Swarovski Crystals-A Cut Above
For anyone who loves jewelry, whether as a jewelry connoisseur or as a jeweler, the name Swarovski stands for the best of the best when it comes to crystals. What sets Swarovski crystal apart from all other crystal is the superior quality of cutting and polishing. Swarovski crystal is a man made material made from minerals and quartz sand that is heated to a high temperature and cooled slowly. Swarovski crystals are made in a variety of sizes, including as small as 2 mm in width.
The Swarovski company was founded in 1895 by Armand Kosman and Franz Weis using Daniel Swarovski’s expertise at glass-cutting and his family name. It was the 1892 invention and patenting of Swarovski’s innovative electric glass-cutting machine which prompted the company to be created. Swarovski crystals come in many forms including sculptures, home decor, jewelry, miniatures, and chandeliers. Today Swarovski has several divisions including the divisions that make the crystal components used for jewelry.
Many of Swarovki’s products are highly collectible including the Swarovski figurines, and the crystal beads. Swarovski has changed the shapes and styles of beads made throughout the companies history and many of the colors and styles made decades ago are no longer available directly from Swarovski, and can only be found through other Swarovski crystal collectors and sellers.
All of Swarovski crystals are beautiful due to the cut and colors, but the crystals coated with the special AB (Aurora Borealis) coatings shimmer with a reflected rainbow of light from the surface of the crystal.
Vintage and Antique Swarovski Jewelry
Swarovski has made both finished jewelry and crystal beads during the company’s long history, and the jewelry styles have varied over time. Crystal necklaces include beautiful pendants, as well as interlocking Swarovski crystal chains.
Swarovski has also made beautiful crystal bracelets, bangle cuffs, and watches that sparkle with color and shine, in gold and silver, as well as non precious metals.
Swarovski is also famous for their lovely crystal brooches and earrings. Many vintage Swarovski jewelry pieces are crystal brooches that are in the shape of plants and trees while other vintage brooches are in a circle similar to a wreath.
Vintage Swarovski Crystal Beads
Swarovski crystal beads are some of the most beautiful beads available, and that includes the vintage Swarovski beads. There are many discontinued colors and styles that cannot be purchased from regular Swarovski vendors today, that can be found on Ebay.
Pictured above are some beautiful AB beads that show the full color spectrum that the AB coating can achieve. These vintage Swarovski beads are an unusual semi circular moon shape.
What exactly is the AB coating?
The AB coating is a special metallic chemical coating that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum. AB or Aurora Borealis is the most popular coating, although Swarovski also uses Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Sometimes the coatings are applied twice, and on some crystals they are only applied to one portion of the crystal.
Vintage Swarovski Loose Beads
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Buying Vintage Swarovski Beads Online
There are many reputable Ebay sellers that sell vintage Swarovski beads. Make sure that the vendor you are buying from has a good reputation based on their Ebay rating. Then search the Swarovski beads by shape, color, and size.
One of the most popular Swarovski shapes is a bicone bead (pictured to the right) but not all bicones are alike, so make sure that you are familiar with the different bicone variables before you buy. You should follow this pattern on all your vintage Swarovski bead purchases. If you can, find out what year the beads were made.
Swarovski beads can come in a variety of shapes and styles, and you can usually buy them both in small quantities or in large mixed lots of beads.
If you want a bead with a hole in it, then you need to search for Swarovski beads, but if you are looking for a flat back to set in a bezel setting, then you want to look for Swarovski cabochons. Beads can also have a horizontal hole, or a vertical hole drilled through them. Some of the Swarovski bead shapes come drilled both ways, so double check to make sure that you are buying what you want.
Just like many other companies, Swarovski has has both colors and shapes of crystal beads that have been retired or discontinued. These are the most sought after vintage beads because they cannot be found from regular Swarovski vendors. Depending on how rare the vintage beads are, the price can range from just a few dollars to much, much more.
Vintage Swarovski Rhinestones
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