You or someone you’re close to may have the beginnings of a crystal figurines collection. But how do you protect your investment and keep your figurines looking their best? By treating them with care, as you would any hand-crafted piece of art. Knowing how to care for crystal figurines is simple, once you understand how they are made.
- The crystal used in high-quality crystal figurines is often glass made with lead oxide. This process makes the glass more dense and with better light refraction, producing the brilliance and clarity of color you enjoy when light passes through the prisms of a good-quality crystal figurine. The lead also makes the glass softer – easier to cut sharper light-reflecting facets – and easier to scratch.
- When making a figurine, each faceted prism is individually cut and polished. The prisms are then carefully glued together under a UV heat lamp using a special adhesive that dries clear when cured.
Because of this gluing process, and because of the softness of the crystal, special care is needed to ensure a long life for your crystal figurines.
Display your crystal figurines to best advantage in closed display cases with halogen lights. You may want to install weatherstripping around doors to keep dust out. Do not display crystal figurines in direct sun, as that can weaken the glue holding the figurines together.
It’s important to keep your figurines and display cases free of smudges and fingerprints. Wear soft cotton gloves when handling your figurines. You can wipe away dust and fingerprints with the gloves, or with a soft cotton or microfiber cloth. Or, remove dust with a can of compressed air or a blow dryer on the coolest setting. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove dust and dirt from small crevices. If necessary, use a light dash of water, vinegar and water or liquid glass cleaner on a soft cloth, but do not spray figurines directly or submerge them in liquid, as that might affect the glue – especially if colored crystals are used. Use a Q-tip to remove water drops from small places and air-dry on a towel.
By taking these simple steps, your crystal figurines should retain their beautiful shapes and brilliant light-reflecting qualities for many, many years to come. Enjoy!