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The History of Swarovski Crystal

Swarovski crystal figurines and jewelry items are renowned the world over for their breathtaking beauty and intricate detail. But believe it or not many collectors are not aware of the rich history behind the manufacturing process of these magnificent works of crystalline art.

The Swarovski company was founded by Daniel Swarovski in 1895 in Wattens, Austria. When Daniel was growing up the industrial age was well on its way. This created the perfect nurturing environment for his creative and industrious spirit. His experiments with glass cutting and machinery soon led to his invention of a machine that would mechanically cut and polish glass, a process which up to this point had been done only by hand. The company was spectacularly successful and was soon creating glass crystal for everyone from the optics industry to the jewelry and fashion industries. Their success has never diminished and continues to this day.

While Swarovski still manufactures glass for various industries and while Swarovski jewelry such as rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces are quite popular they are most well known for the stunningly beautiful collectible animal figurines they create known as "Swarovski Silver Crystal". In 1974 designer Max Schreck started a new product line rather accidentally when he built a tiny mouse out of glass chandelier parts on a whim. Soon to follow was a series of crystal animals, the most famous of which were crystal lovebirds. Today Swarovski's Silver Crystal division is a major part of the company.

How a Swarovski crystal figurine is created is a closely guarded secret. In the beginning the figurines were manufactured from random chandelier parts the company had available. This soon changed to the modern process which is quite a bit more complex to say the least. Initially the designers will study a proposed subject by going through photos, books, etc. Once a design is decided upon they create a rough model. From this point it is passed on to a team of engineers who create a series of blueprints from the model. These blueprints are of the separate pieces of the design. A team of machinists then create the tools necessary to create these pieces and bond them together. Based on how complex the figurine is there can be anywhere from 5 to 50 separate pieces required! These pieces are manufactured by pouring molten glass into molds. The glass is heated and cooled multiple times which anneals it, a process which strengthens the glass and prevents it from shattering. Once finally cooled the pieces are tested for clarity. Only an absolutely perfect piece is allowed to go onto the final stages where it is precision ground, polished and glued together with all of the other pieces using transparent glue.

This is quite an involved process and seeing how much work goes into each Swarovski figurine makes one truly appreciate the craftsmanship involved!

What you see here is a sampling of all the Swarovski crystal collectibles available for sale on eBay - many rare and retired. If you don't see exactly what you're looking for use our site search to see even more items!

Broken Swarovski Crystal 1988 Annual Edition Woodpeckers Sharing

Broken Swarovski Crystal 1988 Annual Edition Woodpeckers Sharing

$49.99

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REPLICA MOUSE, LIMITED EDITION CRYSTAL 2015 SWAROVSKI 5134826

REPLICA MOUSE, LIMITED EDITION CRYSTAL 2015 SWAROVSKI 5134826

$47.50

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SAILOR MO, LIMITED EDITION BLUE COW 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5270739

SAILOR MO, LIMITED EDITION BLUE COW 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5270739

$59.14

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Swarovski Crystal SCS 2017 Annual Edition Arcadia Grizzly Momma Bear 5229215 New

Swarovski Crystal SCS 2017 Annual Edition Arcadia Grizzly Momma Bear 5229215 New

$374.95

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SANTA'S HELPER MO, LIMITED EDITION 2017 CHRISTMAS ELF SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5286208

SANTA'S HELPER MO, LIMITED EDITION 2017 CHRISTMAS ELF SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5286208

$65.93

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Swarovski Crystal Figurine -

Swarovski Crystal Figurine - "the Lion" - Annual Edition1995 Inspiration Africa

$120.00

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Swarovski Crystal SCS Limited Edition 2006 Elephant Large - MIB COA Free Ship

Swarovski Crystal SCS Limited Edition 2006 Elephant Large - MIB COA Free Ship

$2,299.95

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Swarovski Crystal Inspiration Africa Elephant Figurine Annual Edition 1993 MIB

Swarovski Crystal Inspiration Africa Elephant Figurine Annual Edition 1993 MIB

$195.00

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SWANS SCS JUBILEE EDITION MEMBERS PIECE 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5233542

SWANS SCS JUBILEE EDITION MEMBERS PIECE 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5233542

$255.30

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Swarovski Crystal Annual Edition 1990 Lead Me

Swarovski Crystal Annual Edition 1990 Lead Me "The Dolphins"

$90.00

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Swarovski Crystal Annual Edition1991 Save Me

Swarovski Crystal Annual Edition1991 Save Me "The Seals"

$115.00

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BELLE DISNEY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST LIMITED EDITION 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5248590

BELLE DISNEY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST LIMITED EDITION 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5248590

$433.15

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HOOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS ANNUAL EDITION 2017 CHRISTMAS OWL SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5286202

HOOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS ANNUAL EDITION 2017 CHRISTMAS OWL SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5286202

$69.97

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SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL BIRTHDAY CAKE 5TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION SCS 1987-1992

SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL BIRTHDAY CAKE 5TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION SCS 1987-1992

$45.98

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Swarovski Crystal, LE 2012 ANGEL MO Limited Edition RETIRED

Swarovski Crystal, LE 2012 ANGEL MO Limited Edition RETIRED

$60.99

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