“I love those glasses you’re wearing!” I’ll bet you’re no stranger to this kind of compliment. Those of us who make, prescribe or dispense eyewear for a living (or write about it) are probably wearing stylish specs.

Wearing great-looking eyeglasses and sunglasses is fun, but it’s also part of our job. We’re eyewear ambassadors!
To our friends, family and even casual acquaintances, we are the source of information about what’s new and interesting in the world of eyewear.

Of course, being an ambassador is an honor, and with that honor comes responsibilities. One of the most important responsibilities of an eyewear ambassador is to help people understand what goes into a pair of eyeglasses to make them special. That goes for both the frame and the lens.

It’s particularly important to point out the lens’ attributes because many people tend to overlook them, especially if the frame is really eye-catching. What the average person may not notice is the thinness of the lens center or lens edge—particularly if the prescription is strong—or an edge polish or other edge treatment. A subtle fixed tint or photochromic treatment may also go unnoticed, as would an expertly applied anti-reflective coating. And unless someone held your glasses in their own hands, they wouldn’t notice if the lens material is lightweight relative to the Rx either.

Lenses often account for 50 percent or more of the total cost of the eyeglass. The more eyeglass wearers know about the technology and craftsmanship that created a pair of lenses, the more they’ll appreciate and value them when it comes time to buy their own glasses.

—Andrew Karp