WHAT IS SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL?
Swarovski crystals are man-made gems manufactured in Austria. Popularized by Daniel Swarovski, his parents were glass cutters who used to work for the Austrian Monarchy. His father had a glass cutting company and the workplace of his dad served as his playground. At a very young age, he started working in his father’s glass-cutting factory, and that marks the big change in the crystal cutting industry. He was the one who discovered the formula for making high-quality glass lead crystals. He invented an automatic cutting machine for crystals and in 1985 his company became the number one crystal cutting factory in Austria. It was in the 1970s when Swarovski crystals became a mainstream in the United States’ jewelry and fashion industry. Today, Swarovski crystals are considered one of the best man-made crystals in the world.
Swarovski crystals are used in manufacturing crystal sculptures, couture, miniatures, chandeliers, home decorations, and jewelry. Swarovski crystals contain 32% lead, and some of them are coated to refract a rainbow spectrum. Genuine Swarovski crystals are marked with their logo, which is a swan.
HOW SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL IS MADE?
As mentioned above, Swarovski crystals are not derived from nature. They are made of glass, but the exact recipe remains a secret today. The ingredients used are metals, natural minerals, and quartz sand. It also contains 32% lead, which makes Swarovski crystal beads shiny and lustrous. Lead plays a very important role because it is a substance that enables Swarovski crystal to withstand pressure brought by cutting and engraving. Some Swarovski crystal beads are coated with metallic chemicals to produce stunning colors.
The machine invented by Daniel can mass-produce mechanically cut and highly polished crystals. The original components of these crystals are alkali, silica, and lime. However, he was not satisfied with the quality of crystals and so he decided to add lead. The additional lead resulted in a very high-quality crystal, which is being enjoyed by many jewelry makers and buyers today. The Authentic Swarovski crystals can only be found in Austria.
WHAT MOST PEOPLE THINK ABOUT SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL?
A lot of people have this notion in mind that Swarovski crystal is a gemstone. However Swarovski crystals are not gemstones, but a form of glass that resembles a diamond. To make it look like a real diamond, the crystal glass is cut and then polished to achieve a smooth and shiny finish. Swarovski crystals are coated with AB (aurora borealis) coating. It is this coating that gives the Swarovski crystal its diamond-like luster.
TYPES OF SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL BEADS
- Faceted Beads – Swarovski bead is one of the popular types and is available in various shapes and colors. From the name itself, it means that it has faceted surface showcasing the crystal quality of the bead. There are so many shapes to choose from, which makes Swarovski faceted beads even more appealing to crafters. Some of the selections include triangles, circles, ovals, rings, and squares. Special shapes can also be seen such as hearts, fish, stars, butterflies, and flowers. The size of the bead is measured in millimeters. There are plenty of colors and sizes to choose. You can easily identify Swarovski faceted beads because of its distinct shine and luster.
- Crystal Pearls – Swarovski crystal pearls have the same quality as the natural pearls. Swarovski pearls are round, smooth and have a distinct pearlescent glaze. However, this type of Swarovski only has two available shapes: round ball (spherical pearl) and longer curve (S-twist). Available colors to choose from include the classic gray, gold, bronze, and black. There are also playful colors like pink, green, and purple.
- Crystal Stardust – This is a multicolored collection of Swarovski crystals. The sizes vary too. This type of Swarovski is usually sold in 20-gram packets. You have the option to purchase one color or assorted colors. Jewelry makers prefer the multicolored collection because it enables them to create different types of jewelry of varying sizes and colors.
- Crystal Mosaic – This type of Swarovski is sold individually. It is available in various sizes and colors, but the most common colors are purple, white, and opal. Crystal mosaic Swarovski is usually large and usually come with holes.
DISTINCTIVE QUALITIES OF SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS
- Homogeneity – Swarovski is created using high-quality machinery. So, expect that it has a uniform size and luster. Each crystal is perfectly made. There is no room for mistake. Once it is cut by the machine expect that the end product is flawless. This precision machining separates Swarovski from that of the natural crystals. There is also a 99.8% accuracy and consistency in colors regardless of the size and shape.
- Complexity of Designs – Each Swarovski crystal is formed following a particular blueprint. Since it is made using high-quality machines, you can expect complex and at the same time high-quality designs.
- Clarity – Swarovski crystals are known for their unmatched clarity. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to distinguish Swarovski crystal from diamond because they both have the same level of clarity. However, it is a more affordable diamond counterpart. There are many types of crystals sold on the market today. Swarovski is unique in the fact it retains its clarity and value for a significant period.
- Affordability – Swarovski crystals are more expensive than ordinary crystals but are more affordable when compared with other precious gems. As a matter of fact, even if you order a customized Swarovski, the price will still be cheaper as compared with other crystals.
WHY PREFER SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS OVER DIAMONDS?
- Diamonds are found in nature, which makes them expensive. If you are searching for the best alternative to diamond, then Swarovski crystal is the answer. It looks exactly the same as diamonds but is more affordable.
- Swarovski crystals are as glamorous as diamonds and certainly last long. With proper care, Swarovski crystals can last forever; just like diamonds do.
- Swarovski crystals are not only used for jewelry making but can also accentuate fashionable clothes. As a matter of fact, some gowns have Swarovski details including bridal gown.
- Swarovski crystals are easier to maintain than diamonds. All you need to do is soak the crystal in lukewarm water and wipe with a soft cloth. Dust can be removed by simple wiping while stains can be removed using lukewarm water. You can do the cleaning even without the help of professionals.
- Swarovski crystals and diamonds look very similar. You can hardly tell the difference between the two by simply looking at it using your naked eyes.
SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS HANDCRAFTING IDEAS
Swarovski crystals can be used in various handcrafting activities, especially in jewelry making. They can be used in crafting necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings, rings, pins, brooches, charms, and many more. The possibilities are limitless. This crystal can be used alone or in combination with other semi-precious and precious gems. It can also be used with high-quality metals like silver and gold. Swarovski crystal beads are ideal for both men and women. This precious Swarovski crystal beads can be glued, beaded, ironed, or even sewn.
HOW TO DETERMINE GENUINE SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS?
- Always look for original Swarovski packaging. The packaging is sealed with authenticated silver toned hologram, “Swarovski crystal.”
- Swarovski crystals are not usually strung but come individually packaged.
- This crystal is uniformly cut by a machine. So, you should always look for the consistency of the slope, width, and height.
- Genuine Swarovski crystals have distinct flash, which is a result of a tedious and complicated process that each crystal has to undergo through just to achieve an unmatched shine.
- Authentic Swarovski crystals have facet juncture, which is pointing up. This is the same as the diamond faceting.
- Watch for signs of scratches of swirl marks because it indicates that the crystal has not undergone vacuum processing.
- Fake Swarovski crystals have oily surface.
- Authentic Swarovski crystal beads have consistent color for all available designs regardless of the size and shape of the beads.
- Swarovski crystals have uniform surface luster. The crystals should be free from scratches and swirling marks.
- Genuine Swarovski crystals do not have bubbles. If you noticed bubbles, then it simply goes to show that you have a fake Swarovski crystal.
- You can spot real Swarovski crystal by comparing it with other beads. If you place side by side Swarovski and the ordinary bead, you will notice that Swarovski will out-sparkle the other beads.
- It is quite heavier when compared with other lead crystals or glass. The noticeable difference in weight is associated with the 32% lead content of genuine Swarovski crystals.
- To ensure that you will get only high-quality Swarovski crystal, you have to purchase from true and authorized Swarovski distributors.
FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE CLEANING AND CARE TIPS
- Use a non-scented baby wipes to wipe away the dirt and dust from your Swarovski jewelry. Do not forget to do a follow-up wiping using a clean, soft cloth.
- You can also create your own Swarovski cleaning solution using alcohol, water, and mild soap. Soak your Swarovski crystal in a cleaning solution for two to three minutes and wipe the crystal using a dry, soft cloth. This simple homemade cleaning solution is enough to bring the luster of the crystal.
- You should remove your Swarovski jewelry when using cleaning agents, swimming in the pool or sea, when doing gardening activities, and before going to bed.
- To prevent scratching, you should remove Swarovski crystal when performing extreme activities.
- Avoid using strong cleaning products.
- Avoid using rough or abrasive cloth.
- Avoid placing Swarovski crystals near heat surface.
Over the years, Swarovski remains the leading luxury brand of lead crystal glass. It is one of the highly respectable names in the luxury jewelry world. Its name is synonymous to a well-crafted lead crystal. As a matter of fact, there are people who strongly believe in the healing properties of Swarovski crystals. The crystal has the same energy as the glass and the vibrant energy derived from its colorful shades. Swarovski crystals have the ability to diffuse and deflect negative energy away from the person wearing it. Decades have passed, but the beauty of Swarovski crystal beads continues to mesmerize people from different parts of the world. Swarovski is classic, timeless, and elegant; it is where sophistication meets affordability.