Swarovski Elements Q and A
This excellent jewelry making Q&A will teach you everything you always wanted to know about Swarovski Crystal Elements. Topics include: materials and process for how Swarovski Elements are made, crystal effects, differences between Preciosa and Swarovski crystals, XILION cut, crystal filigrees and much more!
2. Where are Swarovski Elements made?
Swarovski Elements are made in the town of Wattens, Tyrol in Austria.
3. What processes or materials make Swarovski Elements different from plain glass or other crystal?
Swarovski Elements are made using unique formulae and cutting-edge technologies that have been developed and perfected over time, since the company’s founding in 1895.
According to Swarovski, "Many Swarovski lovers believe that the raw material used in the manufacture of our crystal objects occurs naturally. Nothing could be further from the truth. Swarovski crystal is made at the factory in Wattens using basic formulae perfected by Daniel Swarovski and his three sons in the earlier part of last century. Swarovski crystal is fired using a combination of natural minerals and quartz sand, and then cooled slowly to avoid stress and inclusions."
After the cooling process, Swarovski uses their highly advanced crystal-cutting technology to ensure that all of their products include smooth lines, perfect faceting and a flawless finish.
4. Why should I buy Swarovski Elements?
Swarovski Elements has been a top-tier industry leader in development and production of premium quality crystal from the time of its founding in 1895. They provide the widest range of colors, effects, bead shapes and components available on the market today and ensure all of their products are of the highest caliber. Swarovski Elements Crystal is known for its superior brilliance and fire, with immaculate faceting and innovative cuts that provide an exceptional number of reflective surfaces. This allows all of their products to make a breath-taking statement in any context.
In addition to the superior quality of their product, Swarovski has led the industry in developing environmentally and socially responsible practices by implementing their Advanced Crystal Standard. This standard guarantees the lead-free status of all of their crystal.
5. What is a crystal effect?
A crystal effect is a coating made on the surface of the crystal that causes it to refract light differently, showing a variety of colors that would not appear on untreated crystal.
6. How is a crystal effect made?
A crystal effect is created when the crystal undergoes chemical or mechanical processes that leave it with a special surface or translucent effect. These effects cause the crystal to refract light differently, leading to a variety of colors or “finishes.”
7. I bought a selection of Swarovski Elements crystal beads with a crystal effect. I ordered only one color. Why do some of them seem to be different colors?
Crystal effects and coatings, like AB or Celsian, are specifically applied to the crystal in order to change the way light is refracted and to create special color effects. Because of the varied nature that can be created within each effect, there is a wide spectrum of acceptable color outcomes. For example, if you order a selection of Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicone beads in Emerald AB, some may look slightly green while others seem slightly bluer.
The best way to avoid any obvious color differences is by making sure that you buy all the beads you need for one project in single batches. These will tend to be from the same dye lot and will minimize the chance for noticeable color differences.
8. What are the differences between Preciosa and Swarovski crystals?
Both Swarovski and Preciosa are superb examples of incredibly high-quality crystal that FusionBeads.com is proud to offer to our customers.
Swarovski Elements currently provides a greater variety of colors, effects and shapes, but Preciosa has a lower price-point and can be a very economical choice.
9. Do Swarovski Elements contain lead?
Like many beads, components, findings and other elements of jewelry-making, Swarovski Elements do contain minute amounts of lead. However, while the brand is historically known for its impeccable “lead-crystal,” which, by European Union legal requirement, contained at least 24% lead oxide, in September of 2012, Swarovski adopted their patented Advanced Crystal Standard. This patented and innovative standard guarantees that all Swarovski Elements products bearing that label are considered lead-free crystal, containing no more than 0.009% lead oxide.
10. What is the Swarovski Elements Advanced Crystal Standard?
In response to changing global environmental and health policies, in September of 2012, Swarovski Elements fully implemented a new, lead-free crystal composition. They have now applied this patented Advanced Crystal Standard to all of their products, ensuring that none contain more than 0.009% lead. Any product produced under the Advanced Crystal Standard is considered 100% lead-free.
11. Do all of your Swarovski Crystal Elements meet Swarovski’s Advanced Crystal Standard?
Currently not all of our Swarovski Crystal Elements meet their Advanced Crystal Standard. Because this standard was not fully adopted by Swarovski until 2012, we still have some items in stock that were produced before implementation. Our eventual goal is to have 100% of our products fall under the Advanced Crystal Standard and be 100% lead-free. We will continue to update our products as our inventory moves and stock is replenished.
12. What is the XILION cut?
Originally released in XILION Chaton and Rose, Swarovski Elements proudly introduced their innovative XILION cut and is slowly featuring it on an increasing number of Swarovski products. The brilliant XILION cut increases the number of reflective surfaces on a shape with alternating small and large facets, while still maintaining the size and profile of the original product.
Fusion Beads is proud to offer you these cutting-edge styles and will continue to update our products as they become available from Swarovski and as our stock is replenished.
13. What is the difference between a Swarovski Elements bicone and other crystal bicones?
In 2009, Swarovski proudly introduced the 5328 bicone style as an updated version of their 5301 bicone. The new style features their brilliant XILION cut, which increases the number of reflective surfaces on the familiar bicone shape with alternating small and large facets. This cut was applied to sizes between 3mm and 10mm, 2.5mm being too small to effectively use this technique. The change and the copyright-protected XILION name distinguish authentic Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicone Beads from products made by other manufacturers. The new cut has a higher brilliance and is more comfortable to wear.
14. I still have Swarovski Elements Crystal Beads in the traditional cuts. Will I be able to mix the XILION-cut beads with the traditional style
The profile and dimensions of the XILION-cut Swarovski Elements Crystal Beads remain unchanged, making them perfectly compatible with traditional Swarovski Elements Crystal Beads. You’ll be able to use both crystal bead styles together in the same jewelry designs with spectacular results.
15. Will the Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicone Beads in the 2.5mm size be upgraded to the XILION cut?
Because the 2.5mm crystal bicone bead size is too small to upgrade, the cut will remain the same, but the style number will change to 5328 to be consistent with the rest of the crystal bicone bead product line.
16. When will the Swarovski Elements Crystal Beads in the XILION cut be available?
The Swarovski Elements Crystal Beads with the XILION cut will be phased in at FusionBeads.com as they become available from Swarovski and as our stock is replenished.
17. Will the crystal mixes include Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicone Beads in both the traditional 5301 and 5328 styles?
Until all colors in a specific crystal mix are available with the XILION cut, the mix will not be replenished. We appreciate your patience while we restock our custom crystal mixes to make them even more beautiful than ever.
18. What is a Swarovski Elements Crystal BeCharmed Bead?
Our Swarovski Elements Crystal BeCharmed Beads feature the high quality Austrian crystal you know and love around a stainless steel core with a 4.5mm hole that can accommodate large cord, ribbon and Pandora-style chains. We offer these beads in a large selection of styles including: pearl, helix, briolette, square, rectangle, and rhinestone.
19. What are Swarovski crystal filigrees, and how can they be used?
Our line of fabulous Swarovski crystal filigree components are some of the most versatile pieces we offer. They can be used as links (by themselves or with other findings and beads), pendants or charms for necklaces and earrings, chandelier earring frames, and in some cases, buttons. With a little creativity, they can even be transformed into post earrings, lapel pins and rings.
20. What are the Swarovski crystal filigrees made of?
The silver-colored filigree components are composed of brass with a high-quality, tarnish-free, rhodium plating. Rhodium is frequently used as the plating on white gold and platinum wedding rings to add hardness and a brilliant sheen. We offer both bright and antiqued versions of the rhodium. Swarovski’s antiquing process leaves the metal a bit lighter than gunmetal and darkens the crystal color a shade.
The gold-plated filigree pieces are composed of brass with a high-quality plating of heavy 14kt gold.
21. How are Swarovski Elements Crystal Globe Beads different from Czech pressed glass round beads or druks?
Like the rest of Swarovski Elements products, their Crystal Globe Beads are made with the highest quality raw ingredients using cutting-edge technology. This gives their Globe beads a consistent, smooth, perfection and uniformity that is difficult to find elsewhere. They are uniquely free of bubbles, cracks or other imperfections commonly found in regular pressed glass round beads.
22. Do Swarovski crystal dye lots vary in color?
Yes, Swarovski crystal dye lots can vary slightly.
23. Why does "CRYSTALLIZED TM" no longer appear as part of the Swarovski brand name?
Swarovski, the manufacturer of the beautiful crystal beads, pendants, links and other components that we are pleased to carry, has changed the branding of its product line to Swarovski Elements. The crystal products are the same products we have always carried and that you know and love. The glamour, look and quality have not changed – only the trademarked name has been updated.