Flat Side In, Flat Side Out

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Around here, we get many questions about the proper way to trim a chandelier with crystals. The most common inquiry is whether the flat side of a piece of crystal should be facing the center of the chandelier or the outside of the chandelier.

Great question. Can we demystify this issue?

Quick definition – if a piece of crystal (pendant, prism, pendalogue, pendelogue) will lay flat on a surface, it is called half-cut. If it will not, it is called full-cut.  Below: left is half-cut, right is full-cut.

Half-Cut Octagon Full-Cut Octagon

School of thought #1… the light from a chandelier enters the flat side if it is facing inward on the chandelier and exits the multiple sides (properly referred to elsewhere as facets) creating sparkles (properly referred to elsewhere as refractions).

School of thought #2… the pin head should face out because it is considered the finished side. And, the pin head is almost always on the flat side. Therefore, the flat side is out.

Very frequently there is no interior light on a chandelier, so therefore it doesn’t really matter which side is where. And, also very frequently, the pin placement dictates whether a prism will hang straight regardless of anything else.

Ultimately, here at King’s we used the latter factor as a guide. Whatever placement makes the prism or strand hang straight on your chandelier is the best placement.


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  • King's Chandelier Co.
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