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Swarovski Elements & Crystals

What are Swarovski Crystals?

Swarovski crystals are decorative embellishments manufactured in Austria. In 1892, Daniel Swarovski invented a machine for making top-quality, precision-cut crystals from a combination of quartz, sand and minerals (the exact proportions are a company secret). For the first time, it was capable of cutting hard materials such as crystals and gemstones in such a way that results in identical facets that are able to face in several directions. It is a difficult and complex process: the direction in which the reflected light travels must first be calculated by computer; this is simulated in 3D and optimized, before finally being converted into control programs for complex machinery.

This reputation for master craftsmanship, uncompromised quality, and exceptional brilliance, as well as a strong sense of ecological responsibility, still define Swarovski today. Its pioneering expertise and technological superiority have made the brand an inspiration and a driving force in the industry.

Today, Swarovski leads the world in crystal embellishment for segments that include jewelry, fashion, accessories, and cosmetics, as well as interiors, lighting, architecture, and packaging. The world’s top designers and brands choose Swarovski crystal for the luxurious appeal it gives their creations. In fact, its transformative power is so strong that the “Crystals from Swarovski since 1895” certificate of authenticity has now become a byword for glamour.

How is a Swarovski Crystal Made?

Swarovski crystals do not occur naturally—they are man made from a secret formula. Originally, the raw ingredients included silica, limestone, soda and lead, which strengthened crystal so that it was able to withstand cutting and engraving. But in 2012, after 12 years of intensive research and development, Swarovski took a giant leap towards creating sustainable products that do not require the addition of lead. This revolutionary, lead-free* crystal formula was named Advanced Crystal and patented, immediately setting a new global standard. It is its combination of perfect light distribution with the highest possible luminosity, total reliability, and astonishing color intensity that has made Swarovski crystal an industry benchmark. Not only does it comply with every current regulation, as well as anticipating those of the future, it exceeds them.

*Crystal glass and all other materials containing 0.009 % lead or less.

How Can You Tell if a Swarovski Crystal is Real?

Swarovski crystals are the world’s highest quality, most luxurious, cut and polished components. Inevitably, this has spawned a host of imitators seeking to ride on Swarovski’s success with cheap imitations. But there are ways to ensure that your product is made with genuine crystals from Swarovski.

  • Firstly, look for the Swarovski Seal: every hologram-effect tag and sticker has a unique, trackable, 16-digit code that can be found on the front directly below the seal. This code can be checked online to confirm its authenticity.

  • Swarovski crystals are identical in size and cut, so the height, width and slope are consistent. A hand-polished imitation will not have a uniform cut, and dimensions will vary from bead to bead.
  • Swarovski’s precision engineering means that the facet juncture of each and every crystal "points up," which allows all the facet junctures to meet at exactly the same point, similar to a diamond’s faceting. It looks like this:

  • Swarovski crystals have far greater brilliance than imitations due to the particular combination of raw materials and the absolute precision of the cutting and polishing process.

  • Look out for color variations: Swarovski crystals of the same color from within the same family will show no variations in color whatsoever, whether large or small.
  • If you see any scratches or an oily sheen on the crystal’s surface, it is not genuine: Swarovski crystals have a high-quality surface luster that is consistent from bead to bead and no marks of any sort.
  • Every Swarovski crystal is flawless—if you see any sign of bubbles inside the crystal, it is fake.

What are Swarovski Elements?

Until September 2013, Swarovski’s crystal components were known by the brand name “Swarovski Elements.” The next step in the evolution of the brand was to take advantage of the pre-existing customer awareness of the master brand “Swarovski” and streamline marketing activities into one strong central brand. Thereafter, the brand name became “Swarovski crystals” or “Crystals from Swarovski.”

Why are Swarovski crystals so expensive?

Swarovski is the market leader. When the premium quality of Swarovski crystals is taken into account, the crystals are not expensive at all. Furthermore, Swarovski’s investment in research and development is second to none, enabling it to lead the way in new technologies and products. The company has pioneered too many market “firsts” to list them all exhaustively, but here are a few to consider:

  • Advanced Crystal formula that set a new industry benchmark for crystal made without lead.

  • XERO, the world’s smallest crystal, barely the size of a pen tip and weighing only 0.3 mg.
  • XIRIUS, the world’s most brilliant crystal (“brilliance” is a term used in gemology to describe the path that light takes through an object, and how it appears to the human eye during that process).
  • The coatings that create the effects for which Swarovski is famous.
  • The flawless purity of Swarovski crystals, which is so technically difficult to achieve.
  • The company’s investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that facilitate these extraordinary production standards.

What is Swarovski Professional?

Swarovski Professional is not a brand — it is the name of a business unit within the family-owned and run Swarovski group. It is split into three main areas: the Swarovski Crystal Business, which primarily produces crystal jewelry and accessories; Swarovski Optik, which produces optical instruments such as telescopes and binoculars; and Tyrolit, a leading manufacturer of grinding, sawing, drilling, and dressing tools and machinery. Swarovski Professional is the name of the company within the group that produces Swarovski crystals.