Everything You Need To Know About Swarovski Crystals
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – but Swarovski crystals are a very close second. Not everyone wants to spend the money attached to a diamond, and others have ethical issues about the extraction of diamonds. Swarovski crystals are more versatile than diamonds, with a more attainable price tag without compromising on aesthetics.
Our guide tells you everything you need to know, from how Swarovski crystals are made to practical advice about whether Swarovski crystals can get wet. If you own any pieces or are considering buying jewelry made with Swarovski crystals, this is a must-read guide to help you look after your growing collection of jewelry.
How Swarovski Crystals Are Made
One of the most common questions people ask is if Swarovski Crystals are real. This question doesn’t have a straight answer, as Swarovski crystals are different from other jewelry you’ll find on the market. To understand the answer, we need to look at where they come from.
Let’s start with what Swarovski crystals are made of. They’re a made-made stone created in Austria, rivaling the diamond for its cut and aesthetics. Swarovski crystals are made when the glass is submerged at a high temperature with silicon oxide powders that contain lead. The process results in the formation of a lead crystal and is patented by the Austrian brand Swarovski. The Swarovski brand is synonymous with its crystal swan logo and luxurious navy packaging. As well as selling their own jewelry products, the brand is the only one that can produce genuine ‘Swarovski crystals’ for other jewelers to use.
Where do Swarovski Crystals Come From?
Swarovski crystal takes its name from Daniel Swarovski, who made the machine that fulfills the crystal cutting process that gives the glass crystal its precision cut, allowing it to mirror the appearance of a diamond. Daniel was the son of a Bohemia glass cutter and the genius behind the hydroelectricity cutting machine that creates crystal glass. Before Daniel’s invention, crystals could only be cut by hand, making it virtually impossible to get a precise cut. With Swarovski crystals, the precision cutting technique means they’re flawless, without any imperfections.
The Swarovski company remains in the ownership of Daniel’s family. It's now in the hands of the fifth generation. Although Swarovski sells their own pieces in their stores, they produce Swarovski crystals for other jewelers and companies around the world to use. The Aurora Borealis that we mentioned earlier was also the brainchild of Swarovski, in partnership with the legendary French designer, Christian Dior.
Are Swarovski Crystals Glass?
Thinking of Swarovski crystals as simply being glass undersells the uniqueness of them. It’s not the same type of glass you see on your phone screen or in a window.
Swarovski crystals are more durable than traditional glass, thanks to their lead component. They are so much more than ‘just’ glass. This man-made creation has a beauty that can rival even the brightest of diamonds. Swarovski’s patented process transforms glass to give it the feel and appearance of fine jewelry through their precision cutting and polishing methods.
While the production process is covered in mystery, we know it has a 32% lead concentration, giving the stone the refraction index that gives it the illusion of a diamond. The higher the lead concentration is, the more of a refraction index the glass will have. The glass is cut the same way as a diamond and polished to give it the finish that catches the light and sparkles like a diamond.
They enhance the appearance of Swarovski crystals with a coating of aurora borealis to create a rainbow effect. It gives the look of light dispersal that you experience with a diamond.
As a man-made piece, Swarovski crystals have a consistency that naturally occurring gems lack. The precision cutting of these pieces means that they don’t have a dull appearance, and their charity can rival that of almost any diamond.
It's virtually impossible to tell the difference between a Swarovski crystal and a diamond with the naked eye. You’ll often see jewelry stores refer to them are ‘imitation diamonds’ due to their similar detailing.
Are Swarovski Crystals Real?
What you might consider being ‘real’ Swarovski crystals come directly from Swarovski. Like anything, there are imitation brands that claim to sell a similar product. These cheaper alternatives are not of the same quality or standard as the genuine thing.
You can double-check if your Swarovski crystals are the real thing with a few simple tests to examine their quality. With the genuine product, you won’t see any bubbles within the crystal, with each facet pointing upwards as they will all be individual. If your Swarovski crystals have a color to them, each one should have an identical hue. You’ll see a shine to your Swarovski crystals that give it the impression of a diamond.
Are Swarovski Crystals Valuable?
There’s a reason why you see Swarovski crystals in luxury department stores. You can find them on everything from Christian Louboutin stilettos to extravagant home décor that comes with a price tag of several hundred dollars.
Swarovski crystals are used as an alternative to diamonds by some of the most recognizable brands in the world. You’ll often see them used for detailing on sunglasses by brands like D&G, as well as being incorporated into Louis Vuitton and Chanel costume jewelry. Swarovski crystals are everywhere, even in places you don’t expect. The 500-pound Christmas star that sits on the tree at the Rockefeller Centre in New York was made of Swarovski crystals, appearing every holiday season since 2004.
The value of Swarovski crystals comes from their reputation as the premium quality alternative to diamonds, with a unique technique that allows for each piece to be precisely cut for a brilliant finish.
Answering the question of how expensive are Swarovski crystals isn’t entirely straightforward. You’ll be buying a premium quality crystal glass piece that mirrors the appearance and feel of a diamond. As genuine Swarovski crystals are only produced by the Austrian brand directly, this adds to their value. The price of Swarovski crystals is linked to their high-quality materials and the unique process behind the glasswork.
You can expect to pay considerably more for Swarovski crystal than glass, as the process which transforms it into the beautiful jewelry you want to own requires high-quality materials and patented techniques. Each Swarovski crystal has hundreds of facets, cut with the precision tools of the hydro-electrical technology.
When you think of the word ‘Swarovski,’ the first thing that pops to mind is the idea of sparkling crystal glass. Most people who buy Swarovski crystal jewelry don’t realize the elements that make up the piece.
How to Care for Your Swarovski Crystals
Your Swarovski crystal has a Mohs hardness of 6-7, meaning general wear and tear will happen with your jewelry, but proper cleaning and maintenance can keep it looking sparkly. There are a few things you want to consider for looking after your new jewelry pieces.
Do Swarovski Crystals Get Cloudy?
Swarovski crystals get cloudy over time due to scratches from wear and tear if you don’t take care of them properly by regularly cleaning or polishing them. You want to care for your Swarovski crystals the same way you would look after fine jewelry or diamonds. Don’t let the idea of cloudiness put you off these jewelry pieces, as the care and maintenance are relatively straightforward. We have a few simple tips that you can follow to improve your Swarovski crystal jewelry’s longevity and appearance.
Can Swarovski Crystals Get Wet?
People who wear these pieces every day often ask, ‘can Swarovski crystals get wet?’. Ideally, take your jewelry off before showering or washing your hands, as you don’t want to expose the crystal directly to water. You also want to avoid it coming into contact with chemicals or cosmetic products. It’s always a best practice to wait and put your jewelry on after you’ve finished applying your makeup and any perfume.
Do Swarovski Crystals Tarnish?
You can stop your Swarovski crystals from tarnishing by leaving your jewelry at home while you’re at the pool or working out. Always take your jewelry off before applying any lotions or cosmetic products. Your jewelry should be the last thing you put on before you leave the house so that you don’t spray your perfume or deodorant over them.
Do Swarovski Crystals Fade?
How to Clean Your Swarovski Crystals
When you’re not wearing your jewelry, you want to store it in the original box or a jewelry case. If you own multiple pieces, you want to keep them separate to prevent any scratching.
Why Are Swarovski Crystals Special?
When comparing different stones, most people wonder whether Swarovski crystals look like diamonds. They’re so similar that you’ve likely mistaken them for being the real thing on more than one occasion. The lead inside the Swarovski crystals gives them their brilliance and shine that looks just like a diamond.
The first time Swarovski crystals hit the silver screen was in the 1932 film Blonde Venus when Marlene Dietrich appeared in glittering costumes adorned with Swarovski crystals.
While they aren’t diamonds, people have used them as a stand-in for the real thing for years – even in Hollywood.
Have you ever seen the iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe in that pink satin dress singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’? Well, it wasn’t diamonds that Marilyn Monroe was wearing around her neck; they were Swarovski crystals.
Another famous silver screen moment that everyone will have seen is Audrey Hepburn walking through Fifth Avenue in New York at the start of Breakfast at Tiffany's. The tiara she is wearing in the opening scene, which reappears throughout the movie, is not from Tiffany’s. They made her infamous tiara using Swarovski crystals.
The next time you think you’re looking at diamonds around the neck of a Hollywood actress, it’s more likely that their jewelry is Swarovski crystals. You never know what Swarovski crystals might be sparkly back at you. If it’s good enough for Hepburn and Monroe, we’ll be wearing it as well!
If you’re looking to invest in jewelry that you can wear every day or for special occasions when you want to turn a few heads, Swarovski crystals will never let you down. To the naked eye, they look just as breath-taking as diamonds and precious stones. Whether it’s for yourself or a gift for a loved one, you should consider Swarovski crystals as an alternative to the traditional choice of diamonds.
Are Swarovski crystals diamonds? No, but they’re the next best thing and won’t break the bank!
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