Swarovski Crystal Jewelry
Swarovski crystals are the only crystals I have used since I started handcrafting jewelry in 1990, yes they are more expensive but they are worth it. The correct pronunciation is sworr-OFF-skee.
The name has been linked to precision cut crystals for more than 113 years. Uncompromising quality is still the hallmark of the company. Daniel Swarovski (October 24, 1862 – January 23, 1956) was born Daniel Swartz in northern Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Swarovski’s father owned a small glass factory during his apprenticeship Daniel became a skilled glass cutter. In 1883 a life altering visit to the “First Electrical Exhibition” in Vienna would lead to a change in the world of man-made crystals. Daniel was inspired by the work of Edison and Siemens and spent nine years working on a crystal grinding machine. In 1892 he registered a patent for the first machine that could grind crystal stones to perfection. Daniel teamed with financier Armand Kosmann and his brother-in-law Franz Weis to set up a new business. In 1895 to take advantage of the water resources Daniel move his family and business to Wattens in the Tyrol. The Austrian Alps had sufficient water to power his machines. Another bonus they were far enough away from their competitors to safe guard against imitators. In 1908 Daniels three sons; Wilhelm, Freidrich and Alfred joined the family company. In 1913 Swarovski began to produce his own crystals after spending years with his sons building furnaces and developing a formula for flawless crystals.
In the 1920’s (the Flapper Age) designer such as Chanel and Schiaparelli embraced the use of Swarovski crystals in their designs.
In 1956 Aurora Borealis (AB) was created by Manfred Swarovski (Daniel’s grandson). Manfred worked with Christian Dior to create a thin metal coating on the crystals that gives a rainbow sparkle. Aurora Borealis, named after the natural light displays occurring primary in the skies over the Arctic and Antarctic regions. I use many Swarovski crystals that have the AB coating in my handcrafted designs such as; starfish, moon and stars and teardrop earrings. Stones can also have coatings such as the Translucent Effects; a vacuum coating that shines through the crystal. You can see this coating on my Bermuda Blue, Vitrail Light and Vitrail Medium jewelry.
In 1989 the Swarovski logo became the swan. The logo and trademark has changed over the years, but quality has not. Since I started my wire work jewelry I have been purchasing most of my Swarovski crystals from a warehouse in Providence, Rhode Island. I still have packages with the older trademarks and logos; D.S.W. (circle with two squares forming a star), KS& Co (flower) and DS & Co (flower). When I find a particular color or cut of Swarovski crystal I want to use in my unique designs I usually purchase the entire lot since Swarovski continues to add different colors and coatings and discontinues some of the older stones. My style of wire wrapped jewelry, called framing is very time consuming, so I want to use quality stones.
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