Front Surface Mirror

What is Front Surface Mirror?

With ordinary mirror, light must pass through a layer of glass before reflecting off the silvering on the back of the mirror. Since glass is not perfectly clear this dims the image. The image is also blurred by “ghost images” that reflect off the front of the glass. Most inexpensive kaleidoscopes use ordinary mirror, plastic mirror, or polished metal, all of which create blurred, vague images.

The use of Front Surface Mirror (also known as First Surface Mirror) solves these problems. Front surface mirror is made by vacuum depositing an aluminum coating onto the front surface of glass. Because of its high reflectivity, front surface mirror is always used in cameras, telescopes, and other precision optical instruments. In a kaleidoscope, the patterns and colors are much sharper and more intense than would be possible using ordinary mirror. That is why we provide pre-cut pieces of front surface mirror in every Clarity kaleidoscope kit!

What is the difference between A-Grade and B-Grade Mirror?

Clarity offers two grades of Front Surface Mirror, A-Grade and B-Grade. All Clarity front surface mirror has removable plastic lamination to protect the mirror coating prior to use:

  • A-Grade Front Surface Mirror: This is the highest quality mirror with an enhanced coating that resists scratching and is easy to clean. A-grade is the most reflective, brightest mirror with an optimum quality glass substrate. Some of the finest kaleidoscopes in the world contain Clarity A-grade Front Surface Mirror!
  • B-Grade Front Surface Mirror: This more economical aluminized front surface mirror is provided in most of Clarity’s kaleidoscope kits and refills, and is perfect for most kaleidoscope projects. This mirror eliminates the blurriness that occurs when using regular mirror.