History of Swarovski
Swarovski has been a leading crystal manufacturer for more than 100 years. What began as a small father and son glass factory soon expanded into a large-scale business. As Daniel Swarovski extended his knowledge and skill in the art of glass cutting, he patented an electric cutting machine that helped in the production of crystal glass. In 1895, Armand Kosman and Franz Weis, two Swarovski financiers, recognised Swarovski's potential and founded the Swarovski Company, originally known as A. Kosman, Daniel Swartz & Co., in Wattens, Austria.
Swarovski Collectors Society
The Swarovski Collectors Society (SCS) was established in 1987 and has since grown in both popularity and its number of members. As of 2010, the SCS had about 350,000 members in 130 countries around the world.
Materials Used to Make Swarovski Ornaments
Swarovski crystal ornaments are not actually made of crystal. Instead, they are made from glass that contains natural minerals, metals, and quartz sand. The material contains approximately 32 percent lead. When melted then cooled at a slow rate, the material has a shiny appearance. Many items are further coated with metallic chemicals, such as Aurora Borealis (AB), Crystal Transmission, Dorado, Aurum, and Volcano, in order to maximise light refraction and give the material a rainbow sheen.
Types of Swarovski Ornaments
There are various types of Swarovski ornaments. In addition to Christmas items, Swarovski manufacturers ornaments commemorating other festivals, animals, and babies.
Christmas Swarovski Ornaments
Swarovski introduced their line of annual Christmas ornaments in 1991. These are available in limited quantities to the general public, making them highly sought after collector's items. Swarovski Christmas ornaments are highly popular. These come in a wide array of themed designs including mittens, trees, stars, stockings, and Father Christmas hats. The Twinkling Mittens ornament is made of gold crystal accented with clear crystal stars, while the Christmas Tree ornament is made from green peridot crystal and adorned with red made from Light Siam crystal.
Additional Festive Swarovski Ornaments
Other festive ornaments include the popular Festive Hearts created for Valentine's Day and Four-Leaf Clover for St. Patrick's Day. Festive Hearts features a combination of Golden Shadow and Light Siam crystals, while Four-Leaf Clover is made of a radiant chrysolite green.
SCS Annual Ornaments
Swarovski also offers annual ornaments that are only available to members of the SCS. However, one year following the previous ornament's release date, and after the new SCS annual ornament has been released, the ornament from the previous year is made available to the general public in limited numbers, allowing non-members the chance to buy these difficult to obtain collector's pieces. So, SCS ornaments are not only an exclusive decoration, but also a great way to commemorate the year of release.
Due to the popularity of animal themed figurines, Swarovski has expanded their animal range to that of crystal ornaments. These ornaments include a violet crystal butterfly, an aquamarine crystal elephant, and a Rosaline crystal pig.
Swarovski Ornaments for Babies
In order to celebrate a baby's birth, Swarovski has a line of ornaments dedicated to little ones. These depict the images of dummies, pushchairs, and bears. The ornaments may be made from clear, light sapphire, or Rosaline crystal. For example, the bears are made of clear crystal and accented with bottles, sunflowers, bows, and other accessories in yellow light topaz or Jonquil, black jet, and Siam crystal.
Verifying the Authenticity of Swarovski Ornaments
There is a wide variety of Swarovski crystal products available, ranging from glass sculptures and miniatures, to jewellery and couture. Home decoration and chandeliers are also popular amongst buyers, as they are highly collectible. All Swarovski ornaments are branded with a logo that indicates the piece's authenticity. The original Swarovski logo was the flower, edelweiss. However, it was later replaced by an S.A.L. logo and then again in 1988 by its current logo, a swan.
Before purchasing a Swarovski ornament, buyers should certify its authenticity. This is easily accomplished by asking the seller for an authenticity certificate. All genuine Swarovski products come with a certificate as well as the merchandise packaging.
Caring for Swarovski Ornaments
Swarovski ornaments should be polished regularly with a Swarovski polishing cloth. If heavily soiled, buyers can also use a soft brush to wash their crystal ornament in a mixture of lukewarm water and mild detergent before polishing. Buyers should rinse off any remaining residue under clean running water. The crystal ornament should then be dried carefully with a soft cloth. In order to ensure a proper cleaning process, Swarovski sells its own cleaning kit. This includes a natural bristle brush with a plexiglass handle, a pure cotton polishing cloth, cotton gloves, and a small bag of crystals for an aesthetic effect. The cotton gloves are used to eliminate fingerprints on the crystal.
How to Buy Swarovski Ornaments on eBay
Buyers who would like to purchase Swarovski ornaments on eBay can start by going to the eBay home page. From there, you can enter any related key terms that define the items that you wish to find into the search bar, such as "Swarovski ornaments". For a more precise search, try entering more specific key terms, such as "Swarovski gold ornaments". Once on a search results page, you can follow the categories to further narrow down your choices.
For those who wish to browse listings within a certain price range, eBay offers an advanced search feature to help buyers to set a budget limit. This can help you to determine which sellers are offering the best deal on the Swarovski ornaments that you are interested in buying.
Know the Seller
Before purchasing a Swarovski ornament, you should get to know the seller. You can always ask to see a photograph of the Swarovski ornament if one is not readily available in the listing. This is best accomplished by using the "Ask a question" link, which allows buyers to communicate directly with sellers. You can check to see if other customers have left positive feedback on the seller's profile. Positive feedback indicates that sellers have proved that they offer good customer service and high quality products. You can also look for listings from Top-rated sellers. These sellers are known by the eBay community for providing the highest levels of reliability.
Buy with Confidence
When purchasing on eBay it is best to buy an item with a valid form of payment. A credit card or debit card, as well as PayPal, are the preferred options for payment. A buyer should never pay by cash or cheque. When considering a purchase, buyers should familiarise themselves with the forms of payment that the seller accepts. This information should be listed under the item description. All sellers are required to offer at least one approved method of payment. When the payment is by credit card, the seller never has the ability to view a buyer's credit card information. For a complete list of payment options, buyers should refer to How to Pay on eBay.
Swarovski ornaments are made from a specialised crystal glass. They are unique in their form and widely popular collector's pieces. When searching for Swarovski ornaments, buyers should always make sure that the sculpture has a certificate verifying its authenticity. Buyers should also examine the ornaments closely for the manufacturing mark, which further identifies a genuine piece. This mark may be one of three logos, depending on the item's year of creation.
In addition to learning how to spot a genuine Swarovski ornament, buyers should also bear in mind the various types of items available. Swarovski makes several themed ornament collections in addition to their popular Christmas range. They also have a range for members of the Swarovski Collectors Society. Members are able to purchase an exclusive Swarovski annual ornament, which is only later made available to the general public in limited quantities. With the wide selection of Swarovski ornaments available on eBay, buyers have their pick of some of the most unique items at some of the most affordable prices.