Proud owners bask in its reflected glory, light captured in its intricate designs sits coyly within delicately crafted creations, twinkling stars look ordinary in front of its sparkle, or so those inclined to purple prose would wax eloquent about Swarovski crystal. Indeed, viewed through the glittering crystal, the world does seem brighter.
It was way back in 1892, Daniel Swartz (now Swarovski) when a young glass-cutter with a keen eye and a creative mind, invented a machine that allowed crystal to be cut with accurate precision than any manual methods. In 1895, Swarovski financier Armand Kosman and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosmann, Daniel Swartz & Co, which was later shortened to K.S. & Co. The company established a crystal cutting factory in Austria and then there was no looking back. The company soon diversified in fields like the production of optical products, abrasives and grinding tools, the cutting of crystals and the manufacturing of decorative stones made from crystal, which were mostly used for the jewellery and fashion industries, as chandelier parts, as accessories and as beads and ornaments for clothing.
With a rich heritage in crystallised perfection, Swarovski soon earned a reputation of master craftsmanship and lofty imagination.
In 1973 the company produced a paperweight and a key ring in honour of the 12th Olympic Winter games in Innsbruck. A year later, designer Max Schreck gave vision to an idea that started a new product line: he built a little mouse out of chandelier parts… and serendipity struck. The mouse was an indicator of things to come. The little rodent in crystal was followed by a series of crystal animals and decorative items, among them famous crystal lovebirds. Today, Swarovski’s figurine collection Silver Crystal is a major branch of the company. The company is also renowned for its optical products. Swarovski’s binoculars and telescopes are ergonomic, elegant and quietly sophisticated. Swarovski necklaces, pins and earrings are popular worldwide. Swarovski’s crystal beads are also used to adorn dresses, shoes and handbags. By this they have entered the realm of haute-couture, movies, red carpet and luxury collectibles.
In 1995 the company celebrated its 100th anniversary by retaining its youth; the company built a magnificent theme park, Swarovski Crystal Worlds (‘Kristallwelten’) in Wattens, close to Innsbruck.