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Glass, Acrylic and Crystal Awards: What's the Difference?

You want to know all the differences between employee awards before you spend money to honor someone at the office. Employers are commonly confused by the difference between acrylic, glass and crystal. It’s easy to see why some may mix the materials up. Without a careful look, the three substances look very similar, but there are actually a few key differences.

Here’s everything you need to know about the qualities of your awards before you buy.

Acrylic Awards

Perhaps the easiest material to discern, acrylic may look a lot like glass, but you’ll notice a difference as soon as you touch the substance. Many people often refer to the brand name Plexiglas© when they use acrylic material. The substance feels a little more like plastic and is much more durable. Here are some of the key differences, according to Hydrosight Corp., an organization that specializes in engineering transparent plastic appliances.
•Acrylic glass is, for all intents and purposes, shatterproof. The material can be dropped and handled with less care than crystal or glass.
•The material is lighter and easier to process, often making it cheaper and easier to mold into sturdy shapes.
•The surface is softer and easier to scratch, but those scratches can be polished and removed.

Shop Acrylic Awards here.

Glass awards
Few people need a reminder about what glass is. It’s the material that commonly makes up windows and glassware. The confusion comes from telling the difference between glass and crystal. This is the same reason many products are falsely labeled “crystal” and sold for a higher amount when really, they fit the glass categorization. Fortunately, you can tell the difference by carefully looking at the material.

The key difference between the glass and crystal is the lead content, according to The Washington Post. Glass has a lower content of lead or no lead at all. This makes the product light and, in the opinion of many, less ornamental. Light traveling through a crystal award will not be diffracted. Thus, that dazzling quality often found in crystal products won’t be found in glass.

Shop Glass Awards here.

Crystal Awards
The higher lead content in crystal makes it a particularly desirable material used by artisans. You may have seen elaborate decanters or carefully carved crystal glassware before. These products are likely crystal because the lead content makes the material softer and easier to work with. Plus, these meticulously crafted items are rarely made from glass, which can sometimes be considered of lesser value.

When light travels through a crystal award, it will be diffracted in a brilliant spectrum of colors. Decorative carvings and cuts also add to this sparkling quality, according to the Post. This is one of the main differences between crystal and glass. That glittering quality won’t be found in an ordinary glass product. You need lead oxide to produce the colorful effect.

Shop Crystal Awards here.