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What is Swarovski Crystals?
Swarovski is an Austrian company founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski. The company based in Wattens Austria, and is still a family-owned business until now with more than 29000 employees. Swarovski is the world largest manufacturer of crystal glass products and components of sculptures, miniature, jewellery, rhinestones, home decor and chandeliers.
Swarovski has many different business units targeting different market segments for its crystals. Swarovski Consumer Goods Business operates its retail brand with more than 3000 stores worldwide.
Swarovski Professional ( Components) manufacture and supply crystal glass parts to different industrial segments – fashion & garment, jewellery, accessories, watches, eye glasses, gifts, lighting, home decor, interior, DIY crafts, nails, tattoos etc. And under Swarovski loose crystal components business, here are some of the Swarovski brand names for product lines targeting different customer segments:
Strass Swarovski Crystals
Strass Swarovski crystals are manufactured in Swarovski factory in Austria for the lighting and interior market. Strass is a premium Swarovski brand and they are considered as the highest quality in the chandelier crystals market.
Swarovski has discontinued the use of “Strass” brand name and the product lines has merged to Swarovski lighting and interior components in 2011.
And since the Covid hit in late 2020, Swarovski has been restructuring and streamlining their business divisions to cope with changes. The company has discontinued production of all lighting and interior components.
Below are the 5 main characteristics that make Strass Swarovski crystals stand out from others:
Purity and Optical Clarity
Chandelier crystals are much larger in size compare to rhinestones for jewellery and accessories. Therefore the purity and optical clarity is very important to make sure the chandeliers really stand out and sparkle. Strass Swarovski crystals use the best quality crystal glass raw material with perfect purity to achieve the highest standard of chandelier crystal components.
Perfect Facet Polishing
Strass Swarovski crystals use different grit grades to machine-polish the surface of the glass to an amazing accuracy. This allows for more light dispersion and creates sharper, more brilliant facets. The facets are also cut with greater precision, which adds to the overall brilliance of the crystal.
Chandeliers are difficult to clean since they usually installed high up on the ceiling. Some even have hundreds or thousands pieces of chandelier crystals and it will take tremendous effort to clean. To address this pain-point for cleaning, Strass crystals has a patented invisible anti-dust coating to make it less likely for the crystal to have dust sticks on it due to statics.
Crystal Lead Content Above 30%
Crystal is a type of glass that contains lead oxide, which gives it a unique sparkle and refractive quality. It also lowers the working temperature and viscosity during crystal manufacturing process. For centuries, artisans have used leaded crystal to create beautiful works of art, and the addition of lead also makes crystal easier to polish.
However, due to the health hazards associated with lead exposure, the European Union has put regulations to limit the use of lead in crystal manufacturing. In recent years most Strass crystals have already lower the lead content and replaced lead oxide with other material such as barium oxide, zinc oxide, or potassium oxide. These new oxide additives helps to improve the refractive index to compensate for the lower lead content. So it is likely that the new Strass crystals has slightly less “fire” and lighter in weight, when compare to old Strass crystals with 30% and more lead content.
Strass Laser Logo Signature Marked
Every Strass crystal carries the Strass logo signature. Indelibly etched into every crystal item by laser engraving, it is visible to the consumer’s eye at first glance and guarantees the quality and originality.
The laser logo applies to clear crystal 12 mm and above, colored crystal 18 mm and above. There is no Strass signature marked with the colors arctic white, bordeaux, jet and emerald.
Spectra Swarovski Crystals
Spectra Swarovski crystal is another chandelier crystal part product line from Swarovski. Spectra crystals are lead-free, with fewer facets and less polishing processes, to provide an economical low cost choice for the chandelier lighting and crystal trimmings market.
Spectra crystals are only available as clear. The Spectra 8290 octagon crystal has different cutting design and fewer facets compare to Strass 8116 octagons. Also you can see quite obviously for the facet polishing quality difference, especially on the edges.
And same as the Strass crystal product line, Swarovski has ceased the production of Spectra crystals by end of 2020.
Strass Swarovski 8116 Cutting
Spectra Swarovski 8290 Cutting
Crystallized with Swarovski Elements
Crystallized with Swarovski Elements is a registered trademark of Swarovski in around 2010. The company used this trademark for their crystal components marketing into fashion, jewellery and accessories industries.
Then a few years later the “Crystallized with Swarovski Elements” changed to “Made with Swarovski Elements” as the company restructuring effort to consolidate different components business under a single brand name for more effective brand communication. Lighting and interior component product lines are also merged into the Swarovski Elements family.
Crystals from Swarovski
In 2015 Swarovski has changed the “Swarovski Elements” logo to “Crystals from Swarovski”. The product lines of the components remain unchanged, just the logo has upgraded from simple trapezoid shape to a more prestige “circular seal logo”, with “SINCE 1895” included.
Crystocraft with Swarovski Crystals
Since 1958 Crystocraft has been a pioneer to create giftware and ornament products with our unique sheet metal craftsmanship and Swarovski crystals. Most of our products use octagon shape 8116-14mm Strass Swarovski crystals which mostly used in lighting chandeliers. The high quality Strass octagons match extremely well with our sheet metal figurines. Our perfect mirror finishing reflects surrounding lights to the Strass octagons to make them even more glittering.
Ingredient Branding Partner
Crystocraft has been using Strass Swarovski crystals since 1980s into our products. In 2005 we joined the Ingredient Branding Partnership program of Swarovski to distinguish our product lines with other lower quality counterfeits of Swarovski crystals on the market. Crystocraft’s packaging, point-of-sale display and website included Swarovski crystal logo and we guarantee they are genuine and original from Swarovski.
The Ingredient Branding Partnership has been fruitful and we continued the partnership contract until late 2020 when Covid hit. Swarovski company needed to downsize their workforce by 6000 and they also decided to discontinue all the lighting components. That include the Strass crystals we use in our products.
Finding the Best Swarovski Alternative
Due to the Strass octagon crystals production stopped from Swarovski, our team has been investigating various crystal suppliers worldwide.
Chinese Crystals from Pujiang
The largest suppliers of chandelier crystals by sheer volume are from Pujiang China. However they mostly focus on low price glass chandelier crystals with materials like borosilicate glass, K5 and K9. These crystals from China lack clarity and fire due to the material constraint, and also color choices are very limited.
Most suppliers in China are interested to be in “low cost mass market”. This could be because this business strategy is more competitive and profitable for them due to their large capacity and relatively low production cost. The relatively niche Strass quality lighting parts market has a lot of copiers but they focus mostly to drastically cost down but sacrifice in quality. Therefore we are unable to find existing Swarovski alternatives within China, that satisfy our requirement of quality standard.
Preciosa Crystals from Czech Republic
Preciosa from Czech Republic is the second largest crystal and glass maker and closest competitor of Swarovski. They have over 470 years of crystal and glass production history and based in Bohemia region of Jablonec. Preciosa crystals are the best alternative of Swarovski. Most of the Swarovski loose crystals dealers and distributors switched to Preciosa since Swarovski announced the company restructure in late 2020.
However Preciosa focuses mainly on rhinestones for jewellery and accessories market which is more popular for crystals and beads usage. Since lighting chandelier market is a much smaller market compare to fashion and jewellery, they have a small range of sizes and colour available for lighting components. Also the existing models of Preciosa octagons are no match with the Strass Swarovski crystal quality. And they are not interested to get into the cut-throat lighting chandelier market flooded with crystals from Pujiang China.
Made with Bohemia Crystal Craft Glass Materials
Fail to find any closest Swarovski alternative, our team decided to create our own crystals in early 2021.
The journey of creating Crystocraft crystals begins with selecting the best crystal craft glass materials. Our team compared different renowned suppliers of raw crystal glass rod materials around the world from Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Japan and China. After numerous testing and trials we are most satisfied with the material supplier from Bohemia of Czech Republic (Preciosa Ornela, part of the Preciosa Group). The clarity and purity, refraction index, colour choices and quality are closest match to the Strass Swarovski.
Similar to the Strass Swarovski crystal material, the Bohemia crystal craft glass material uses other metal oxides to replace lead for compliance of EU law. And yet be able to closely match the refractive index and clarity of a leaded crystal.
Create the New Crystocraft Crystals
Dazzle Crystal Cut Proprietary Design
Our design team also developed our own crystal faceting cut pattern “Dazzle Crystal Cut” for our new octagon.
It takes the perfect combination of form and function to create a truly dazzling design. When it comes to crystal faceting design pattern, this is especially true. The proportions and angles of the facets must be carefully considered in order to create a design that is both beautiful and sparkling.
Inspired by snowflake which is a perfect example of this delicate balance. Each flake is unique, yet they all share a similar hexagonal shape. This shape allows them to reflect light in a variety of ways, creating a dazzling display of colour and refraction. Crystocraft’s proprietary 32-facet design “Dazzle-Crystal Cut” uses a careful ratio of facets to create maximum sparkle. It resonates with the purity and quality of Bohemia craft glass material to guarantee captivating sparkle and brilliance.
Production in Pujiang China
We also partnered and invested in production facility in Pujiang China to ensure the new crystals are of highest standard and quality. Our new Crystocraft crystals are already under production for months and have already phased in for our Crystocraft products since April 2022.
How New Crystocraft Octagon Crystals Are Made
Ever wonder how the new Crystocraft octagon crystals are manufactured which makes them the best alternative of Swarovski 8116?
Artisans heat the crystal glass rods until they are molten, then press them into molds. The molds give the glass its shape, and the artisans cooled the glass slowly in a temperature controlled box to prevent thermal shock.
Once the crystals have cooled, the next step is annealing process to relieve any residual stress with the crystals. This can take up to several days depending on the crystal colors which have different physical properties.
Next the crystals will be mounted on fixtures of the CNC precision grinding machine. The circular grind wheel will cut and polish the crystals into the required faceting cut and size.
- Crystals will be cleaned and mounted for fire-polishing. This process is important to give the crystals a final shinny and smooth sheen.
Seal Logo Stickers
With Swarovski discontinued most of their component lines, our Ingredient Branding Partner contract with Swarovski ended in May 2021. Swarovski can no longer supply the Strass octagons to us after they run out of stock inventory. During the transition period of switching from Swarovski stocks to our new crystals, we will put “Made with Austrian Crystal” seal stickers on our packaging for Crystocraft products with Swarovski crystals, in order to comply with Swarovski trademark policy.
All products with new Crystocraft crystals will have the seal logo sticker “Made with Bohemia Craft Glass Dazzle Crystal-Cut” on our packaging.
Made with Austrian Crystal Seal Logo
Crystocraft New Crystal Seal Logo
Swarovski & New Crystocraft Crystal Comparison
Below is a video comparison of our new Crystocraft octagon crystals and Swarovski crystal 8116-14 mm “Lily” octagon.
Our new crystals are available in 14 different colours: Crystal / Rosaline / Ruby / Golden Teak / Light Topaz / Topaz / Light Peridot / Emerald / Aquamarine / Blue AB / Medium Sapphire / Dark Sapphire / Violet / Blue Violet.
While we try to match the Swarovski crystals colours as much as possible, notice there are some with greater colour differences. For example:
- Swarovski Red Bordeaux (RE) and our Crystocraft Ruby (RE)
- Swarovski Antique Green (GR) and our Crystocraft Aquamarine (GR)
- Swarovski Blue Violet (PU) and our Crystocraft Amethyst (PU)
Preciosa is the registered trademark of Preciosa, A.S.. Swarovski, Strass, Spectra, Crystallized with Swarovski Elements, Swarovski Elements are the registered trademark of Swarovski AG. Trademarks are only used on this site to identify the products made by their respective manufacturers. We are not affiliated with any company listed in this page.