Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum | Post a Follow-Up


Posted by wilted_flower (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 24, 06 at 11:31

Does anyone know how to really tell if a chandelier is cut glass or real crystal?

The house we have now had one hanging in the dining room and we took it down and replaced it with another type lamp that fit our style instead. I boxed up all the parts..that was 15 years ago...this house was build 1960 and is considered a Mid-Century Modern. The original knobs, etc from when it was built were still all here.

We will be moving to another area, one that's less dusty and I may want to keep the Chandelier for the next house. I'd like to know if there is a way to tell if it's worth saving though..

Thanks for any help!

Follow-Up Postings:


If by "real crystal" you mean cut quartz rock, as in gem stone, it would be very VERY unlikely that you or anyone even the Russian Tzars would have a chandeliere with cut gem stones as prisms.
Crystal is cut glass....or not!...Crystal may be blown and not cut....crystal may be pressed glass. The term "crystal" usually denotes glass with a high lead content....and I have never seen nor heard of glass being cut that is not of a high lead content.
However I have seen inexpensive chandelieres with prizms that are molded and not cut.
If the chandeliere was original to the house you are leaving, I would leave it with the house.
Linda C

 o or Crystal

Thanks but no, I didn't mean quartz rock...I realize that isn't used...I guess I should have stated lead crystal or glass. We are in the desert and I've never seen a chandelier in anyone's house's too dusty and dirty and why we took it down.

RE: again CHANDELIER or Crystal

They make something called "Chandeliere cleaner" simply spray it on the chandeliere, put newspapers underneath to catch the drips and presto! a clean chandeliere.
I have seen more than a few crystal chandelieres in the Phoenix area.

Here is a link that might be useful: cleaner


Try blowing it with hairdryer if the dust is not too attached or use a solution of water and white vinegar

Here is a link that might be useful: Crystal Chandeliers


If it were original to the house, it likely has little to no antique value and you could find styles nearly identical in stores today. Is the issue that it may be a valuable piece because the prisms are crystal, as opposed to glass? IOW, you'd only save it if they were real crystal?

Look at the other materials in this fixture to determine if it's a fine, arty piece worth keeping or not. I got a crystal hurricane lamp a few years ago at the supermarket for eight dollars, so crystal itself doesn't necessary imply quality, just glass with lead in it. On the other hand, I bought a chandelier at a hardware store with plain old glass prisms on it and I paid a small fortune for it even at half price. See what I mean?

BTW, regarding that chandelier from the hardware store.........I hung it in my kitchen at my farm house and filthy it got from horse dust and gas grease! The easiest way I found to clean the scads of prisms was to just unhook them and run them though my dishwasher. LOL.


Most likely, it's vintage, but not antique. Most chandelier crystals are merely glass, molded. Also, if the arms are molded, with noticeable seams, it's modern. Check out a few lighting sites, and see if there is a chandelier similar to yours. If so, you should be able to base your decision on that.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here