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Shades of Cool: Surprising and Fun Facts About Sunglasses

Let’s face it: sunglasses are a fashion must-have, not only for complete protection against the sun's ultraviolet rays but also as an integral part of almost any outfit. But how much do you really know about these popular accessories? From their ancient eyewear history to modern innovative designs and technologies, this post explores some fascinating facts about wearing sunglasses that go beyond just aesthetic appeal.

So let’s take off your wearing shades and delve into the surprisingly cool realms of unique sunglasses knowledge.


Top 12 Surprising Facts About Sunglasses

History of Sunglasses

Sunglasses Have Been Around For Centuries

Sunglasses have been around for over 2,000 years! The Inuit (also known as Eskimos), who live in the icy regions of the world, were one of the first groups of people to create eyewear to protect their eyes from the sun's glare. They created snow goggles out of animal bone, leather, and wood, which had small slits to let in only the tiniest amount of light. The purpose of the goggles was to effectively shield their eyes from the harmful glare of sunlight reflected off the snow. 

Shades Are Used By Chinese To Cover Emotions

After this, eyewear was found in ancient China. But unlike the Inuit, the purpose of the eyewear was not to help with vision or style. Instead, in the 12th century, Chinese judges used a piece of smoked quartz to hide their expressions from the defendants on trial. By placing the smoked quartz in front of their eyes, the judges could prevent giving away any hint of their emotions to those on trial. 

The Invention of Modern Sunglasses in the Late 1920s

In the Jazz Age of the late 1920s, the world was abuzz with innovation and production, and one of the most iconic inventions of the era was the modern pair of sunglasses. This game-changing design was the brainchild of Sam Foster, who introduced his creation to the world in 1929. 

It wasn't long before the famous Bausch and Lomb company saw the potential of this chic accessory, and they began to market their own sunglasses to military aviation units. The practical application was obvious - the shades protected pilots' eyes from the harsh glare of the sun at high altitudes. As the popularity of the shades grew, so too did the innovations in their design.

Polarized Sunglasses Were Invented By Edwin H. Land in 1936

Have you ever wondered how polarized sunglasses came to be? It all started in 1936, when Edwin H. Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation, developed innovative technology for polarized lenses. Using his expertise in light polarization from his work on polarizing filters for cameras, Land created a new way to block glare and reduce eye strain. Today, polarized sunglasses remain a popular choice for those seeking both fashion and function.

Essential Figures

The Biggest Manufacturer of Sunglasses is the City of Xiamen

Xiamen, a bustling city in China, is the biggest manufacturer of sunglasses in the world. With over 120 million pairs of sunglasses shipped out of its harbor, it's no wonder that these optical goods are found in stores across the globe. This city is a testament to China's powerful industrial sector, one that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Americans Buy Majority Of Sunglasses Every Year

When it comes to sunglasses, Americans are a force to be reckoned with. In fact, recent data shows that the US is the country that spends the most money on sunglasses worldwide, with a whopping $4 billion spent in 2021 alone. And it's not just a summer accessory, as a staggering 80% of people wear sunglasses year-round.

Looking ahead, the prescription sunglasses market is set to experience even more growth, projected to reach a value of 8 billion dollars by 2029, from a projection of 2.3 billion growth from 2022. Clearly, Americans are passionate about their sunglasses and it doesn't look like they're slowing down anytime soon.

More Than Just a Pair of Shades

Chopard Sold the Most Expensive Sunglasses in the World Cost Over $400,000

Chopard has outdone itself with the creation of the most expensive pair of sunglasses in the world. Renowned for its high standards of artisanal craftsmanship and sustainable materials sourcing, it comes as no surprise that Chopard has managed to produce a pair of glasses worth over $400,000.

In collaboration with De Rigo Vision, these dazzling shades are adorned with 24-karat gold that has been ethically sourced, so you can feel good about your fashion statement. However, it's safe to say that these glasses might not be for the faint of heart, as they come with a hefty price tag that could make anyone's wallet cry.

Sunglasses Are Great For A Game of Poker

In the world of poker, keeping a straight face is crucial. Emotions like excitement or disappointment can be easily read by an opponent, potentially costing a player the game. This is where sunglasses come in handy.

Tinted lenses can disguise any visible signs of emotion, such as dilated pupils, ensuring a poker player's game face remains intact. It's a technique that's been used for centuries, dating back to ancient China. And the best part? They serve as functional sunglasses for when the game is over, making them a winning investment both on and off the table.

Security Guards Wear Sunglasses to Deter Assailants'

Security guards often wear dark shades not just to look cool but to deter potential assailants. These shades aren't just a fashion statement - they have a practical purpose. The dark lenses provide a shield for their eyes, preventing others from seeing where they are looking. It helps the security personnel to maintain an air of mystery and avoids giving away any indication of their next move.

More To Know

27th June is the National Sunglasses Day

In an effort to promote healthy eye care and raise awareness of the importance of protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, 27th June was designated as National Sunglasses Day.

Sunglasses Are Made From A Variety of Materials

Whether you're looking for a cheap pair of sunglasses or splurging on a more expensive option, you'll find that there are a variety of materials used in their construction. If you opt for an affordable pair, chances are they will have plastic frames made from polycarbonate. However, high-end sunglasses may be crafted from metal, plastic, or even wood.

Regardless of the frame material, the lenses often undergo a rigorous process to ensure they reduce distortions and protect your eyes from harmful rays. This involves applying chemical treatments and layers of pigmentation to the glass. With so many options available, you're sure to find a pair of sunglasses that suit your personal style and needs.

There are Many Songs that are About Sunglasses.

When it comes to sunglasses, music icons have sung about them with a lot of passion and creativity. And it’s not just a handful of songs. There are so many hits that have paid tribute to these cool shades. From Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" to ZZ Top's "Cheap Sunglasses," there's a long list of artists who have dedicated an entire track to their favorite shades.

But it's not just the songs that celebrate sunglasses. Many famous musicians, including Sir Elton John, John Lennon, and Ozzy Osbourne, have made sunglasses an integral part of their signature style, which is so uniquely their own.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the Oldest Pair of Sunglasses?

The Daisenin Temple in Kyoto is home to the oldest surviving pair of glasses in the world, which were once owned by Yoshimasa Ashikaga, the eighth shogun of the Muromachi shogunate.

Q: Why Are Sunglasses Attractive?

A: Sunglasses are attractive because they have the ability to make an individual feel mysterious and fashionable. They also provide protection from harsh UV rays and can be used for both fashion and function. Finally, they can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles to suit any taste or face shape.

Q: Who Started the Sunglasses Trend?

A: Sam Foster is credited with inventing the first pair of sunglasses in 1929. He introduced them to the market as a practical and stylish way to protect one's eyes from the sun's harmful rays.

Q: What Are Some of the Other Popular Sunglasses Brands Besides Valley Rays?

A: Some of the most popular sunglasses brands include Ray-Ban, Prada, Tom Ford, Oakley, Ralph Lauren, and Swiss Luxury Company Chopard. Each brand has its own unique style that caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. They also have signature pieces - such as Sir Elton John's glasses or the iconic Ray-Ban Aviator styles - that have become synonymous with the companies' identities.

Final Verdict:

Sunglasses are a must-have fashion accessory for anyone looking to protect their eyes from the sun's harmful rays or who simply wants to make an attractive fashion statement. They come in a variety of materials, sizes, shapes, and colors to suit any taste or occasion.

Moreover, they have a long history of being used for more than just fashion - poker players use them to keep a straight face and security guards wear them to deter potential assailants. Even music icons have dedicated several hits to these beloved accessories.

So, whether you’re looking for a classic aviator style or something more daring, you can feel confident that there's a perfect pair of sunglasses out there just waiting to be found. Visit our collection of sunglasses today and find the perfect pair for you. At Valley Rays, we've got it all. We are a one-stop shop for the best-selling style of sunglasses. See for yourself why we are the go-to destination when it comes to finding that perfect pair.

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