Updated: Oct 24, 2020
There are many types of pearls available including natural pearls, simulated and imitation pearls. They all are beautiful in their own way and which type of pearl I select for my work depends on the outcome I am looking for. My focus on the use of pearls has been with natural and crystal pearls. In this post I would like to explain just what Swarovski crystal pearls are.
Crystal Pearls by Swarovski are pearls made with a crystal core. It is the first production method in the world to combine the quality of a perfect crystal core with the beauty of a pearl coating. Swarovski’s innovative technology gives the pearl a mysterious glow, which appears to be radiating from within the pearl itself.
The Beginnings of Swarovski
In 1862, Daniel Swarovski was born in Bohemia to a family that owned a crystal-cutting company. Now part of the Czech Republic, the Bohemia region has a rich history of crystal crafsmanship. In 1883, Daniel formed a jewelry company and by 1886, they had over 70 employees, and supplied jewelry for Queen Victoria. In 1891, Daniel registered a patent for the crystal cutting machine that he created and in 1895, moved from Bohemia to Wattens, Austria to begin crystal production.
For a history of the Swarovski crystal family go here: Swarovski Crystal Family History.
In 2000, Swarovski introduced the pearl with a crystal core, providing the weight, texture and shine of a natural pearl, combined with the quality of a Swarovski Crystal. Swarovski continues to partner with fashion designers and architects to innovate and create new designs pushing the capabilities of crystal design.
Swarovski pearls aren't produced inside an oyster
Swarovski pearls aren't actually produced inside an oyster! Instead, they're referred to as "simulated pearls." They feature a crystal core, giving the pearls a realistic weight, while a special coating helps to give them a realistic appearance.
Swarovski Crystal Pearls have luster similar to a natural pearl, a flawless surface, a consistent color, and a similar weight to that of a natural pearl. The coating is even and thick; it is unlike cheap fake pearls where the coating can be scratched or peeled off.
I have made a number of beaded ropes using Swarorvski crystal pearls. They come in wonderful colors, including several shades of white and gray, as well as blue, green, black, silver and even some iridescent colors (which are not in my color wheel). I generally use 3mm pearls, as they work into a rope very nicely. There are some rope designs that incorporate several sizes of beads and they result in an interesting rope design.
Pearls come in four categories:
1. Natural (spontaneous) pearls
2. Cultured pearls: pearls induced by human intervention, by insertion of a pearl nucleus (usually a polished mussel shell) into the pearl oyster (Mikimoto, etc.)
3. Simulated pearls: glass or other cores with a nacreous coating, occasionally of powdered mother of pearl. (Majorica, Swarovski Crystal Pearl, etc.)
4. Plastic or other pearlescent beads.
Swarovski Crystal Pearls are not the only simulated pearls of good quality. Majorica pearls have a long history in this field, as well.