Crystal Care Instructions
Due to the delicate nature of glass and crystal, hand washing is recommended. Dry with a lint-free cloth to prevent scratching. To avoid breakage, do not expose glass or crystal to extreme temperatures or to abrupt temperature changes.
The process of glassmaking has remained essentially the same since ancient times. Most glass is a mixture of silica, obtained from beds of fine sand or from pulverized sandstone, an alkali to lower the melting point, usually a form of soda or potash for finer glass, lime as a stabilizer and cullet (waste glass to assist in melting the mixture).
The materials are fused at high temperatures in seasoned kilns, boiled down, skimmed, and cooled several hundreds of degrees. The molten glass is ladeled or poured into molds and pressed or blown (sometimes into molds). The shaped glass is annealed to relieve stresses caused by manipulation, then is slowly cooled.
Non-lead crystal is glass with a high content of potash, yielding weight, clarity and sparkle without adding lead content.
Full Lead Crystal*
The addition of lead to the glassmaking process yields a product with increased luster, clarity and weight. It is also a slightly softer material than glass, which lends itself well to hand cutting and polishing. Leaded crystal varies in lead composition, but to be considered full lead crystal, the lead content must be 24% or higher. The higher the lead content, the more sparkle is achieved, but more skill is required to form a shape at the blowing stage.
Optical crystal is among the finest of all crystals available. With no lead content, it is clarified to a 100% optically clear state by the addition of barium, which results in a perfectly flawless clear glass that shines brightly under any light source. Optical crystal is manufactured in large thick sheets, and while still molten, is subjected to tremendous pressure to insure no bubbles, flow lines or other distortion. Optical crystal is 100% lead free and extremely hard.
Starfire crystal is a lead-free, low iron product that presents high clarity resembling that of optical crystal, but at lower cost. Highly polished, this material produces a bright white sparkle and is therefore sometimes referred to as “white glass”.
24% clear lead crystal is encased in a translucent layer of richly colored crystal. Hand cutting and polishing reveals the clear crystal beneath, resulting in dramatic contrast and sparkle.
Pewter products are all hand crafted and are food safe, containing no lead. Pewter is a metal alloy consisting primarily of tin. Pewter does not tarnish. Always wash pewter products by hand in warm soapy water and dry with a soft cotton towel.
A patented state of the art mixture of ceramic and porcelain, ( Keramnext™) yielding the detailed perfection of porcelain and the weight and durability of ceramic. All pieces feature hand applied glazes and 24K gold detailing. To clean, gently wipe with a damp cloth.
Sand Cast Aluminum
Sterling’s aluminum products are food safe. Each piece is sand cast and polished from a metal alloy consisting mostly of aluminum. Slight variations in finish and surface texture are the result of this handmade process, and are considered intrinsic to their unique design. The acids in certain foods may cause discoloration. A light coating of vegetable oil prior to use can help prevent this. If polishing or extra cleaning becomes necessary, apply a non-abrasive metal polish and gently buff with a soft cotton cloth.
Silver-plated products are genuine silver, plated over brass. Silver plated products are all lead-free and food safe. All silver will tarnish over time, particularly in humid conditions. If polishing is necessary, use a silver polishing compound and gently buff the surface with a soft cotton cloth so as not to erode or scratch plating.
Nickel-plated products are genuine nickel, plated over brass. This durable finish is highly tarnish resistant. To clean, gently buff the surface with a soft cotton cloth.
Our genuine copper-plated products are lead-free and food safe. Tarnish free. If polishing is necessary, gently buff with a damp cloth.
*Attention California residents. Proposition 65
WARNING: Consuming foods or beverages that have been kept or served in leaded crystal products or handling products made of leaded crystal will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.