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History of Swarovski

We are very pleased to be able to buy and use the full range of Swarovski's available crystal beads and glass pearls. We only buy from authorised dealers.

Originally creating flat back stones and chatons to mimick gemstones, Swarovski brought Bling to the masses, unlike some other producers at the time Swarovski never hid the fact that his 'stones' were imitations.

The cutting technique is still a guarded secret as is the composition of the lead crystal mix, the only thing known is that the glass contained 34% lead oxide, competing glass crystal had around 25%.

The new Advanced Crystal developed by Swarovski is 0.009% lead, in compliance with modern guidelines.

In 1965 Swarovski started cutting genuine gemstones and some synthetics, the company are still developing new cuts, shapes and ideas.


More about The Swarovski®Brand

Born in 1862, as Daniel Swartz, the co-founder of Swarovski learnt the trade of glass-cutting in his father's workshop in Georgenthal, Bohemia, an area famous for glass cutting.

Daniel dreamt of being a violinist but failed to make the grade, so he opted to study in Paris and while there got the chance to visit the first International Electrical Exhibition in 1881, the exhibition showed him the possibility of grinding glass using electricity and he was inspired to develop a precision glass cutter, which he patented in 1892.

The company was set up in 1895, some sources state Daniel was alone, others that he was joined by his brother in law Franz Weis and friend Armand Kosmann, to take advantage of hydro-electricity, the factory was founded at Wattens near Tyrol in Austria, the location of the factory was crucial, close to a suitable water supply and far enough from competitors. By 1899 K S & Co. had a registered trademark of the eidelweiss, as shown on an image of a label on the Swarovski Group website, they were then trading as Kosmann, D. Swarovski & Co.

In 1908 Swarovski's three sons joined him and in 1913 the factory was fully functional.

During the world wars Swarovski diversified, taking advantage of the demand for grinding and cutting tools by launching "Tyrolit" precision tools, these included the grinding wheel, which Swarovski had to make for themselves during the 1914 - 1918 war, due to scarcity of equipment.

In 1932 Marlene Dietrich wore Swarovski in the film "Blonde Venus" and they featured again on Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" Marilyn was also wearing a Swarovski encrusted dress when she sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F Kennedy in May 1962, just 3 months before she died.

Daniel died in 1956 by the time of his death, the company were producing through-drilled beads as well as binoculars (Optik 1949) and traffic safety systems (Swareflex, 1950) after his death the family continued with his innovative ideas with Chandeliers (1966) and Figurines (1976).

Other Key Dates:

♦ 1965 - First Genuine Gemstones Cut - Clear Quartz, Garnets, Agates and Synthetics
♦ 1976 - Cubic Zironia introduced to range ♦ 1988 - Marcasite added
♦ 1995 - Amethyst, Citrine, Peridot, Rhodolite included  ♦ 1997 - Sapphire and Ruby ♦ 


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