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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!

Swarovski Crystal Figurine MINI MO KAKADU RED Limited Edition 2015 5144207 New

Swarovski Crystal Figurine MINI MO KAKADU RED Limited Edition 2015 5144207 New

$27.90

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Swarovski Crystal , 153850 - Annual Edition 1990

Swarovski Crystal , 153850 - Annual Edition 1990 "Lead Me" - The Dolphins

$101.00

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Swarovski Crystal Inspiration Africa The Lion - 1995 Annual Edition

Swarovski Crystal Inspiration Africa The Lion - 1995 Annual Edition

$200.00

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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

$436.86

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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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Swarovski Crystal 1992 Annual SCS Edition

Swarovski Crystal 1992 Annual SCS Edition "Care For Me - The Whales Mother

$89.00

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Swarovski SCS ARCADIA BEAR 2017 ANNUAL EDITION NEW CRYSTAL FIGURINE 5229215

Swarovski SCS ARCADIA BEAR 2017 ANNUAL EDITION NEW CRYSTAL FIGURINE 5229215

$399.95

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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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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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New SWAROVSKI Crystal Lovlots Fred On Broadway Discontinued Limited Edition 2012

New SWAROVSKI Crystal Lovlots Fred On Broadway Discontinued Limited Edition 2012

$39.90

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SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL HOT CHILI MO COW LIMITED EDITION MINT IN BOX

SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL HOT CHILI MO COW LIMITED EDITION MINT IN BOX

$36.98

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ARCADIA BEAR SCS ANNUAL EDITION MEMBERS PIECE 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5229215

ARCADIA BEAR SCS ANNUAL EDITION MEMBERS PIECE 2017 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 5229215

$398.94

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Swarovski Crystal Figurine Annual Edition 2011 POLAR BEAR SIKU 1053154 New

Swarovski Crystal Figurine Annual Edition 2011 POLAR BEAR SIKU 1053154 New

$430.00

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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 1089977 Ltd Online Edition Silver Gray Satin Hare Bunny Rabbit

Swarovski Crystal 1089977 Ltd Online Edition Silver Gray Satin Hare Bunny Rabbit

$79.95

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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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SHINY BLACK MINI MO LIMITED EDITION CRYSTAL LOVLOTS 2015 SWAROVSKI 5125941

SHINY BLACK MINI MO LIMITED EDITION CRYSTAL LOVLOTS 2015 SWAROVSKI 5125941

$28.45

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NIB SWAROVSKI Crystal Annual Edition 1998

NIB SWAROVSKI Crystal Annual Edition 1998 "Fabulous Creatures" The Pegasus

$135.00

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Swarovski Silver Crystal CENTENARY SWAN - 100 Years Commemorative Edition - NIB

Swarovski Silver Crystal CENTENARY SWAN - 100 Years Commemorative Edition - NIB

$125.00

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Swarovski Crystal Figurine MINI MO SCUBA BLUE Limited Edition 2015 5125948 New

Swarovski Crystal Figurine MINI MO SCUBA BLUE Limited Edition 2015 5125948 New

$28.80

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Vintage Swarovski Crystal Figurine 1988 Woodpeckers Annual Edition MIB

Vintage Swarovski Crystal Figurine 1988 Woodpeckers Annual Edition MIB

$399.99

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