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Austrian Crystal Information

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Crystal Bead Charms for Bracelets


What is Austrian Crystal? Austria is the World capital of crystal making.  Crystal made in Austria is Austrian Crystal.  Swarovski is the leading manufacturer and distributor of Austrian Crystal, suppyling many jewelry designers and companies with loose Swarovski crystals to use in their pieces.  The beauty and sparkle of Swarovski crystal is unmatched!  Most of our crystal jewelry uses genuine Swarovski Austrian Crystal.

Where did Austrian Crystal originate?  Is it the same thing as Rhinestones?

Austrian crystal is considered rhinestone jewelry.  The original rhinestones were pebbles of rock crystal from the Rhine River (Austria's western boundary), hence the name rhinestone.  These pebbles had a beautiful sparkle an were used as adornments.

In 1775 a French jeweler named George Frederic Stras began to coat the lower side of glass with metal powder.  The resulting sparkle closely imitated diamonds.  These "gems" were not very affordable because each stone was handcrafted.

In 1892 Daniel Swarovski, son of a Bohemian gem cutter, applied for a patent that would change the world's impression of crystal jewelry forever!  The patent on his first invention, a machine that cut crystal jewelry stones with wonderful precision, would make crystal more affordable.

In 1895 Swarovski moved to Austria, where his invention could be powered by water.  He set up a factory specializing in the production of cut crystal jewelry stones. His success in producing rhinestones economically without compromising the quality of the cut was achieved.  This meant widespread acceptance in the jewelry industry.

In 1911 Daniel Swarovski and his three sons refined their methods to produce stones to a state of flawless brilliance. In 1917 the company succeeded in producing grinding wheels for cutting crystal stones to increase production capacity.

One of the most highly collectible rhinestones was introduced in 1955-- the Aurora Borealis.  This was a coating is applied to crystal stones to produce a rainbow of colors.  Jewelry featuring Aurora Borealis rhinestones is highly valued as a collectible!

In 1956 Daniel Swarovski passed away.  He was age of 94.  His company was of of Austria's largest companies and the worlds largest producer of rhinestones.

Cystal rhinestone items are still highly collectible today!  They are used in jewelry, on costumes, apparel and other accessories.  Most of the crystal jewelry is produced in Austria and the Czech Republic. 

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