Before we dive into talking about how these shiny little beads and ornaments are made, let us first know what they are. These crystalline objects are not actually crystals but rather glass, man-made and faceted lead glass to be exact. Swarovski crystals are primarily used in fashion, from accessories to full dresses. They are like little crystal Midas fairies; every garment or accessory they cling on to suddenly becomes more glamorous than ever before.
Brief Swarovski History
Daniel was the son of a glass cutter who lived in Bohemia which is now known as the Czech Republic. Their family owned a small glass factory; it was also there where he honed his skill and glass cutting techniques as an apprentice.
The crystals are named after the inventor of the hydro-electric cutting machine Daniel Swarovski. The machine was used for cutting and making facets in crystals and glass more precisely and efficiently than traditional methods used.
How it’s Made
Swarovski crystals we see today are either made from real minerals or man-made ones, though it is hard to spot which is which for an untrained eye. The most common Swarovski product is the man-made lead glass that they turn into fabulous shining faceted beads.
The bead starts off as small glass spheres or cubes. A computer guided machine with a pre mapped 3D design carves the gem to its final form. Then the polishing comes to file off excess material and make the gems crystal clear.
Facets of a normal cut glass would not normally refract a perfect rainbow like a perfectly cut diamond does. Swarovski coats its products with special coatings that are trade secrets to make the glass gems produce an ‘Aurora Borealis’ effect.
Coatings that the company uses to create the countless refractions styles are given names like Crystal Transmission, Volcano Aurum and Dorado. The coating name, if you know what they do, actually speaks of what effect they are going to have. An example is the Volcano Aurum, volcanoes normally display colours of red when it erupts and Aurum is gold in another language.
After the production of these precision objects, they are either sold loosely for designers and jewellers or sold as parts of premade jewellery directly from Swarovski stores.
Having doubts about your Swarovski? If you live in Western Australia, bead shop Perth is sure in the right direction when it comes to Swarovski beads. But if not, there are a lot of telltale signs that imitation crystals show. Bubbles are the first to look for or be aware of. Swarovski produces top of the line crystal beads and they should not have bubbles. Size, shine and colour are other things to look for to make sure you have the right quality gems.
Swarovski gems, when it comes to size and colour of a specific type, they should all be uniform because they are machine made. Same goes for the colour, quality gems don’t have even just a slight difference in tint.The shine of the gem or bead should be exceptional; Swarovski takes great pride over their products and it is also what made them a top of the line product. Having other non-Swarovski jewellery aside from natural stones outshine them is definitely a problem, so take a look more closely.