LCB Metals & Glass Since 1993

There is literally more to stained glass than meets the eye. In particular, there's metal. With stained glass being more or less transparent, the possibility of seeing metal isn't high on a list of expectations, but metal is how the colors you see get there. Metal oxidants, the combining of metals with oxygen to create a powdered compound such as rust from iron, is what's used to tint the otherwise clear glass. Oddly, rust doesn't create the red colors in glass, as one might expect, but iron is responsible for shades of blue, green and brown, when used alone or in conjunction with other metals. Below is a list of some of the more widely used metals and the colors they yield.


Tin White Gold Red
Iron Green, Brown,Blue Chromium Green, Yellow, Pink
Vanadium Gray, Blue, Green Selenium Pink, Red
Manganese Purple Cadmium Sulphide Yellow
Copper Blue, Green, Red Cobalt Blue, Green, Pink
Nickel Yellow, Purple Titanium Purple, Brown
Cerium Yellow Carbon Sulphur Amber, Brown

The color properties of the metals listed pertain to their use in the manufacture of transparent glass, before the glass is subjected to any other preparation. Dichroic glass, especially as it is used in jewelry making, is the result of additional coatings applied to the glass in the dichroic process, procedures that employ still other metals and metal oxidants. More on that at the Dichroics page.

We use a fairly short list of principal colors, most of which are easily visualized in the mind's eye. These colors are used separately but can produce many different shades when combined. Red, amber, leaf, emerald, aqua, turquoise, light blue, cobalt, lavender, purple, black and clear make up the basic palette. These colors are then altered by introducing dichroic glass to the mix, with a result that isn't always so simple to label, due to the myriad result  possibilities.