What distinguishes a Swarovski Crystal?
For more than a hundred years, Swarovski has been the premier designer and seller of crystals. From its conception by a young Czech glass cutter in 1895, to today's competitive jewelry market, its high-quality glass and unique cutting process still sets Swarovski apart.
Swarovski's Signature Crystals
The Swarovski Crystal company was started by Daniel Swarovski in 1895, and remains, arguably, the most distinct and respectable of crystal companies. Daniel Swarovski was the son of a glass cutter from the Czech Republic. After completing his apprenticeship in glass cutting, Daniel invented a machine that revolutionized glass cutting, which he patented in 1895. Though this was the beginning of the company's vast success story, Swarovski Crystal company first made a name for itself in the 1950s. Swarovski created the Aurora Borealis, a crystal inspired by fashion designer Christian Dior, and became the finest, most highly demanded of any crystal company.
Swarovski's revolutionary machine, as well as early success on the fashion scene, lead the way for the fame and distinction of the company. But what makes the crystal so special? Swarovski uses high lead content crystal glass. The lead increases the refractive index of the glass, which means it has more dimensions of light, likening it to a diamond.
The light reflects internally, the shining surfaces sparkling off each other, especially when the crystal is at a tilt. Special coatings are also used on the crystals, such as the Aurora Borealis, Volvano and Crystal Transmission, to give the outside appearance of the crystal its signature shine. All Swarovski crystals are marked with the company logo, which used to be an edelweiss flower, but in 1988 was changed to a swan.
Business : A Swarovski Storefront in Edinburgh
Swarovski crystals are used in jewelry and are also sold as ornaments, sculptures and chandeliers. Swarovski has its own stores, and the company sells its crystals to other jewelry companies. Most major cities and shopping centers throughout the Western world have a Swarovski store, and you can order the crystals online, as well.
Intrigue and Secrecy
To add to the intrigue of the Swarovski crystal, the company's process is incredibly secretive. Like any novelty item, its name would be in grave danger if another crystal cutter was to successfully replicate its process. So, even those who work at Swarovski's factory do not understand the entirety of the process, and to protect the information they do have, they are sworn to complete secrecy.
Swarovski in Popular Culture
Swarovski and Philips team up to create crystal USB Memory Keys.
Swarovski, like many companies, has had to strive to keep up with the modern consumer. In its effort to modernize its products, Swarovski has made several major leaps into popular culture. The company sponsored, and created the chandelier for, the popular Broadway musical "Phantom of the Opera" in 2004. That same year, Swarovski adorned New York City's Rockefeller Christmas Tree with a 550 pound crystal star and continued to provide the tree's star in subsequent years.
Perhaps most savvy of its business ventures was the partnership between Swarovski and the electronics company Philips. From 2007 to 2008, Swarovski created for Philips four USB memory keys, four in-ear headphones and a Bluetooth wireless earpiece, all adorned with Swarovski crystal.