Besides reputation and wonderful marketing, Swarovski crystal is highly sought after over all other cut precision-cut crystal beads for their perfection in cut, clarity, and beauty.
The Swarovski Group (the "Company") was founded by Daniel Swarovski, an Austrian with a Polish last name, in Austria, when he was the first to create an automatic precision crystal cutting machine in 1892.
Also, the Company came to produce and still produces top-notch optical products (i.e., binoculars and telescopes), abrasives and grinding tools for the cutting and manufacture of crystals.
To maximize refraction, Swarovski crystals contain about 32% lead. However, in order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a greatly enhanced rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis ("AB") is one that is seen most often, and it gives off an enhanced rainbow effect on the half where the coating was applied. Other coatings include Dorado, Crystal Transmission, Volcano, and Aurum. Metallic coatings may be applied to only part of an object, as is the case with AB; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X, and so on.
Today, Swarovski beads are not only sold for jewelry-making, but their fame brought them into the realm of haute-couture, James Bond movies, international film celebrities and Oscar night fashion talk. Just go to the following URL to see such an example from an Oscar night: http://www.swarovski.com/content/10007.32553/Web_US/en
In 1973, the Company produced a paperweight and a key ring, as memorabilia for the 12th Olympic Winter games, which were then held in Innsbruck, Austria.
In 1974, designer Max Schreck 'accidentally' started a new product line when he created a tiny mouse out of chandelier parts. That tiny mouse was followed by a series of Swarovski crystal animals and decorative items, among them were the famous Swarovski crystal lovebirds.
Today, Swarovski's figurine collection Silver Crystal is another major branch of the Company.
In 1995, the Company celebrated its 100th anniversary, by building a magnificent theme park that was named, Swarovski Crystal Worlds ('Kristallwelten') in Wattens, Austria. That park was designed by the artist, André Heller, and it takes you into a land of incredible imagination and beauty, not to mentkion the exceptional park landscape which one has to see to really appreciate. Just go to the following URL to see what such park's outside landscape looks like: http://www.laurin.at/en-umgebung-swarovski_kristallwelten.shtml
The Company doesn't just produce the most sought after crystal in the world, but they also have collections for each season. To see the collection for Spring/Summer 2008, please go to the following URL: http://www.swarovski.com/content/10007.19128/Web_US/en
In 2007, the Company launched the product brand website, www.crystallized.com, which provides information and inspiration for people to design with Swarovski crystal beads.
CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements is the new product brand for Swarovski crystals, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Products with Swarovski crystals are labelled 'Made with CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements', which is a guarantee of the originality of the Swarovski crystals used in the creations by jewelry designers on a small scale and by international fashion houses that use Swarovski crystals.
The Company encourages independent jewelry designers, interior designers, and all other designers who can incorporate their crystal into their product to utilize Swarovski crystals for unique creations throughout the world.
To learn more about Swarovski crystals or to join the Swarovski Crystal Society ("SCS Sociey"), please go to the company site at: www.swarovski.com