Swarovski Crystal Beads History Article
Swarovski Crystal is one of the most recognized names in crystal in the world. Noted for its unique colors and coatings, and sparkling clarity it’s no wonder it is highly sought after by jewelry collectors everywhere. As with everything though, this particular crystal also has a fascinating history.
The story of Swarovski Crystal began in 1892 when a Bohemian-born man by the name of Daniel Swarovski invented the machine that would cut crystal with superior precision. This machine required a lot of energy, so he moved his family to Wattens, Tyrol where he could take advantage of their great energy resource—hydroelectricity. It was here in 1895, at the age of 32, that his company was founded.
The company has seen a lot of change and development over the last 100 years of operation. One of the first products they marketed was retroreflective glass as used in traffic lights and signals. Not long after that, Swarovski moved into the fashion market when they created sew-on crystal-studded ribbons for accessories and fashion manufacturers. They even became a high-profile provider of optical instruments for hunting and nature observation.
In the mid-1950s, with the help of a man named Christian Dior, Swarovski created a finish that made his crystal glisten. This coating took his crystal to a whole new level of sparkle that was perfect for creating hanging chandelier components. Fit for royalty, some of these very pieces continue to hang today in the Palace of Versailles.
The 1970s became a decade of “firsts” for this company. In 1976, the Swarovski crystal mouse became their first product placed on the consumer market. Shortly after that, they launched their first jewelry collection. Then they began applying the knowledge they had collected over the years in stone cutting to cutting genuine and synthetic gemstones—one of which was cubic zirconia—opening up new possibilities for their jewelry collection.
Many people recognize the name of Swarovski crystal in jewelry because it is so unique. New coatings are developed all the time—creating popular signature bead collections such as seen with the German and Tie-dye coatings. Part of what makes Swarovski jewelry so exceptional is that new beads, colors, and designs are constantly being created—leaving older creations to be discontinued.
Swarovski crystal has had over a hundred years to make their company the success they are. They continue to be held in the highest regard for their more intricate designs in crystal pieces and jewelry, as well as for the contribution they’ve made to society with the innovative design of the retroreflective glass. Who’s to say how many lives have been saved by the use of traffic lights? Swarovski maintains an emphasis on a high-quality product, and, amazingly enough, they are still finding ways to make their crystal sparkle and shine even more—ensuring anyone who wears Swarovski crystal is a true standout.