Handmade jewelry receives added dimension and style when crystals are added to the design. With nearly all Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry Designs incorporating Swarovski Crystals, we wanted to put together this handy guide to assist you with a better understanding and appreciation for the beauty that only Swarovski Crystals offer.
The History of Swarovski Crystals
Swarovski crystal sets itself apart from the competition by offering an exceptionally exquisite, quality crystal with incredible brilliance. As well, the delicate color palette is another quality that sets Swarovski crystal components apart from others. For these reasons, virtually all beaded jewelry by Crystal Allure uses genuine Daniel Swarovski crystal -either exclusively or in combination with other stones.
The Swarovski Company uses only high lead content crystal glass. Typically, a full thirty-two percent of the glass is lead and lead oxide. The presence of lead increases the glasses refractive index, bringing it closer to the same sparkle that a diamond has. By cutting the glass in just the right way, internal reflection from inside the shiny surfaces of the glass cause the light to reflect internally. This internal reflection results in sparkle as the glass is tilted, adding to its beauty and to the beauty of our jewelry.
The demand for Swarovski crystal unfortunately can create a host of imitators. So how can you ensure you are getting the real thing?
How to Identify Genuine Swarovski Crystals
For starters, Swarovski crystals are perfectly uniform. Since they are machine cut, each crystal is the same. This means that the height, width and slope are consistent. A hand polished imitator bead will not have as uniform a cut.
Swarovski uses machinery that precisely cuts each crystal. According to Swarovski, "cutting hard materials such as crystal and gems, in such a way that they have a hundred identical facets in several directions, is a very complicated task; each direction of the reflected light must first be calculated by computer, then this has to be simulated in 3D, optimized and finally converted into control programs for complex machinery." This is just part of the technology that gives Swarovski crystals their unbelievable sparkle.
For Swarovski crystals with the AB (aurora borealis) finish, these will have a uniform surface luster. There are no swirling marks from the vacuum process that produces the AB finish, and generally there are no scratches. The "imitations" often have scratches, swirl marks ("oily" looking surface). Some of these imperfections, in the "imposters", have to do with the lower quality of the finish.
Other helpful tips include:
~When you look inside the crystal, you will see no bubbles. If you see any bubbles, you know immediately that it is a fake.
~Because of its special glass compounds, Swarovski crystal will out-sparkle a bead of lesser quality when placed in a side-by-side comparison.
Other crystals on the market:
Celestial Crystals are hand-cut, hand-polished lead crystal glass. Celestial crystal beads are highly reflective and offer a cascade of sparkling color in jewelry designs.
Preciosa Crystals are machine cut crystals referred to as the "cadillac of czech glass beads". Preciosa crystal beads and pendants are characterized by their sheer variety and versatility of cuts, colors, and coatings. Preciosa crystals follow centuries old Bohemian glass traditions to ensure vibrant quality and incredible value in every genuine crystal produced.
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