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The history of the brand's appearance is directly related to the name of Daniel Swarovski. It seemed that any self-respecting Bohemian had his own, albeit small, but glass workshop.
Daniel's father was also engaged in polishing small jewelry and finishing crystal. And Daniel, who worked in the family business, dreamed of becoming a great violinist.
In 1880, the young man went to Paris to study engineering. There, an observant guy noticed how quickly imitation diamonds are becoming popular. These stones were called rhinestones. This name appeared thanks to the famous swindler Georges Frederic Strass. A jeweler who lived in the 18th century passed off faceted crystal shards as real diamonds. And it was a hundred years before the birth of Daniel.
When the World Electrotechnical Exhibition was held in Paris, Daniel Swarovski got acquainted with the new possibilities of electrical mechanisms. With this knowledge in mind, he decided to create a machine for grinding crystal and glass and their subsequent faceting. The result is the world's first electric sander. It happened in 1891. Such a machine made it possible to process a much larger number of stones and crystals than manual labor. Outwardly, the resulting products looked much better than Bohemian glass and crystal. As a result, the stones did not differ much from the precious ones.
However, with the knowledge gained, Swarovski was in no hurry to return home, because there he was waiting for tough competition with the craftsmen of Bohemia. And electricity in this area was not cheap. Daniel found an abandoned factory near Innsbruck, in the village of Wattens. The aspiring industrialist was attracted by the opportunity to use the resources of a hydroelectric power station in the Tyrolean mountains. And today the Swarovski company uses this resource to the utmost. At this plant in 1895, the production of inexpensive crystals was launched, whose appearance so resembled real precious stones. And so the company was born.
At the same time, Daniel himself was engaged in the design of his jewelry, creating, in fact, a new process for making crystal. He was able to deduce the optimal combinations of initial mixtures to create stones of extraordinary transparency, which, moreover, were not afraid of machine cutting. The new composition consisted of soda, red lead, potash and quartz sand, mixed in the right proportions. Nobody else in the world could create such a thing. As a result, Swarovski crystals sparkled like real diamonds. The master himself remained honest, never hiding the fact of imitation. After all, he was sure that the crystal itself possesses a distinctive beauty.
Swarovski was able to put on the stream secular splendor and prestige, as well as the right to be chosen and other fantasies that are born in people at the sight of precious stones. The diamond market had to be narrowed. Fashion instantly reacted to the appearance of such clean and inexpensive stones. Such jewelry has ceased to be considered bad form even among the royals of Europe. And the demand for "crystal like diamonds" from Swarovski was off the charts! The factory received so many orders that the master was forced to expand and hire additional personnel.
Thus, Swarovski quickly acquired literally worldwide fame. The most famous people considered it an honor to wear rhinestones from this brand. Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe adorned their evening dresses with these stones. And Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli were the first to show fashion models with decorations in the form of crystal rhinestones on the catwalk. Even today, the most fashionable European couturiers do not hesitate to use sparkling Swarovski stones in their collections. Rhinestones adorned the stage outfits of Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Brian Ferry. Even the queen of shocking Vivienne Westwood had in her collection a pirate-style dress embroidered with Swarovski crystal stones, imitating ropes. Christian Lacroix adorned his watch with rhinestones. The brand has been guaranteeing the highest quality of products for more than a hundred years.
Daniel's eldest son, Wilhelm, was fond of astronomy. He personally created binoculars with special aspherical lenses. This ensured a high definition of the image. This is how a division of the Swarovski Optician company appeared, whose binoculars are not cheap.
In the middle of the last century, Daniel's grandson, Manfred Swarovski, managed to come up with a technology for creating multi-colored crystals. Those stones sparkled with all the colors of the rainbow. Fashion immediately reacted to the appearance of new, multi-colored rhinestones.
And in 1976, the Swarovski company opened a new production for itself - the production of crystal figurines. They were decorated with the corporate emblem in the form of edelweiss, but since 1988 the mountain flower has been replaced by a swan. The standard collection already contains more than a hundred thousand different shapes of stones that can only be used in costume jewelry. Round stones can be from 1 to 30 millimeters in diameter. And when grinding, from 16 to 56 faces can be created, depending on the place where the stones are used. Today, every 4 out of 5 jewelry manufacturers work with Swarovski stones. This company is the world leader in the production of crystal and crystal products.
Daniel Swarovski left as his heirs not only a thriving business, but also a whole philosophy. According to it, the company constantly invests huge money in research and development. Both the raw materials and the cutting tools are made by the company itself. And those tools, documents and materials that were used to create collectible items are completely destroyed. After all, the family business is very jealous of its secrets. Swarovski's headquarters, like a hundred years ago, is located in small Wattens.
Many have tried to uncover the recipes for making Swarovski stones and the secrets of the brilliant cut. However, no one succeeded in this. We can only note some features. It is already clear that the stones shine and play in the light due to the presence of lead oxide in them. Its content in rhinestones is usually up to 24%, in glass - only 6%, and in Swarovski crystals - 32%. The stones owe their chic shine not only to the chemical composition, but also to the careful grinding of each facet. The rhinestones have a standard shape, the same size of the upper edge, there can be no talk of any chips and turbidity.
And the play of light is formed precisely due to the lateral edges. Their number may vary, depending on the manufacturer. It also determines the play of light, and hence the brilliance of the stones. Swarovski crystals have the largest number of side faces - 7 wide and 7 narrow, the total number is 14. This cut increases light reflection by 15% relative to 12-sided crystals and 23% compared to 14-sided stones with the same planes. This winning cutting technology is patented by Swarovski.
An important point is the polishing of the edges. For them to create the effect of "magic", the edges must be as clear and sharp as possible. It's hard to polish all the edges, no one does it. Nobody but Swarovski. The reverse side of the rhinestones also has a silver-mirror backing, which only increases the play of light and shine. Another Swarovski family secret is the glue with which rhinestones are attached to the substrate. It can be cloth, glass, mirror, metal or plastic. As a result, owners of a Swarovski product can be sure that their rhinestones will never come off.