Iridescent Glass

Iridescent GlassIridescence is an optical phenomenon of surfaces in which hue changes in correspondence with the angle from which a surface is viewed.This phenomenon occurs naturally in glass which has been buried for a long time, such as Middle Eastern and Roman glass. A handful of European glass makers experimented with imitating the look in the nineteenth century, but it was Louis Comfort Tiffany’s favrile glass, patented in 1894 that achieved the full effect. The iridescence is produced by covering the glass surface with metallic oxides and reducing it by heating using carbon monoxide fumes. Common metallic oxides include gold, which creates a ruby luster, silver for a yellow luster, platinum for a silvery luster, and copper or bismuth.


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