I like to be known as a transparent business which means letting people know what materials I use in my business and how I or my suppliers contribute to the environment.
I love wearing beautiful things but I realized that in order to do this I have to have a planet not only to live on but one that sustains me too. I also have a conscious and want to know that my suppliers do too. Hence why I only use materials to make my jewellery with that shares my ethics and pays their workers a fair income with great working condition’s for their employees. It is these ethics that has been the driving force behind my business practices and the products that I make.
In today’s blog I am going to be looking at one of the materials that I use in my designs – Swarovski crystals and Swarovski Pearls. You will learn who Swarovski is, what a Swarovski crystal is made of, how it differs from other crystals and how to care for it plus much more.
I was introduced to these wonderful orbs several years ago when a family member gave me a bracelet that had been made out of Swarovski. I was mesmerized by its brilliant shine and how it looked very much like a diamond and I was hooked!
A couple of years later when the Earth Faeries was born I decided to use it in my collections.
Firstly I was looking for vegan materials and was delighted that they passed the cruelty free test. Secondly they are environmentally friendly business and the company is an ethical one too so I more than happy to use their products in my creations. Here is a report detailing their good ethics and how they are protecting the environment. Click here for the report. Thirdly I love their cut, clarity, amazing vibrant colours (my favorite is blush pink) and their contour. Contour means perfectly shaped crystals. How could I resist?
I often get asked by my customers and friends about what Swarovski crystal is made of etc of so I thought I would write an article on it.
Who is Swarovski you may be wondering? Daniel Swarovski was the son of a glass cutter and following in the footsteps of his father he became skilled in glass cutting. Danial had a dream of creating a diamond that everyone could afford to have. He invented and patented an electric cutting machine in 1892 that was revolutionary. This allowed the crystal to be cut with more precision than by hand and create a wonderful piece of fine man made gem that had the brilliance of a diamond.
These beautiful crystals are used by well known designers and brands such as Chanel in their fashion collections. Famous models have adorned them on the catwalks all around the world. They have been featured in Victoria secrets collections – a famous lingerie brand. The Austrian brand has dated back to 1897 – spanning five generations of the Swarovski Family. You may be surprised to discover that the brand has dressed big names back in history such as Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman prefer blonds and Audrey Hepburn in breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Swarovski crystals where used in her tiara. Seasonal collections are added every year and the crystals are used in combination with precious and semi precious stones too.
What exactly is a Swarovski crystal? Unlike quartz crystals that are made by mother nature and found in the earth – Swarovskis are man made by using natural resources such as sand, quartz and minerals.
Why are they more expensive than glass? They use only the finest natural materials, the crystal is cut with precision using a special patented machine and are polished to a brilliant shine. The entire process is very complex as the crystal is created to have hundreds of identical facets in several directions. Each direction of the reflected light must be calculated on a computer then has to be simulated in 3D, optimized and converted into programs for the machinery to make them.
How do you know if they are the genuine article?
- there should be no bubbles inside of the crystal
- each one is identical size to the other. There should be no variations
- the same colour family are identical shades
- If there is scratches on the crystal or an oily sheen then this means its not an authentic one.
- apart from the Swarvoski pearls the crystals come loose and are not stringed together
- All facets of the crystal meet and point upwards.
How do you care for Swarovski crystals? They should be treated the same way as fine jewellery.
- remove your crystals before swimming or any form of exercise and before applying any lotions or make up. If getting ready put make on and put lotion on and wait a couple of minute for lotion to penetrate into skin before put them on. If going to bed take Swarovski crystals off first and then do your nightly routine.
- Mild soap and water and a cloth should be used to clean and polish them. Swarovski recommend drying with a soft lint free towel and finish with a cotton Swarovski cloth. When handling your crystals it is a good idea to wear cotton gloves to prevent getting finger prints on them. Swarovski do sell cleaning packs to keep your crystals in pristine condition.
- Do not use any cleaners containing alcohol, sonic cleaners, commercial jewellery cleaners or boiling water as this will have a damaging effect on the crystal.
- Store them in the original packaging or place tissue paper over them after use to prevent them scratching metal or loosening the crystal.
- Do not store in excessive heat or sun exposure. Make sure you never wear them for bed time, bath time or when exercising.
- Chains and necklace will retain their shine better when they are hung when not worn.
Adhering to these guidelines will keep your Swarovski crystals beautiful and lustrous for years to come.