Swarovski crystals are highly sought for their crystal clear, sparkling brilliance. A surprisingly affordable alternative to diamonds and precious stones, what gives Swarovski crystals beads their legendary sparkle?

A Diamond for Everyone

Though no one knows precisely what Swarovski crystals are made of, it remains a coveted family secret to this day, they are a form of glass. Swarovski inventor Daniel Swarovski, the son of a glass cutter, dreamed of a design that offered the sparkle of a diamond, yet was affordable to everyone. He invented an electric glass cutting machine that could cut glass with incredible accuracy.

Mystery Mix

Though the Swarovski family has owned the Wattens, Austria crystal factory since 1892 and safeguards the ingredient recipe for its crystals to this day, we do know some of the ingredients used to make Swarovski crystals. These include a mix of red lead, quartz sand, sodium carbonate, and potash. The last was a unique addition at the time, revolutionizing the industry. It creates a clear, malleable glass that is easily shaped.

Glorious Geometry

The ingredients in the mix are heated to an extremely high temperature, then melted into glass and cut by Swarovski’s patented machines. Today the company’s gemstone designs are aided by computer technology, which helps designers calculate the angles that will best reflect light and improve the glimmering effects of the crystals.

A Little Something Extra

In addition to its proprietary crystal recipe, Swarovski also adds special touches to its crystals with metallic chemical coatings. One of the most famous coating inventions was for the spectacular Christian Dior crystal, which was dubbed the ‘Aurora Borealis effect’ after the multicolored changing hues of the Northern Lights. This coating remains popular to this day.

An Expansive Line of Offerings

The Swarovski crystal line continues to evolve to match the desires of designers and jewelry aficionados.  Because of the diamond-like shimmer of the crystals, many popular options mimic precious gemstones like emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and rare colored diamonds, some of which are quite difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Still, newer options employ the company’s revered cutting method to produce unique, shimmering bead shapes from flowers and stars to helixes, aquiline, and galactic beads. Popular Swarovski beading options today include:

When shopping for Swarovski crystals, beware of imitators. The quality of genuine Swarovski crystals is unsurpassed. Protect yourself from purchasing inferior, unlicensed products by purchasing from an authorized reseller. Learn how to make sure you’re purchasing true Swarovski crystal.

Find the perfect Swarovski gemstone to complement your next design. Shop premium Swarovski certified reseller Crystal Findings for a wide selection of the latest Swarovski bead designs and accompanying beading supplies today.