What’s The Difference Between Crystal and Glass?

Awards are an integral prize an employee can receive on behalf of their employer; it inspires them to keep up the good work and it shows that their contribution is noticed and appreciated. This is one of the most effective methods of employee retention an employer can do.

A winner holding a metallic tropy.

Speaking of the awards; so many of them are made from different materials that it can be hard to know the difference between them or at least which is best, in particular, glass or crystal. In this case, one is seen as more valuable than the other, but why? They both look the same and can do the job just as good, so to say.

If you’re curious to know the difference between the two, continue reading and we’ll touch upon the differences between the two materials, so you can make your next award selection so much easier.


The difference between crystal and glass isn’t as definitive as most people would think; most often, people associate crystal as a high-end version of glass that’s used for special occasions or making melodies with filled cups, but in reality, it’s far more technical than this.

A custom crystal award designed after the Sofia Hotel.

The following are specific aspects that differentiate crystal from glass:

    • There’s a specific amount of lead that’s used in the composition of crystal; there must be at least 24% lead. Anything with less than this amount is considered crystalline or crystal glass.
    • The amount of lead in the material makes it heavier but at the same time softer than glass. Therefore, it’s easier to make more shapes and custom awards with crystal, making the crystal awards more valuable and expensive than ones made of glass.
    • You can see this difference in shape and style on our custom crystal awards gallery page; you’ll see a variety of shapes such as helicopters, vehicles, buildings, brand name logos, and more.
  • Have you ever seen glass sparkle in the light? It can’t. Due to the amount of lead in crystal’s composition, it diffuses the light, giving the award a shimmering appearance as light passes through it.


We all have some sort of glass in our houses; we’re familiar with what it is and what it looks like. But in relation to crystal, there are some differences that make this material, and the products that can be made from it stand out.A tear-dropped shapped crystal art award with a multicolored centerpiece.

The difference between the two comes down to:

    • There’s barely any lead in glass’ composition, this makes glass products lighter and more prone to damage or breaking, especially in thin areas. But depending on the materials used in the glass’ composition, it might withstand damage more than others.
    • Lime and soda are the properties found in glass products today, as well as a variety of other properties and metals. Surprisingly, the different metals and properties determine the hint of color that’s comes out in the glass. Lime and soda gives the glass a blueish aqua hue while Iron gives it a greenish hue.
  • Glass is clear, so since there’s little to no lead in glass, light isn’t refracted when it passes through, meaning it won’t sparkle.

The difference between these two lovely materials is a question many people ask themselves when picking out glassware and awards. Depending on the occasion and what you’re looking for, glass or crystal can be the perfect materials to make a unique award. So, with all the facts out of the way, choosing an award for your employees will be easier and more enjoyable for you!