Swarovski crystals are famous for their sparkle and shine when used in jewelry.
Coming in many different colors, shapes, and styles, these crystals make for some unique pieces of jewelry that can complement most any outfit.
Swarovski jewelry can be found in over 2,800 stores that are located in 170 different countries around the world, giving this company global reach.
Where are these crystals manufactured, and what is the history behind them?
The Swarovski operation started in the year 1892 with Daniel Swarovski.
Daniel’s father was the owner of a glass factory, and it is in this factory where Daniel took on an apprenticeship to learn the skill of glass cutting.
In 1892, Daniel patented a unique cutting machine that was able to produce crystals from glass.
However, Daniel Swarovski did not actually found the Swarovski Company by himself. The company was actually formed by Armand Kosman and Franz Weis, along with Swarovski, in the year 1895.
The company was originally called A. Kosman, D. Swarovski & Co. but then the name was changed to KS & Co.
The company put its first crystal cutting factory in Wattens, Austria because the founders wanted to use the hydroelectricity in the city for the crystal-grinding process that had been patented by Daniel Swarovski. Plus, the city was in close proximity to Paris - which was another plus.
As for the first place where the crystals were ever produced, it was in Austria’s Rhomberg Loden Factory.
In the year 1899, Swarovski started to use the edelweiss flower as its logo because edelweiss is among the top favorite flowers in Austria. But it was almost one hundred years later, in 1989, when the logo was no longer an edelweiss flower but was instead changed to a swan.
Moving forward in history, Swarovski, unfortunately, fell upon hard times during the Great Depression from 1932 through 1934. During this period, the Swarovski factory actually had to completely close down for short bouts of time since people couldn’t afford to buy jewelry.
Interestingly, Swarovski is made up of three different companies: the Swarovski Crystal Business, which produces the crystals that are used in jewelry and other products; Swarovski Optik, which makes telescopes and binoculars; and Tyrolit, which makes machines and tools that are used for grinding, sawing, and drilling.
While Swarovski Crystal Business is known for its sparkly crystal beads that can be readily found in jewelry, Swarovski is actually more closely associated with the decorative animal figurines they produce – with a mouse being the first type of animal the company ever manufactured. The company even has a perfume line that they produce, in both liquid and solid form!
Swarovski crystals have a secret chemical formula and a high degree of how precisely they are cut, which is what makes them cost more than other crystals. They are made from both natural minerals and quartz to give them their shine, and some of the crystals even have a coating on them that creates a rainbow spectrum when the light passes through them.
If you are interested in seeing all types of Swarovski crystals in person, there is a place in Wattens, Austria called “The Crystal Worlds Centre” – which showcases everything having to do with the company. And, this museum is actually in the top two attractions that tourists in Austria can visit!