You’ve likely grown up looking at someone’s Swarovski figurine collection or perhaps passed by the Swarovski store at the mall with all their sparkling splendor. You also may have noticed their high fetched prices. Have you wondered why and exactly where these crystals originated from? How they are made? How far back they date?
Swarovski crystals are a man made gem. They are not extracted from the Earth in mines. The crystal is made of a family secret recipe of sand, quartz and minerals to produce some of the finest crystals in the world – Swarovski. To create different effects, some products are treated on their surface with a special coating to give the a rainbow appearance or reflection such as the “AB” factor, or a metallic coating to enhance the reflection of light. The AB stands for “aurora borealis” which sends a spectrum of rainbow colours from the clear crystal. 2AB would be a double coating which creates an even greater effect.
Some crystals are foiled on the back with a metallic coating to give it great reflection and a deeper crystal colour. Note the metallic feel to the crystals.
The crystals can also be dyed with colour such as these below. Just as precious gems are cut with different facets and angles to obtain the most sparkle, these crystals are cut with precision. Each different shape design and cut will produce a slightly different colour even if they come from the same colour dye group.
Daniel Swarovski was the son of a glass cutter who grew up in Bohemia which is now located in the Czech Republic. He also became skilled at glass cutting and invented the first electric cutting machine using hydroelectric. This cutting machine allowed for more precise cutting.The company which was founded in 1895, is based in Wattens, Austria, a 5th generation family owned company and producer of fine crystal.
So now do you have a better understanding of why your Grandmother or Great Auntie treasured and collected these sparkling pieces of art?
The Swarovski company has many branches of its company including their Swarovski product sold direct in stores around the world. In addition, they sell their “Crystallized” line to wholesale clients such as myself. This way, we can produce are own version of pretty.
How to care for your Swarovski Crystals: avoid exposing the crystals to water, chemicals, and harsh treatment/activity. Clean with mild soap, water and a soft cloth. They are very strong and I admit to dropping them many times with no breakage. Foil backing can be affected by poor treatment and exposure to chemical can change their appearance.
Many Swarovski options in my Etsy shop: Crystal designs by Stone Willow
Wishing you a wonderful week filled with joy and excitement.
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