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Phone: +64 27 450 1259

FAQs

How do I order a crystal?

All orders are placed through our website it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to order using the steps below.

  • Select your crystal from our gallery.
  • Upload your photo.
  • Personalise the crystal with text and select other options. Don’t forget any instructions or requests such as, head and shoulders or full body cropping, or to remove a blemish or remove/keep a background. Backgrounds are always removed for 3D laser-etching and is included in the website price.
  • Add your crystal to the shopping cart and checkout through our SSL Encryted Payment Gateway. You can pay by VISA or PayPal. Once we receive your order you will receive an email confirming your payment and order.

As we are NZ GST registered, a NZ GST invoice will be included with your order.

How can I pay for my crystal?

You can pay through our website that has SSL encryption using VISA, or PayPal.

Can you combine multiple photos into one crystal?

Yes, we can combine multiple photos and etch them into a single crystal. This is dependent on the size of crystal. If in doubt contact us for advice. info@crystalphotos.nz

How best to display my crystal?

Photo crystals a best displayed with a dark background when placed on an LED lightbase (sold separately). More info on lightbases here

What type of photo images can I use?

You can use most photo file formats including jpg, jpeg, png, bmp. If we have any difficulty with the format you send we will contact you before proceeding.

Can I use an old 35mm photograph?

If you have a very old photo, taken years ago, you can mail it to us at our PO Box, we will scan it to create a digital image, then laser-etch into a crystal of your choice. We will return the photo with the order.

The result of the final crystal will also depend on the quality of the photo, any photos with dark lighting or blurred content will not produce great results. However, we will try to do our best with PhotoShop to adjust the image for the best outcome possible. If we are not able to produce a good quality etching we will contact you before proceeding.

Do you remove the background of my photos?

Yes, by default we remove the background from all 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional images during the conversion process as it gives the best result when laser-etching into the crystal. For 2D etching it is optional but we recommend removal as it is best to focus on the subject not the background. Let us know your preference when ordering.

Can you convert automobiles or buildings into 3D?

Yes, we can, but the 3D conversion will only produce front and side views as seen in your photo. More info on 3D conversion here.

We can do 4D (Modelling) laser-etching but each artwork and etching will need to be quoted on an individual basis. The quote will be based on the complexity of the artwork and cost of the crystal and conversion. Email your image file and we will send you back a quote within 48 hours.

How do you do it?

There are several steps involved to achieve a good laser-etching in a crystal.

Step 1 – first we crop an edit your photo in accordance with our guidelines to ensure we achieve the best result.

Step 2 – using our proprietary software we convert your image into a laser file that consists of hundreds of thousands of tiny points (known as a points cloud file). Each of these points has a coordinate within the crystal that the laser uses to burn the image.

Step 3 – we place your choice of optical crystal into the laser.

Step 4 – the laser software plots each point inside the crystal to etch the image. In the case of 3D crystals, the image is built up layer by layer from the back to the front. The laser focuses its energy on the inside of the crystal and doesn’t mark the surface at all. The process is known as subsurface laser etching. The result makes the image appear suspended within the crystal itself, creating a product that must be seen to be believed.

Step 5 – the crystal is inspected, packaged and then shipped to you, the customer.

Will my crystal be in colour like my photo?

The crystals can only etched in monochrome (greyscale).

What is a crystal block made from?

Our photo crystals are made from the purest form of optical glass, also known as K9 optical crystal. The optical crystal is free from chemicals that discolour (like normal glass) which means it is optically clear. This type of optical crystal is often used for spectacles, binoculars and telescopes and is manufactured to a standard that is free from stress lines and imperfections. We guarantee our crystals.

Can you laser-etch into my piece of glass or crystal?

We can try to laser-etch into normal glass but we cannot guarantee success. Our lasers are set up and tested to laser-etch into our crystals.

How long does it take?

We endeavour to turn around our crystal photo orders as quickly as possible. Generally, 2D photo crystals are dispatched within 24-48 hours and 3D photo crystals are dispatched within 24-72 hours, 4D photo crystals can take up to 10 days..

Are my photos suitable for etching?

The main thing is to ensure that your photo is nice and clear. Poor quality photos produce poor quality crystals. We can etch almost any photo into a crystal block but the quality of the photo has a big impact on the quality of the outcome.  If you are unsure whether or not your image is suitable please contact us. 

What is the difference between 2-dimensional (2D) and 3-dimensional (3D) images?

A 2D image is flat with no depth, whereas a 3D image has depth.

Click here to view our 3D conversion page for more information on the difference between the two formats. Click here for more information on 4D format

What is 4D?

4D, or modelling as it's commonly known, is an image file that has 4 dimensions in that you can view all 4 sides of an image, i.e. front, both sides, top and bottom and the back. This is very much like a hologram.  We can etch a 4D image from a series of photo images.  Please contact us for more information and pricing.

Why is a 3-dimensional image more expensive than a 2-dimensional image?

The 3D image is more expensive due to the conversion process required. Our designers need to convert your standard 2D photograph into 3D and this process can take some time, hence the additional charge.

Why are some crystals only suitable for 2D?

Because an image for 3D photo crystals has depth to it we need a thicker or deeper crystal to be able to laser 3 dimensions into the crystal.

Whereas an image for a 2D photo crystal is flat inside the crystal we can laser the image into a much thinner crystal. This means that any of our crystals can be etched with a 2D photo whereas only those crystals with extra thickness or depth can be used for 3D photos.

Can I add a personalised text message to my crystal?

Yes, you can personalise your crystal with the text of your choice.This is an option during the order process.The amount of text is limited by the size of the crystal you have chosen.There is an additional fee of $9.95 for this service.

Do I need a light base?

To showcase your crystal in the best possible way we always recommend a light base under your crystal. The crystals always look their best when there is light showing from underneath and against a dark background.

Do you remove the background from my photo?

For 3D photos the background is always removed during the conversion process. The reason is so the subject is the focus of the crystal, not the background.

For 2D crystals, removing the background is recommended but optional and can be selected during the order process.

Can I send two photos and have you merge them together?

Yes, we can, you will need to add both images with detailed instructions of the layout you want during the order process. There may be an additional artwork charge for this service. We will advise you on any additionaal costs before proceeding.

How are the crystals packaged?

All our crystals are sent in a blue satin lined presentation box with a cardboard sleeve. No need for wrapping.

Delivery

Our usual processing time for artwork and laser-etching is 24-48 hours, after which we will ship the crystal to you.

All our crystals are delivered free of charge within New Zealand by Courier Post, Signature Required, delivery service.

Typically, delivery is between 2-4 business days from the time the goods are dispatched depending on your delivery address.

What photo file format can I use?

You can use almost any standard photo image file, i.e. jpg, jpeg, png, bmp, psd etc.  

Maintenance and Cleaning

Crystal is glass and should be treated as such. Care should always be exercised in its handling. To clean, wash with mild soap and warm water. Use a glass cleaner product such as Windex if necessary. Dry with a dust free cloth. The interior of your crystal will always stay pristine and as vibrant as the day you received it. 
Sub-surface engraving is permanent, lasting as long as the crystal is intact. Guaranteed never to discolour or fade, you can be sure that your crystal will look exactly the same for many years. 

 
What type of photo can I use?

We can laser-etch almost any photo into crystal, you are only limited by the size of the crystal. There is no restriction on what you can laser-etch into a standard 2D photo crystal. From ultrasound baby scans to makeover photoshoots, if you have a high-resolution photo we can usually laser-etch it into any of our crystals. This depends on the subjects in the photo and the size and shape of the crystal.

You can even send us a 30 year old photo. We will scan the photo, convert to 3D, and etch the scanned image into a crystal. If you have any questions about your photo please call us or email your photo with an outline of your question.

3D crystal photos, on the other hand, are restricted to people and animals as this requires special software and skilled technicians to convert the photos into 3D. 

We are able to etch other objects into 4D images but this requires extra time and effort by the artists so costs will be quoted on a case by case basis.  For information on the type of photos we need to convert into 4D please contact us here.