Who is Swarovski Crystal Company?
Swarovski crystal is a brand name and is regarded as the finest quality manufacturer of cut crystal. The company which is located in Austria began developing machine cut crystal in 1895 under the name A. Kosmann, Daniel Swartz & Co. later changed to K.S. & Co. Armand Kosmann was the financial backer to the new company while Daniel Swartz was the man who figured out how to cut and manufacture a superior product while simultaneously rocking one of the greatest hipster mustaches before hipster was even a thing : ).
Daniel Swarovski 1895
As people began to recognize the quality and inventiveness their designs the company grew, building generations of collectors as well as providing a resource for the finest independent designers in the world. We don’t know why, but Daniel later changed his last name to Swarovski and that would be what the company goes by to this day.
You will find Swarovski crystal being used in everything from purses, hats, shoes, wedding gowns, jewelry and chandeliers additionally the company produces figurines, ornaments and home decor. Many of the worlds leading designers in all mediums use the Swarovski company’s products including Christian Louboutin, Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors…. I mean the list goes on and on and the price of their work hikes every time you find Swarovski in their products. Take for instance Stuart Weitzman’s 50/50 boots that regularly sell for around $600. The newest 50/50 boot celebrating their 20th anniversary on gilt was encrusted with Swarovski Crystal and commanded a $10,000 price tag because of it.
$10,000 50/50 boots
Oh I forgot to mention one of the coolest things made with Swarovski Crystal is the Star on top of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center!!!!
So now that we know a brief little history on the company lets dip into the actual product they produce and why it has such an allure. Different from natural earth crystals mined from regions around the globe, man-made crystal is essentially a form of glass. Crystal in this case refers to a glass that is produced with a concentration of lead in the chemical formula. Lead assists in creating a glass which is clearer and more sparkly. Referred to as the refractive index, it is a way of measuring the degree to which a substance separates light into its full color spectrum or the prism effect which is about 13% greater than normal glass. The lead in the glass also creates slightly more weight to the crystal and believe it or not actually maintains a colder temperature to the pieces (by holding glass in 1 hand and crystal in the other there is a noticeable difference). Quick disclaimer that lead within a crystal will not harm you by wearing it, now if you decide to chew and eat them this is a totally different story in which I think the least of your worries being the lead in the crystal.
Through out the existence of the Swarovski Company they continuously develop new colors, shapes and facet techniques introducing new lines of their elements for designers to use. The new direction of the company is to produce only Non-leaded crystal as they strive to create glass formulas that have a similar look and clarity. These pieces are often less symmetrical and just a bit funkier then the vintage crystal. But as someone who works primarily with the vintage crystal there is definitely a difference on how clean and crisp the edges are on the older material. I guess that’s what we like about them and why we spend so much time trying to acquire unused quantities of the vintage crystal. Now here are some examples of the Newest jewelry collection for spring 2014, I personally LOVE this color combination and you will find me wearing this winter,spring,summer and fall!
We hope you’ve enjoyed a brief history on the Swarovski Company as well as a look into what Swarovski has provided designers like ourselves to accomplish in our fields.