Synonymous with quality and luxury since 1892, the Swarovski brand name is well-known in the jewelry market. These jewels, neither a crystal nor a gem, are actually a form of glass. With such a seemingly simple composition, what makes Swarovski crystal beads and pendants more expensive? A Painstaking Attention to Detail Much more than meets the eye, Swarovski crystals are anything but simply made. Like true diamonds, the quality of materials used in the creation of Swarovski crystals as well as the Austrian company’s highly-specialized cutting practices lend to the cost of the crystals. Their creation is a long and complicated process. To create crystals with a higher refraction index than true crystal, precision manufacturing is essential. This results in a stone with looks close to those of diamonds. The Swarovski Manufacturing Process To achieve the sparkle you love, the creation of Swarovski crystals begins with a secret lead glass crystal recipe featuring a blend of quartz, sand, minerals, and about 32% lead, which helps maximize refraction in the crystals. The clearer the crystal, the more difficult to produce. Purity of material is key. After creation, they are precision-cut with a patented electric cutting machine. Accurate and consistent, the cutting process adds as many as 100 facets to each crystal which mirror and bend light in various directions, providing a higher refraction index in the crystals. After this complex cutting process, the crystals are then polished to perfection and ready for sale with custom jewelry making supplies. Coatings may also be added during this process to refract light in different color spectrums. A Step Above the Competition Because Swarovski crystals are man and machine made, the quality of crystals is far more consistent than is seen in naturally occurring gem stone beads and crystals. Crystals with imperfections such as bubbles, scratches, and lackluster shine and brilliance will not meet Swarovski quality standards. Premium, genuine Swarovski crystals should be identical, showcasing unsurpassed consistency of design to meet Swarovski’s high manufacturing standards:
- Each Swarovski crystal should be identical in size and cut, a key sign of Swarovski’s precise workmanship and authenticity.
- Crystals should have zero bubbles.
- Crystals should be clear and brilliant, with no oily sheen, dullness, or surface scratches.
- The shine of each crystal should be diamond-like.
- The facets of each crystal should meet and point upwards.
- Colored crystals should be identical in tone.
- Crystals are sold loose (only Swarovski pearls are sold strung together).
- Crystals should be sought from a Swarovski authorized retailer.