Swarovski Crystal

Dr. Lori shows you how to identify valuable crystal using a piece of Swarovski crystal.

by Dr. Lori Verderame

Sparkling Beginnings

In 1892, Daniel Swarovski registered a patent for his machine that cut crystal. The machine cut crystal faster and more precisely than the longstanding manual process. By 1895, Swarovski founded his company in the alps.

In the late 19th Century, crystal was regularly used to enhance formal evening wear and were sewn into formal gowns and jackets. Swarovski took advantage of this fashion trend and created crystals exclusively for the fashion industry.

For the war effort, Swarovski produced grinding and dressing tools that were used to process crystal stones. He marketed them under the name of Tyrolit from 1917 to 1919. Until about 1956, Swarovski would often develop subsidiary companies based on his original crystal cutting concept. For instance, he made products such as  automotive and roadway reflectors, telescopes, and lenses.

Worldwide recognition

By the mid 1900s, Swarovski worked in jewelry-making  using special treatments to produce colorful effects within crystal. Swarovski’s pieces made the firm’s crystal the most desired crystal for chandelier production. Swarovski crystals adorned chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera House, major museums, and the castles owned by European monarchs. By the late 1960s, Swarovski’s stones were utilized in home design, fashion, and jewelry markets worldwide.

Olympic Crystal

By 1976, Swarovski’s business expanded. He was not only running a cutting, manufacturing, and jewelry production facility for crystal but he also had a business committed to silver crystal as an end product for figurines and collectibles.

The first crystal collectible sold by Swarovski was a mouse figurine. The mouse, a best seller at the Innsbruck Olympic Games, enjoyed prominence throughout the world. In the early 1990s, exhibitions featured Swarovski crystal. In 1995, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary with the production of its trademark Swarovski  swan in silver crystal. In that same year, the firm opened its exhibition hall featuring a history of crystal and the Swarovski company.

Design Innovators

Some of Swarovski’s notable crystal designers include:
Max Schreck who is responsible for the popular animal line of fine crystal collectibles, Anton Hirzinger whose designs include the famous Swarovski trademark swan and the Centenary Swan, Edith Maier who designed the Roe Deer Fawn, the Fairy Tales series, and the popular Sweetheart piece, Gabriele Stamey who designed Swarovski’s Columbine figurine, and Adi Stocker who is arguably Swarovski’s best known designer creating two major Limited Edition pieces for Swarovski crystal.

Request an online appraisal for your Swarovski crystal from Dr. Lori.