Aurora Borealis

Discover our Aurora Borealis crystal innovation, the ultimate light show which has become a fashion phenomenon.

What Are the Origins of Swarovski’s Aurora Borealis Crystal Jewelry?

Perhaps the more appropriate question is: Did electrons colliding in the upper atmosphere really inspire the creation of Swarovski’s most iconic crystal? Or did Swarovski manage to create a crystal so closely resembling magnetic midnight, that the only parallel to be drawn was the cycling of flares and fades — scarlet, emerald, carmine, cobalt, sage, and azure — that comprise nature’s most fantastic magic show?


Christian Dior and Swarovski Collaboration

The 1950s was the golden age of couture and the decade in which Swarovski’s signature crystal, Aurora Borealis, came to prominence. The result of a close cooperation between fashion icon Christian Dior and Manfred Swarovski, the Aurora Borealis crystal, which debuted in 1956, would go on to inspire generations of fashion and jewelry designers. To this day, it remains one of Swarovski’s most beloved and collectible variations.

Since the launch of this signature crystal, the Aurora Borealis (AB)  crystal jewelry has become recognized as brilliant, versatile and affordable, as well as available in a variety of textures and all the colors of the Northern Lights. The secret of the diffuse glow, the color and the complexity of AB, was a micro-thin layer of vaporized blue metal that was used to coat each crystal. The result was a crystal so celestial, so dazzlingly complex, that the myriad colors of its design were the perfect complement to nearly any fabric or textile. So versatile was each crystal, that it was able to pick up and enhance the colors of any outfit. 

As a result of this collaboration, Christian Dior had exclusive rights to the crystal for a limited period of time. The crystal fuelled his imagination, spurring him to create lavish necklaces, earrings and conversation pieces. The stone’s popularity continued into the following decade, especially in the form of beads. AB came to symbolize the spirit of haute couture through its transition and adoption into popular culture in the form of accessible fashion jewelry, particularly in post-war America. 

While AB never really went away, its prominence and its potential as a kick-starter for an emerging and ever growing segment of fashion designers has been recognized and embraced by Swarovski, inspiring crystal designers to reinvent a classic.