Advice About Buying Prisms and Chandelier Parts
There are a few important considerations to make when buying prisms and chandelier parts for a lamp or fixture that may be missing parts. Unless you are replacing all of the crystal parts, you will, of course, want to try and match your new prisms or parts as closely as possible to the ones that remain on your lamp. Therefore, size and shape will probably be foremost on your list of priorities.
The sizes (lengths) listed for Antique Lamp Supply’s prisms and pendalogues do not include the top bead. So, if the prisms or pendalogues on your lamp or fixture measure say 3” (see Fig. 1), not including the top bead, you should look for a 3” prism with a similar shape.
After having determined a good size and shape to match your fixture or chandelier’s existing parts, your next consideration should be the quality of the part or parts you need. Most of Antique Lamp Supply’s chandelier parts are of a very good quality, even the less expensive glass prisms and pendalogues.
Here are a few things to look for when considering the quality you need in replacement chandelier parts (prisms, pendalogues, bead chain, bobesches, etc.):
- Match the quality of the replacement part to the parts that exist on your fixture or chandelier. You may want to contact one of Antique Lamp Supply dealers in your area for advice on this matter. A mismatch in quality, sometimes, will not be apparent until the replacement parts are installed along side the originals.
- As an industry standard in terminology, all prisms are referred to as “crystal glass” or “crystals” but, in actuality, only the highest quality crystal glass prisms or chandelier parts are “lead crystal”. Most crystal prisms contain little or no lead and the difference between lead crystal and non-lead crystal is where the real distinction lies in quality and appearance. Lead crystal is a very clear crystal glass. When viewed at an angle it easily refracts light and shows colors like a rainbow.
Strass, for instance, makes some of the highest quality lead crystal chandelier parts in the world. The difference between Strass parts and other, non-lead crystal parts is readily apparent.
- Better quality prisms, pendalogues, and chandelier parts are “cut” and polished to form smooth surfaces on all sides of the crystal. This polishing requires hand labor that makes these “better quality” chandelier parts more expensive.
On the other hand lower quality parts, and some “almond” shaped pendalogues in particular, are “pressed” into shape and receive little of no polishing. They will often display a noticeable “seam” from the mold in which they were formed.
- Colored glass prism and pendalogues are very popular nowadays and many different companies offer them in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most vendors, however, only offer these colored prisms and pendalogues with a clear glass bead on top.
The use of a clear bead instead of a matching colored glass bead makes them less expensive but, also, less authentic for those who are looking to refurbish or restore an antique or early style hanging lamp or fixture. All of the colored glass prisms offered by Antique Lamp Supply come with a matching colored glass bead on top. They may not be the least expensive prisms but they look great and will come much closer to matching existing prisms or pendalogues on old lamps and fixtures.
In sum, Antique Lamp Supply offers a variety of high quality prisms, pendalogues, chandelier parts, and genuine Strass parts, as well as chandelier trimmings and pinning supplies to refurbish almost any early fixture. As with all of our items, your satisfaction is guaranteed.