Swarovski is a luxury brand that dates back to the 1800s when Daniel Swarovski (who clearly gave his name to the brand) was born. It isn’t a secret as of today what it offers and what you can get from the amazing brand.
However, people don’t know much about the story behind the brand and how things developed.
Was Swarovski a luxury brand since the beginning, or did Daniel build up its popularity and glory? There’s a lot to cover in this article, and we will be more than happy to do so.
Just keep in mind this can take a while as we will go back to the 1860s in specific and run all the way to the present.
After all, the brand has been active for over a century, and it is worth learning as many details about it as possible before diving into its full value.
Who Is Daniel Swarovski? – Early Years
Something in common with all luxury brands is that they follow the last name of their founders and creators.
It is very hard to have a brand that doesn’t have it, especially when it made it big since some that didn’t start with it decide to change how they are known later on.
With this in mind, we need to focus on Daniel Swarovski.
On October 24, 1862, Daniel Swarovski was born in Georgenthal, a small village in North Bohemia that used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Learning a bit about North Bohemia, the place is known for its crystal glass masters and how it values the items created, which would prove to be true with Swarovski years later.
Since Daniel’s family was also involved in glass processing, he was exposed to industry and art very young. His father, Franz Anton Swarovski, and Helene were hard workers. Franz was specifically the glass cutter and who taught Daniel everything he knew in his small factory.
Although the Swarovski family business allowed them to earn a living, it didn’t allow them to live in luxury. Thankfully, Daniel was able to help his father run the business, but he was actually interested in being a musician.
However, he proved not to have that much talent for music and ended up being educated in Paris and Vienna.
During this time, he would go and meet electrical engineer František Křižík and made him interested in the field. This meeting took place at the 1883 Electricity Exhibition in Vienna.
His idea with electricity was to use it to grind glass and achieve more precision in the process.
Building Love for Electricity & Stones
After his growing interest in electricity, Swarovski developed the first electric grinding machine for glass in the world almost ten years later.
Since he knew his creation was worth a lot, he made sure to patent it immediately. Meanwhile, the idea of going for entrepreneurship was growing even more in Swarovski’s, and he was determined to pursue his own business.
However, as much as he loved his hometown, he was firm about staying away from it. He may have felt that there were too many artists to compete with him, and it wasn’t the right place to start.
As a result, Daniel visited Wattens (Austria) close to Tyrol and where Daniel decided to find the first factory. All this was between 1892 and 1894.
In 1895, Daniel Swarovski and Armand Kosman, who became his finance, founded the Swarovski Company, formerly known as A. Kossmann, D. Swarovski & Co., and shortened to KS & Co.
Swarovski’s company began producing crystal stones with the same appearance as precious stones this year and was aiming to show how valuable they were compared to the ones people were using at the time.
Daniel’s invention was much cheaper than diamonds since crystals are more affordable. This led to the demand for Swarovski crystals to soar quickly after their release.
The company was overwhelmed with orders by the start of the XX Century and was renamed “Swarovski.”
One of the beauties of the company is that it was open about the fact that his invention wasn’t diamonds from the beginning and people knew what they were buying yet didn’t notice a difference between real diamonds and precious stones.
Expanding the Company: Increased Demand
With the increasing demand for items, Swarovski was bound to expand, and with it, 200 additional employees needed to be hired. By this point, the company’s products were highly sought-after throughout Europe.
Swarovski crystal jewelry was quickly loved by the elite of Paris and St. Petersburg. The stones were also very affordable for middle-class people because the prices of crystal jewelry were not as high as real diamonds, which brought another target market to the brand.
In terms of his personal life, Daniel married Marie Weis, and they had three sons: Fritz, Alfred, and Wilhelm.
In order to help their father, they joined the company in 1908, making it a family business. Daniel Swarovski spent a lot of time with his sons trying to develop a new method for crystal manufacturing. Finally, the desired result was achieved.
But along with their new creation, the first World War came and was a turning point in the brand’s history.
Swarovski was unable to reach the U.S. market because of declining demand for its jewelry products, and even in Europe, the company wasn’t selling as well as before.
It established a subsidiary company, Tyrolit, which produces abrasives and cutting tools to address this problem.
The company began to produce crystals using new technology in the early 1920s, when the economy stabilized. Swarovski’s creations were unlike anything else in the world.
While the Swarovski brand gained popularity, competitors’ efforts failed. And despite its success without any type of collaboration, the crystals were particularly popular in the fashion world when Coco Chanel discovered them as she was using Austrian crystals in her finery.
Swarovski’s work has outperformed competitors due to numerous patents and the secret formula, which has yet to be discovered and is top-secret (as it should) in the company.
When you compare it to other brands, Swarovski’s crystals are noticeably more brilliant than diamonds, which is why they can be difficult to distinguish from them.
Many believe that crystals with lead have a “shining effect.” This is not the only way to achieve shine. Swarovskis are the only ones who know about crystal cuts and how to make sure the final result is stunning.
By this point and being at the top of the industry, Daniel decided to experiment in a new area instead of only producing luxury products.
Daniel created the Swareflex division in 1929. This division was responsible for making special glass reflectors that could be used in automobiles and were quite popular among individuals.
World War II & Daniel’s Death
WWII was a turning point for many people. Although it is not known what happened to the company during the war, we know that the company continued to work as Swarovski opened up a new market in America.
However, with missing information, it’s not clear how Daniel Swarovski managed to make sales in the United States during this time, considering Austria was leading the war on Hitler’s side.
Despite this, this Austrian company was well-received during its opening in the country.
As you already know, life stabilized slowly after the war. Luxury goods started to rebound, and with them, Swarovski was also producing unique crystal elements.
Wilhelm, one of Swarovski’s sons, founded the Swarovski Optik KG in Absam, Tyrol, in 1949.
Wilhelm was 47 years old when he founded the company and decided to open it due to his passion for being “closer to the stars,” as he loved astronomy. This inspired him to create his own improved binocular.
The events of WWII and the entrepreneurship of his son came with Daniel Swarovski’s death on January 23, 1956. He was 93 years old.
The family business was doing well thanks to the effort of its founder and several members that were taking part in decision-making. Fortunately, this means it wasn’t affected by his death by definitely dearly missed.
Where Swarovski Stands Today
After Daniel’s death, Manfred Swarovski, his grandson, took over the family business’s management in the 1950s.
Manfred Swarovski led the company in a new direction and created the famed Aurora Borealis crystals with Christian Dior.
This collaboration with Dior marked a new era in close collaboration between the crystal company, the fashion industry, and the rest of the world.
The company’s product range grew over time as well. Swarovski’s new trend was to produce crystals for chandeliers and new elements in décor.
Swarovski also began making collectible souvenirs, such as glass sculptures and miniatures. Crystal mice were the first glass sculpture.
Officially and following the idea, The Swarovski Collectors Society was established in 1987 to provide Swarovski crystal collectors with exclusive benefits and services. The Society today has over 550,000 members from 40 countries.
Also, the crystal company is known for being a great addition to the luxury industry as it offers more than the common crystals everyone is used to.
Although some prices have increased over the years, it remains to be affordable for the middle-class and not only items that rich people can get.
Swarovski has a strong reputation and image today. It is, therefore, a very prestigious company and if you have one of the items, treasure it the most. It also has a worldwide network of stores.
What will be the company’s future plans? We don’t know the future. We can confidently say that Swarovski is on the right track considering its current position on the international stage.
This company will continue to produce unique products around the world and probably expand to new items.
What Makes Swarovski So Unique?
If we have to give you a personal opinion: The fact every single piece is polished, and you wouldn’t even notice the difference with diamonds or other precious stones.
Swarovski has made sure to introduce this crystal concept to the point where their method to cut the stones and make the pieces are luxuries in the first place. After all, no one would believe crystal could be used in this way and made precious.
If we now have to move to what people consider about the brand, that would include an in-depth consideration for the process.
To begin with, many have been trying to discover how the company makes sure to produce such outstanding products.
It is a fact that competitors or people may never be able to solve the mystery due to the way the secrets are kept in the company. However, some secrets were shared over the years.
It is now known, in particular, why crystal stones sparkle so brightly. This is due to the high lead oxide content (32%). It is present in the normal rhinestones but in smaller quantities.
The typical rhinestones have a lead oxide content of 24%. The secret to a unique crystal polishing technique has not been discovered by anyone whatsoever, which makes the knowledge for the oxide content to be worthless without the right way to cut and polish the crystals.
The company makes sure to have a secret and confidential policy quite tight regarding this, and it’s not surprising that creators of crystal models destroy all records if they want to maintain their uniqueness in the market.
This is done to ensure that there are no duplicates of certain unique models, and in addition, you must know the brand makes all its tools work with the crystals.
Prices: What Can You Get from Swarovski?
This is a pretty good question considering that some people say they visit the store and are unable to buy anything.
However, we believe it is a matter of browsing more than just looking at the featured items or letting people blind you with the stunning yet expensive items.
Since Swarovski is all about crystals, you can expect the items to be around them. But besides the traditional jewelry, you can also find decorations, watches, and other collections.
As usual, we will be covering the average for most of the merchandise so you can have a look at what you may be able to purchase.
- Jewelry: This section often includes bracelets, necklaces, pendants, chockers, and full sets, but also earrings and rings. Prices start at $75 and go up to over $5,000.
- Watches: These prices vary depending on the main materials used to manufacture the watch as they have precious crystals, but the main material is either gold, rose gold tones, stainless steel, leather, or metal. Prices often start at $250.
- Decorations: Season collections like Christmas and Fall are always released and include animal sculptures, figures, glasses, picture frames, ornaments, stands and holders, magnets, and more small and large items. Prices start at $25 and go up to $400.
- Accessories: This includes hair accessories for iPhones, handbags, masks, sunglasses, and more. They range from $20 to $2,450.
Special collections or old ones vary in prices depending on the established in the company.
Also, you may have a hard time coming up with items that are in stock for the first two product lines since many run out of stock in no time. But the browser will simplify your search.
Celebrities Choose Swarovski Over Diamonds
That’s a bold statement, but one we don’t regret making.
Swarovski has proven to be a strong competitor to brands with precious stones. Even when people love them, the amazing crystal designs and more items are favorites, especially among wealthy ones.
Since new collaborations with fashion brands have taken place, the company has made sure to be involved with sponsorships and endorsements.
Many celebrities have also claimed to love the brand and how shiny the items are. If we were them, we would do the same.
Some artists and figures we can mention include Heidi Klum, Penelope Cruz, Emma Roberts, Marilyn Monroe, and Paris Hilton are only a few.
It is worth noticing that Swarovski has its own Atelier collection when it uses precious stones like rubies, which added more value to the jewelry and items purchased by celebrities.
To add a few more names, Taylor Swift, Miranda Kerr, Charlize Theron, Karlie Kloss, and several male artists from Japan and Korea have made the items more popular over the years thanks to their glamour, design, style, and how the swan logo is global today.
In our opinion, it is worth buying any of the products from the company, and it will be quite hard for you to even notice a difference.
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