Contrary to the popular belief of many people, Swarovski crystals are not rock crystal, but glass stones made using a special technology.
We will tell you in this article how this brand appeared and developed, what the famous Swarovski crystals are made of, how to distinguish original products from low-grade fakes.
Swarovski stones: over 120 years of history
Products such as Swarovski brand crystals are an old family business founded by Daniel Swarovski in 1895 in Wattens, located at the foot of the picturesque Austrian Alps. Daniel’s father owned a small glass factory, where the boy learned glasswork and jewelry making from an early age. Daniel’s goal has always been to create «diamonds for everyone». He made glass crystals by melting down a mixture of quartz sand, potassium and soda at very high temperatures. The exact process and ratio to this day remains a closely guarded secret. To obtain a unique refraction of light in the rainbow spectrum, appropriate cutting angles developed over the years, as well as special metal coatings that scatter light, are used. In 1882, Daniel patented an electric glass cutting machine that was much more precise than hand cutting. Since 1899, he began to use the image of the noble mountain flower edelweiss in the logo of his company and became known in France as Pierres Taillées du Tyrol — faceted stones from Tyrol, which were often called «Swarovski crystal».
In 1919 a subsidiary company, the Tyrolit Group, was established, specializing in the production of tools for grinding, polishing, cutting, sawing and drilling crystals.
One of the most charismatic Hollywood stars, the legendary femme fatale, icon and designer of her own style, Marlene Dietrich made her debut in the film «Blond Venus» in 1932 in jewelry and dresses adorned with Swarovski crystals.
In 1939, the legendary design of ruby slippers for Dorothy from the movie The Wizard of Oz was created. In the same year, based on the patent of Daniel’s son Wilhelm, using the properties of stones and Swarovski crystals, binoculars, telescopes and spotting scopes used in hunting and traveling began to be produced.
In 1950, a new brand was born: Swarovski Optik Swareflex, offering intelligent road safety systems and lighting solutions for industrial facilities, transport areas, hotels and shops. Swarovski crystals began to be used by iconic fashion designers such as Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli.
In 1953, the famous film «Gentlemen Prefer Blondes» was released, where Marilyn Monroe sings in a dress adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals.
1956 was marked by the appearance of the famous AB effect from Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), making the crystal sparkle with all the colors of the rainbow.
In 1961, Audrey Hepburn dazzled moviegoers in Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a designer crown of iridescent Swarovski crystals.
In 1962, Marilyn Monroe sang the famous song «Happy Birthday Mr. President for President JF Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in a skin-toned Jean Louis gown embellished with 2,500 Swarovski crystals shimmering in a thousand colors in the spotlight.
Under the brand name Swarovski, in 1965, the production of precisely cut gemstones such as sapphire, peridot, amethyst and marcasite began.
In 1966, the newly founded brand Swarovski Lighting graced the stage of the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York with crystal chandeliers.
In 1976, the idea arose of mass production of crystal figurines from Swarovski crystal materials. In the same year, the world’s first company was founded to offer machine-cut zircon to the jewelry industry.
In 1983, the first Silver Crystal Suite store opened in London’s prestigious Old Bond Street. The crystal figurine of a turtle was stolen on the first day of opening. Since then, a tradition has also been established to release an annual limited-edition rhinestone Christmas figurine.
In 1989, the swan became the symbolic logo of the Swarovski brand.
Shiny Crystal Mesh fabric, coated with small crystals, was developed in 1993.
Daniel’s great granddaughter Nadia joined the family business in 1995. By the centenary of the factory, the museum «Crystal Worlds of Swarovski» was created on its territory. It consisted of 17 halls of miracles. They have been designed by world renowned artists such as Brian Eno, Tord Buntier, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jim Whiting, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí and Yayoi Kusama. Each artist has interpreted Swarovski stones in their own way, so each room has its own theme and atmosphere. In 1999, Alexander McQueen’s Spring-Summer collection featured the famous crystal mesh.
In 2001, Swarovski crystals graced Nicole Kidman’s satin suits at the Moulin Rouge during Baz Luhrmann’s musical performance.
In 2002, Nadia Swarovski created The Crystal Palace in collaboration with talented lighting and design designers.
2003 marked the premiere of the Swarovski Rocks crystal fabric, the first textile material made using the innovative Hot-Fix technique. It can be ironed, stitched and glued to other materials.
In 2004, Xilion debuted an innovative author’s cut that increases the intensity of the glow and mesmerizing light effects of crystals.
During the Confessions World Tour, Madonna dazzled audiences in outfits adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals.
In 2007, in collaboration with The Academy Awards, a crystal curtain of over 50,000 crystals was created to serve as the backdrop for Hollywood’s greatest stars at the Oscars. In the same year, Atelier Swarovski appeared, producing collections of crystal accessories in collaboration with international artists and designers in fashion, jewelry and architecture.
The brand has partnered with Philips to decorate USB devices and headphones from the Active Crystals collection.
In 2009, after three years of designing, researching and testing the famous Swiss quartz movement, the first collection of Swarovski Crystal Watches is born, where elegance meets luxury.
In 2010, Michael Jackson’s Swarovski crystal gloves were auctioned for $192,000.
In 2011, the first perfume Aura by Swarovski was created.
In 2012, Xirius 1088, the brightest jewel-like star in the galaxy, took place. Thanks to the new standards of precise cutting technique, the crystal became more durable, the colors more saturated.
In 2015, on the Rebelion Heart tour, Madonna wore 350 costumes made from over 2.5 million Swarovski crystals in 50 colors and 60 cuts. It took 120,000 crystals to decorate her clothes, shoes, masks, hats, gloves, guitar straps.
In 2017, 25 years after the death of actress Marlene Dietrich, Swarovski and ElektroCouture create a dress embellished with 2,000 crystals and 150 LEDs. This was inspired by the correspondence of the actress with fashion designer Jean Louis in 1958. Penelope Cruz becomes Swarovski Global Brand Ambassador.
At the 2018 Victoria Secret show, Swarovski crystals adorned the $1 million Fantasy bra.
In 2019, cooperation with Dior and Chanel began.
Today, Swarovski crystal is an element of jewelry, mainly earrings and rings, as well as clothes, shoes, bags, scarves, scarves, hats, watches, smartphone cases. Sequins, rhinestones and sequins are such accessories that are widely used in the cosmetic industry, nail service, interior design in the form of handles for roller blinds, chandeliers, door handles, furniture handles.
In 2014, on the occasion of the 120th anniversary, the attractions of the Crystal Worlds Museum were renovated and expanded with the addition of a crystal cloud made up of 800,000 crystals, a game tower and a restaurant where chilled champagne is served in glasses studded with small crystals.
How to determine the value of products from Swarovski crystals?
This brand is known for its masterful innovation and creativity that makes it trend-setting for the year ahead rather than following them. Swarovski has revolutionized crystal processing. Thanks to the refined quality of grinding and cutting, he creates multi-layered compositions, angles and colors, obtaining perfect solutions. Many years of practice and constant development allow him to guarantee the identity of each product due to the quality, shape, size, color and brilliance of not only the front surface of the crystal, but also its bottom, inner part and even the hole. A wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, as well as a regular expansion of the range — the introduction of new products twice a year — make the collections of this brand a fabulous treasure of inspiration for designers from all over the world. As a result, there are many low-quality fakes.
To purchase high-quality Swarovski crystals or jewelry from this brand, and not its imitation, you need to know how to distinguish a fake from the original.
As more and more low-end imitations flood the market, Swarovski has introduced another protection in the form of a certificate of authenticity of crystals, which is mandatory when buying jewelry, and printing. This is a hologram containing the image of the Alps, the inscription of the year the company was founded, the name of the new collection and an individual number by which the manufacturer’s batch can be identified.
From luminous rhinestones to frosted crystals, there is something for everyone in the Swarovski jewelry collections. Check out the catalog of the Silvers online store, where the products of this brand are presented in a large assortment. Order with delivery in Ukraine, shine like stars and enjoy the beautiful sparkle of the northern lights.