Swarovski History

Swarovski (Austrian) Crystal is considered by many people to be the finest quality, full-lead crystal made today. It contains a minimum of 32% lead, making the crystal optically very pure. The crystal is then faceted with tremendous precision, creating beautiful prisms. Brilliant colours and/or coatings are added to these crystals to create pendants, stones, and beads of dazzling beauty and tremendous variety of shapes and sizes. Swarovski Crystal is unmatched in quality and distinction.

Swarovski Crystal in all its facets

When Daniel Swarovski first brought a sparkle to crystal, over a hundred years ago, he could never have imagined what a development he was setting in motion. With fantasy, intuition and technical finesse, he and his ancestors have managed to expose all the facets hidden within this fascinating material. Today, sparkling Crystal Components in thousands of colours, shapes and sizes provide a fantastic palette of inspiration for designers and manufacturers.

Timeline

1862 - Daniel Swarovski - The play of light in crystal must have fascinated Daniel Swarovski from early childhood. He was born in 1862 in Bohemia where crystal defined life in his parent's house. Bohemia, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was one of the most important manufacturing centres for glass and crystal. Crystal was also cut in his father's small factory.

As a young boy Daniel often watched the work in his father's business. Later he completed his apprenticeship with his father, as well as at several other crystal-cutters. When, at the age of 21, he visited the "1. Elektrische Ausstellung" (First Electrical Exhibition) in Vienna, he had the idea of his life: the new techniques from Siemens and Edison inspired him to develop a machine for cutting crystal. He worked day and night at realising his vision. Finally, nine years later (1892), he was ready to register a patent - a machine which, for the first time, made it possible to cut crystal to perfection. It was far faster and more precise than the manual work to date.

Thus began a new era in the world of crystal. The foundations had been laid for today's company. Daniel Swarovski together with his brother-in-law Franz Weis and with Armand Kosmann founded it in 1895.

1960 - The first sales team is founded in Kaufbeuren, Germany. Today the worldwide distribution of Swarovski products is organised by 44 of our own distribution companies together with our trade associates.

1972 - Swarovski is the main supplier of the popular "Moodstone" which changes colour according to the mood of the person wearing it.

1995 - To cut hard materials such as crystal and gems in such a way that they have a hundred identical facets in several directions is a very complicated task. Each direction of the reflected light must first be calculated by computer, then this has to be simulated in 3D, optimised and finally converted into control programs for complex machinery. In 1995, thanks to the latest computer technology, Swarovski was able to perfect this type of hi-tech fine cutting technique.