Swarovski’s Aurora Borealis Crystal Innovation

Aurora Borealis – Werbung für die Kristalle von Dior und Swarovski aus den 1960ern Advertisement plate for Christian Dior and Swarovski with Aurora Borealis crystals from the early 1960s. Source: Swarovski Corporate Archive

Introducing the ultimate light show
It is already more than sixty years since Swarovski’s relationship with Christian Dior gave the world the celebrated Aurora Borealis effect.

In 1956, Manfred, son of founder Daniel Swarovski, began working with Christian Dior on a new crystal that encapsulated Dior’s creative vision. Aurora Borealis (AB) became its name, and the rest was history.

He came up with a micro-thin layer of vaporized blue metal, with which he coated crystals’ lower facets. The result was an explosion of translucent, rainbow-hued, refracted light with an otherworldly feel that recalled the Northern Lights.

Aurora Borealis crystal jewelry
Soon the discovery had become a fashion phenomenon—not just because of its beauty, but also its versatility, because it picked up surrounding colors from fabrics, giving a totally new dimension. As soon as Dior’s exclusive rights to Aurora Borealis ended, it was snapped up by the respected couturiers of the era, such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Maryse Blanchard, and Countess Cissy Zoltowska’s label, Cis.

Aurora Borealis stone – fashion success

The German photographer and fashion journalist Reinhard Seufert was another famous Swarovski customer. He designed extraordinary jewelry using Swarovski’s Aurora Borealis crystals that were worn by the stars of Paris’ famous Théâtre des Variétés.

As well as a frequent visitor to Paris’ haute couture ateliers of the early 1950s, it was also his visits to the city’s music halls—the Moulin Rouge, Casino de Paris and the Lido de Paris—that inspired his crystal stage jewelry and costumes.

In 1985, Seufert’s Swarovski crystal-embellished dance shoes even appeared in the Guinness World Records! Today, many of his meticulously restored artworks are in the Swarovski Corporate Archive.

Aurora Borealis contemporary jewelry

Swarovski Aurora Borealis crystal jewelry examples

Paris-based Une Ligne is a fine contemporary example of how Aurora Borealis can add an ethereal quality to sophisticated jewelry. As the company evolved, moving away from resin to metal and crystals, the artistic rewards of incorporating the Aurora Borealis effect in its meticulously handcrafted pieces became apparent.

We appreciate Swarovski’s support, which they demonstrate in several ways: promoting awareness of our brand; inviting us to exhibit unique pieces at World Jewelry Facets; and providing seminars to update our technical knowledge.”, says CEO Jean-Louis Neidermaier of the twenty-year partnership with Swarovski.


Swarovski Aurora Borealis crystals on purse

Leading luxury womenswear brand Escada is synonymous with contemporary elegance, cool glamour and sensual femininity, and has also worked with Swarovski for twenty years.

Established in 1978 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley, its refined quality and superb workmanship is characterized by color, print and impeccable detailing such as that imparted by Aurora Borealis crystals from Swarovski. Its two product lines ESCADA and ESCADA SPORT offer customers a lifestyle concept for dressing, ranging from daywear for business and leisure to eveningwear glamour and sparkle, which has made it a huge success in eighty countries.