The word "crystal" comes from Ancient Greek and it means ice which is, similarly to real crystal, characterized by purity, clarity and coolness. Greeks were always surprised when ordinary water turned into "rock". But they soon discovered that something resembling ice can be found deep in the mountains – they found colourless, pure, transparent and cold monocrystals of silicon dioxide. The Greek word for ice was quickly transferred to this sought-after material and since then these colourless silica monocrystals are known as rock crystal or quartz.
However, people were fascinated by rock crystal even before the Greek civilization; it can be even said that it is an important part of human history. It is astonishing how quickly ancient civilizations learnt to cut rock crystal using sand, a material of equal hardness. Rock crystal was used to make jewellery, luxury items for the upper classes and also items related to magic. This led to the perception of crystal as something noble and mysterious. Even nowadays every oracle needs a crystal ball.
More information about Czech glass
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