As you may well be aware, I absolutely love the brilliant sparkle of Swarovski and I incorporate the perfect sparkle of these Austrian Crystals into so many of my jewellery designs. In fact, these undeniably glimmery pieces could well be your favourites too – based on what you have bought so far!
However, as a consumer, how do YOU know that what you’re getting is genuine?
Having been duped myself many moons ago when I first started making jewellery, it was clear that I had to scrutinise my supplies and my suppliers. Nowadays I buy from certified stockists in the UK and still check the crystals when they arrive at my door. Who wants substandard quality? Not me, for one.
Swarovski components are stated to be the best quality machine cut, polished crystal beads in the whole wide world and this statement screams true when you wear them and even more when you find a fake for comparison!
The high demand for these pieces brings forth a wealth of imitations and it is these dodgy imitations that can frequently be found at bead shows or online.
Hopefully, with the following advice, you too can be sure that you’re buying the genuine article both from L. K. Rosa and from any other jeweller or wholesaler you may come across. Swarovski crystals come at a greater price for good reason, don’t be led into buying something that is of lacklustre quality.
Simply follow our handy hints:
* Wholesale Swarovski Crystals are not usually strung when offered for sale. Though this is different for the Swarovski Pearls.
* Swarovski packaging is a dead giveaway – if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you might have seen this picture of a recent delivery. These packages are the original Swarovski packaging. They each arrived sealed with a tear off strip and with shiny silvery writing that says ‘Swarovski Elements’. But if you’re buying smaller quantities, your supplier might divvy the beads up into little bags or when you’re buying from a designer, say L. K. Rosa for example – then you’re not going to have this piece of mind so read on…
*Swarovski crystals are PERFECT. They are uniformly cut by a machine which ensures the precision of their height, width and the angle of their slope. Creating these identical facets every time is particularly complicated and Swarovski use computers to calculate the reflected light, make 3D mock-ups and eventually feed this information to the magical crystal-making machines. And this is only a small part of the Swarovski technology that makes their crystals so flashy and amazing.
Any imitations will not be as uniform, they certainly won’t be as shiny and they may even be different sizes. Check out my little diagram for clarity!
Clear now? No? Well, the precision that the Swarovski team work so hard to achieve allows each individual crystal to have the facet junctures meeting at precisely the same point. This is a little bit similar to cutting diamonds.
* When you hold a Swarovski crystal up to the light there will be no bubbles inside it. If you see any bubbles at all then you know it’s a fake straight away.
* Swarovski crystals are made from glass – definitely not plastic.
* A Swarovski bead will always outshine a fake. That’s dedication and technology for you!
* Swarovski crystals with an AB (Aurora Borealis) finish have no swirly patterns, oily residues or scratches unlike the fakes which will look distinctly cheap. The AB finish of Swarovski beads is just gorgeous and is inspired by the Northern Lights. The AB finish is a coating with a rainbow-ey irridescence and was invented in 1955 in partnership with Christian Dior.
* Colour names are our final piece of advice. Swarovski have their own colour names especially chosen by them. Names are not generic like yellow or purple, but are a little more emotive such as Golden Shadow or Amethyst. The colour names and swatches can all be found on their Swarovski colour chart. If you find that a colour description from your supplier is not listed on the official chart, then you should question where the supplier purchased this random colour. Suppliers usually prefer to use the Swarovski name and the correct colour name as it is a major selling point.
Hope these little pointers help you to determine a perfect Swarovski from a perfect fake and lead you into life filled with even more wonderful shimmery sparkle!
Love LKR x