Regular people may think that choosing among acrylic, glass, and crystal as the award material is simply based on preference. While that may be true, those who are familiar with the three materials—like award-makers of plaques and trophies in the Philippines—would know that, although they easily look similar as finished products, their differences are quite significant.
To avoid mixing them up, here are some significant differences between acrylic, glass, and crystal as award materials.
The easiest one to distinguish among the three materials is acrylic because of its thermoplastic qualities. Compared to glass and crystal awards, an acrylic award is much more lightweight and much more resistant to impact. It is also the easiest material of the three to be molded into any shape. It is also the cheapest.
However, acrylic awards lack the luster that crystal awards have since it does not diffract light. Its soft surface is also easily susceptible to scratches. Fortunately, this means that scratches on acrylic awards are also the easiest to be removed.
It is extremely hard to distinguish glass from crystal with the naked eye since their only difference is the amount of their lead content. Glass contains little to no traces of lead, while crystals carry higher amounts. There are slight differences, however, among the two such as glass being lighter and easier to work with than crystals. That said, the best way to tell glass apart from crystal is to see if it dazzles or shines. Like acrylic awards, glass awards do not diffract light.
Because of its high lead content, crystals are the heaviest and least impact-resistant material among the three. It is also the most expensive material since it takes more time to cut and carve. However, crystal is actually softer than glass which makes it ideal for forming complex three-dimensional shapes. Furthermore, it is the only material of the three that diffracts light, giving crystal awards their famous glittering quality.
Although awards essentially serve the same purpose of recognizing or awarding someone’s effort or work, knowing the difference between acrylic, glass, and crystal awards would help people to properly care for their awards that will immortalize their achievements.