Glossary

COPPER

Our genuine solid copper products are lead free and food safe. Tarnish free. If polishing is necessary, gently buff with a damp cloth. Due to the handcrafted nature, slight variations are inherent to the product and not considered flaws.

 

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.

 

GLASS

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 ladled 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.

 

JADE GLASS

Jade glass is unique in its light green pigmentation, caused by the content of iron ore. The resulting material, when beveled and polished, provides the most economical solution for recognition awards.

 

NON-LEAD CRYSTAL

Non-lead crystal is glass with a high content of potash, yielding weight, clarity and sparkle without adding lead content.

 

OPTICAL CRYSTAL

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.

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.

PEWTER

Pewter products are all handcrafted and are food safe, containing no lead. Pewter is a metal alloy consisting primarily of tin. 

Pewter-plated products likewise are lead free and food-safe. The pewter finish is hand distressed for a vintage, antique appearance. Variations in finish are to be expected and considered part of the unique appearance of the series. Use of metal polishing products is not recommended.

PEWTER CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Always wash pewter products by hand in warm, soapy water and dry with a soft cotton towel. 

  

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. 

SAND CAST ALUMINUM CARE INSTRUCTIONS: 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-PLATER

Silver-plated products are genuine silver, plated over brass. Silver plated products are all lead-free and food safe.

SILVER-PLATED CARE INSTRUCTIONS: 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.

 

STARFIRE CRYSTAL

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".

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