies on the high refractive index caused by the lead content. The addition of lead produces an increase of the refractive index in a range of 20% higher than regular glass. Crystal cutting techniques exploit these properties to create a brilliant, sparkling effect as each cut facet reflects and transmits light through.

The Strauss Signature-full lead crystal manufacturing process using time proven formulas, and lead in excess of 30%, combined with the most advanced faceting and polishing techniques available is making this crystal one of the most beautiful and best value crystal line in the world today.

Strauss Optic crystal

The optic crystal is a lead free form of crystal that is very smooth and clear of inclusions or swirls, witch possesses a high refractive index.

The Optical or short optic crystal got his name from ophthalmic crystal, which means lenses, and the fact that it can be used to direct a beam of light.

Because its clarity, shine, brilliancy and relatively low weight ( due to lack of lead), the optical crystal is used in a variety of industries, from high end awards and timeless trophies to crystal clear lenses, just to name a few. The Hubble telescope uses exclusively optic crystals for its lenses.

During the manufacturing process, optic crystal is heated to very high temperatures and then allowed to cool very slowly, a process that completely eliminates bubbles and imperfections, resulting in a material that is very hard and much clearer than glass or leaded crystal. After that a new opti-mechanic technology is used to cut, polish and refine the crystal to perfection.

After years of research and development made in collaboration with several crystal parts manufacturers, the Strauss optic crystal (our version of optical crystal) is now offered exclusively on Strauss crystal collections and fixtures as a more economic crystal trim. Strauss optic crystal is on a class of its own, surpassing any and all similarly priced crystals on today’s market in terms of clarity, shine, sparkle, brilliancy or refractive index.

STRASS® Swarovski® Crystal
This crystal meets all standards for perfection. It is original, flawless and brilliant, possessing lead oxide content in excess of 30 percent. Using age old trade secrets, Swarovski craftsmen produce a crystal where each facet is perfectly cut and polished for optimum consistency and clarity. The crystals are easy to clean because of the polishing process which makes it difficult for dirt and dust to stay on them.


SPECTRA® Swarovski® Crystal
This lead-free quality crystal is a recent development. A Swarovski technician applies strict production standards to manufacture it. The end result is a brilliant crystal at a reasonable price.

Gem-cut is a full-lead crystal machine-cut at the highest industry standards. It has really sharp facets that increase its brilliance.

Hand-cut is simply what it says – cut by hand. Craftspeople trained in the traditional methods with up to 5 to 10 years experience produce it. First, they use an iron then a sandstone wheel to cut the facets. In the final stage of the work, they use a wooden wheel with marble dust. The patterns of the wood are left on the crystal attesting to the labor consuming process that goes into it.

These are cuts developed by the first crystal makers in Bohemia in 1724. They are big and heavy giving impressive weight to a fixture.

Crystals are created with colored glass. The possibilities are endless. (Topaz, Light Topaz, Amber, Navy Blue, Baby Blue, Aquamarine Blue, Emerald, Rosaline, Golden Teak, Ruby and Purple are available.)