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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!

SAILOR MO, LIMITED EDITION BLUE COW 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5270739

SAILOR MO, LIMITED EDITION BLUE COW 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5270739

$61.28

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Swarovski Crystal SCS 2017 Annual Edition Arcadia Grizzly Bear Cubs 5236593 New

Swarovski Crystal SCS 2017 Annual Edition Arcadia Grizzly Bear Cubs 5236593 New

$257.95

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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

$436.86

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Swarovski Crystal Figurine Annual Edition 2012 PAIKEA WHALE 1095228 New

Swarovski Crystal Figurine Annual Edition 2012 PAIKEA WHALE 1095228 New

$410.00

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SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL RETIRED LOVLOTS LIMITED EDITION THEO BLACK CAT IN CONTAINER

SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL RETIRED LOVLOTS LIMITED EDITION THEO BLACK CAT IN CONTAINER

$69.99

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

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

$379.95

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SWAROVSKI Crystal BELLE & ENCHANTED ROSE Limited Edition 2017

SWAROVSKI Crystal BELLE & ENCHANTED ROSE Limited Edition 2017

$615.49

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KING & QUEEN MO, LIMITED EDITION COW SET 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5270746

KING & QUEEN MO, LIMITED EDITION COW SET 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5270746

$111.62

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Swarovski Crystal SCS 2012 PAIKEA WHALE 1095228 New In Box MIB Annual Edition

Swarovski Crystal SCS 2012 PAIKEA WHALE 1095228 New In Box MIB Annual Edition

$409.95

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ELSA DISNEY FROZEN QUEEN CRYSTAL LIMITED EDITION 2016 SWAROVSKI  5135878

ELSA DISNEY FROZEN QUEEN CRYSTAL LIMITED EDITION 2016 SWAROVSKI 5135878

$470.25

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Swarovski Crystal Lovlots Pinky Mo 888950 Limited Edition 2007 New In Box

Swarovski Crystal Lovlots Pinky Mo 888950 Limited Edition 2007 New In Box

$99.99

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REPLICA MOUSE SET -3 CRYSTAL MICE- LIMITED EDITION 2016 SWAROVSKI 5243778

REPLICA MOUSE SET -3 CRYSTAL MICE- LIMITED EDITION 2016 SWAROVSKI 5243778

$115.85

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Swarovski Crystal SCS 2012 Young Humpback WHALE 1096741 New Box Annual Edition

Swarovski Crystal SCS 2012 Young Humpback WHALE 1096741 New Box Annual Edition

$199.95

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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

Swarovski Crystal "Care For Me" - The Whales SCS Annual Edition 1992 MINT IN BOX

$119.00

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ARCADIA BEAR SCS ANNUAL EDITION ARTIST SIGNED 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5384050-S

ARCADIA BEAR SCS ANNUAL EDITION ARTIST SIGNED 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5384050-S

$398.94

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1987 SWAROVSKI SCS MEMBERS ONLY ANNUAL EDITION CRYSTAL FIGURINE LOVEBIRDS W/BOX

1987 SWAROVSKI SCS MEMBERS ONLY ANNUAL EDITION CRYSTAL FIGURINE LOVEBIRDS W/BOX

$700.00

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Swarovski Crystal 2017 ANNUAL EDITION LARGE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT 5257589

Swarovski Crystal 2017 ANNUAL EDITION LARGE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT 5257589

$59.95

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SWANS SCS JUBILEE EDITION MEMBERS ARTIST SIGNED 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5384054-S

SWANS SCS JUBILEE EDITION MEMBERS ARTIST SIGNED 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5384054-S

$259.30

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SWAROVSKI MOUSE, LIMITED EDITION CRYSTAL 2015

SWAROVSKI MOUSE, LIMITED EDITION CRYSTAL 2015

$24.95

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