It is used for products such as windows and everyday drinking glasses.
When it comes to crystal, its reflective quality and the 24 percent lead content are most important characteristics.
Crystal shows more clarity than a typical piece of soda-lime glass, and its reflective quality is why crystal is used for chandeliers, fine wine glasses and jewelry pendants.
Glassware (traditional soda-lime glass) contains about 50 percent silica (sand) and no lead. That is the basic distinction between crystal and glass. You remember your mother telling you that nothing worth having is ever easy.
Most of the time, your everyday orange juice glass is made of a material called soda-lime glass, a combination of lime, silica (sand) and soda.
Very fine crystal, like those pieces made by high quality firms such as Waterford, may even exceed the 24 percent lead content requirement.