Crystal Ornaments

Everything You Need to Know About Waterford Crystal Ornaments
For as long as the Christmas tree has been an American tradition, crystal ornaments have been there to decorate the pine boughs. Whether in the form of balls, stars, or icicles, crystal ornaments are absolutely stunning decorations, indoor reflections of the ice and snow outside. Many companies have been making crystal in America over the years, but the name Waterford always brings up particular connotations of quality. And with their line of crystal ornaments for Christmas, Waterford has brought that same name for quality to the Christmas ornaments business.


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Waterford Crystal is an Irish company, and part of a rich tradition of Irish crystal-making that dates back to the early Iron Age and flourished in the middle ages. Waterford Crystal was formed in 1783 by brothers George and William Penrose, who opened a crystal manufacturing plant in Waterford, Ireland. This business, funded by loans from the Irish Parliament for a staggering £10,000, didn’t make crystal ornaments at first, though—they manufactured crystal glasses and bottles for Ireland’s whisky business.

One of the things that sets Waterford Crystal ornaments, bottles, and glasses apart from other crystal back then (as today) is the astonishing purity of color you find. Normally lead crystal has trace amount’s of impurities, making the crystal smoky in color. Waterford Crystal was as clear as glass, and was soon in high demand in Spain, America, and the West Indies.

Waterford closed it’s doors for almost a century between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries as competition and heavy taxation drove it out of business. In 1947, after WWII, the appreciation of finer things was beginning to stir once more in Europe, and a new Waterford crystal factory opened just one and a half miles from the original factory. Waterford soon began producing the crystal flacons and goblets it was known for, but began to expand into the burgeoning market of crystal ornaments as well.
Today, Waterford Crystal ornaments are handcrafted and beautifully cut to catch the light perfectly. If you hold one in your hand, you can feel the heavy weight of the lead crystal. It’s in part because of the obvious upscale nature and high craftsmanship of Waterford Crystal ornaments that makes them superb gift items around the holidays—they can act as heirlooms from one generation to the next, and will never go out of style.

The most popular type of Waterford crystal ornaments has to be the ball ornaments. Round, heavy, and attached with red satin ribbon, these ornaments have deep cuts in traditional Irish patterns along the surface. These facets catch the light, making the ornaments dazzling by fire light. Also quite popular are the series of crystal ornament figurines such as Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and baby Jesus. Many families prefer to buy boxes of Waterford’s stars, hanging these crystal ornaments all over the tree so it sparkles like a night sky. But no matter what kind of crystal ornaments you prefer, Waterford Crystal makes a statement, and one that can be passed down from generation to generation.