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Swarovski (/swɒˈrɒfski/; German: [svaˈrɔfski] (About this soundlisten)) is an Austrian producer of lead glass (commonly called crystal) headquartered in Wattens, Austria. The company is split into three major industry areas: the Swarovski Crystal Business, that primarily produces lead glass jewelry (commonly called crystal jewelry) and accessories; Swarovski Optik, which produces optical instruments such as telescopes, telescopic sights for rifles, and binoculars; and Tyrolit, a manufacturer of grinding, sawing, drilling, and dressing tools, as well as a supplier of tools and machines.

IndustryFashion, crystal, jewelry
FoundersDaniel Swarovski
Armand Kosman
Franz Weis
HeadquartersWattens, Austria
Key people
Markus Langes-Swarovski, Robert Buchbauer, Nadja Swarovski
Productscrystal, genuine gemstones, created stones, accessories, and lighting
Number of employees
Approx. 32,000 (2016)

Today, Swarovski Crystal Business is one of the highest grossing business units with a global reach of approximately 2,800 stores in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and a revenue of about 2.6 billion euros (in 2016).



Daniel Swarovski (1862–1956), the founder of the company

Daniel Swarovski was born in northern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), 20 km from the current border with Poland.[1][2] His father was a glass cutter and owned a small glass factory. It was there that the young Swarovski served an apprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass.[3][4]

1899 advertisement for Kosmann, D. Swarovski & Co., featuring the edelweiss flower in its logo

In 1895, Swarovski, financier Armand Kosman, and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosmann, D. Swarovski & Co. and shortened to KS & Co.[4] The company established a crystal-cutting factory in Wattens, Tyrol (Austria), to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes Daniel Swarovski had patented. Swarovski's vision was to make "a diamond for everyone" by making crystals affordable.[4][3][5]

In 1899, it first used the edelweiss flower in its logo and expanded to France, where it was known as Pierres Taillées du Tyrol ("Cut stones from Tyrol"). In 1919, Swarovski founded Tyrolit, bringing the grinding and polishing tools from the crystal business into a different market.[4]

In 1935, Swarovski's son Wilhelm created a customized pair of binoculars, which led to the launch of Swarovski Optik 14 years later. Swarovski Optik manufactures optical instruments such as binoculars and telescopes.[4]

Nadja Swarovski, the founder's great-great granddaughter, is a member of the Swarovski executive board.[6] In 1977, Swarovski entered the jewelry market in the United States.


The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal glass sculptures and miniatures, etc.

The Swarovski Crystal range includes lead crystal glass sculptures and miniature, jewelry and rhinestones, home decor, and chandeliers. It is best known[citation needed]for its small animal figurines.

All sculptures are marked with a logo. The original Swarovski logo was an edelweiss flower, which was replaced by an S.A.L. logo, which was finally replaced with the current swan logo in 1988.[7]

Crystal glass is produced by melting a mixture of quartz sand, minium, potash and soda at high temperatures.[8] To create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with special metallic chemical coatings. For example, Aurora Borealis, or "AB", gives the surface a rainbow appearance.[9] Other coatings are named by the company, including Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, Shimmer, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X, etc.

In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).

The Swarovski Group includes Tyrolit (makers of abrasive and cutting tools); Swareflex (reflective and luminous road markings); Signity (synthetic and natural gemstones); and Swarovski Optik (optical instruments such as binoculars and rifle scopes).

In 2014, Tristan da Cunha issued a five crown Christmas coin where the reverse has a small Swarovski crystal set in the guiding star behind a colour picture of one of the magi.[10]

Swarovski have created a line of liquid and solid perfumes.[11]

The company runs a crystal-themed museum, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site (near Innsbruck, Austria). The Crystal Worlds Centre is fronted by a grass-covered head, the mouth of which is a fountain. The grass-covered Crystal Worlds Centre houses exhibitions related to, or inspired by, the crystals but do not include explanations of how the designs are made, produced or finished. The museum is the second most visited tourist attraction in Austria.

Swarovski work was exhibited at Asia's Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair based on the concept of a single continuous beam of fragmented light travelling through a crystal.[12]

Subsidiary companiesEdit

Atelier Swarovski
Fashion and jewellery designers. Viktor and Rolf, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Fredrikson Stallard have each designed collections for Atelier Swarovski.[6]
A crystal chandelier manufacturer.
A road safety products specialist.
Crystal-based animal and other figurines, ornaments and fashion accessories.
A Swarovski holiday ornament from 2016
Swarovski Crystal Palace
Avant-garde lighting and design (chandeliers etc.)
IRIS by Fredrikson Stallard for Swarovski Crystal Palace (2011)
Swarovski Entertainment
Swarovski's movie branch
Swarovski Gemstone Business
Gemstone designs.
The centerpiece of the theme park
Swarovski Kristallwelten
Museum, Art and Entertainment.
The Swarovski-crystal-covered Christmas tree at the Toronto Eaton Centre in 2006
Swarovski Lighting
Finished lighting products and solutions[buzzword] with crystal for architecture.
Swarovski Optik
Swarovski Professional
Crystal elements produced by Swarovski
Touchstone Crystal
Swarovski's direct sales company for ready-made jewelry
A manufacturer of bonded grinding and cut-off wheels.


In 2007 Swarovski formed a partnership with electronics giant Philips to produce the "Active-Crystals" consumer electronics range.[13] This includes six USB Memory keys and four in-ear headphones, and in 2008 they included Bluetooth wireless earpieces for the brand, all with some form of Swarovski crystal on them as decoration.

Figurines and collectiblesEdit

Swarovski's figurines are collectible[citation needed], with a stylized mouse being the very first figurine created. A smaller version of this mouse, now labeled the "replica mouse", is still sold. Swarovski Elements crystals were included in some collectible silver coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2009.[14]

In November 2014, Victoria's Secret revealed its re-design of the Heavenly Luxe perfume bottle with Swarovski crystals[15]

Sponsorship and placementEdit

Swarovski owned the Austrian football club FC Swarovski Tirol from 1986 to 1992.

Since 2004, Swarovski has provided the 9-foot-diametre (2.7 m), 550-pound (250 kg) star or snowflake that tops the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree in New York City.[16] Smaller versions of this are sold as Annual Edition ornaments.

Swarovski was a sponsor for the 2004 film The Phantom of the Opera, in which the "standing model" of the chandelier was composed of Swarovski crystals. A Swarovski shop window is visible later in the film. However instead of using the edelweiss flower, which would have been the case in the era the film was set, the current swan logo was used.[citation needed]

The 2009 documentary film This Is It showed Michael Jackson rehearsing for a concert tour, featuring costumes covered in Swarovski crystals.[17]

Swarovski is product-placed in the 2011 J-Lo promo video for the single "On The Floor", alongside Crown Royal Whisky and BMW. It is also product-placed in the 2012 Nelly Furtado's Big Hoops music video.[citation needed]

Swarovski are sponsors of the Pakistan Super League from the 2017 season.[citation needed]

In 2018, Celebrity Chef Nadiya Hussain, TV personality Katie Piper, and CoppaFeel founder Kris Hallenga, were announced as Swarovski's latest ambassadors, and starred in the brand's ongoing #BrillianceforAll campaign.[18]


Swarovski has worked with Victoria's Secret and their Fashion Show.[19] Also, the American Singer Madonna wore a Swarovski Crystal Dress in her Rebel Heart Tour while performing her song Music[citation needed]. Rihanna also wore an entire Swarovski Crystal Dress in her appearance at the American Grammys.[citation needed] Michael Jackson's crystal glove was also Swarovski.[citation needed] The ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz were also made with red Swarovski crystals. All the jewelry from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were Swarovski crystal as well. They were not actual diamonds.[citation needed]

In 2017, Swarovski commissioned a $60,000 Art Deco-styled dress in the style of her famous "nude dress", from Berlin-based fashion tech company ElektroCouture to honor Marlene Dietrich 25 years after her death. It contains 2,000 crystals in addition to 150 LED lights.[20] ElektroCouture owner Lisa Lang said that the dress was inspired by electrical diagrams and correspondence that took place between the actress and fashion designer Jean Louis in 1958. "She wanted a dress that glows, she wanted to be able to control it herself from the stage and she knew she could have died of an electric stroke had it ever been realized." The dress created by Lang's company was featured in French-German broadcaster Arte’s documentary “Das letzte Kleid der Marlene Dietrich” ("The Last Dress of Marlene Dietrich").[21]


Swarovski signage and logo at its store at Delhi airport.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pederson, Jay. (1988). International directory of company histories, St. James Press, p. 422.
  2. ^ "Kryształy Swarovskiego". Arande (in Polish). Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  3. ^ a b Callan, Georgina O'Hara; Glover, Cat (2008). The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers, Thames & Hudson, p. 248.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Our Company: Our History". Swarovski. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  5. ^ Campbell, Gordon (2006). The Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts, Volume 2, Oxford University Press US, p. 407.
  6. ^ a b Szmydke, Paulina (28 February 2014). "Viktor & Rolf to Design for Atelier Swarovski". WWD. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  7. ^ Swarovski Crystal Worlds Archived 2009-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. Ninemsn. October 25, 2007.
  8. ^ "How Are Preciosa and Swarovski Crystals Made? | Crystal Parade Blog". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  9. ^ Dodds, Jo-Ann (November 20, 2004). "A real gem off the beaten path." Toronto Star.
  10. ^ Coincraft catalogue P473 of 2016
  11. ^ "Free Swarovski Gift - Special Offers ↓". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13.
  12. ^ "Swarovski Crystallized Paris". Marmalade London. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  13. ^ "Swarovski, Philips, unveil 'Active Crystals'." Press Trust of India. September 24, 2007.
  14. ^ Royal Canadian Mint 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.
  15. ^ Victoria's Secret Heavenly Fragrance
  16. ^ "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: 6 Things You Didn't Know About New York's Most Famous Evergreen". Forbes. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  17. ^ Moore, Booth (1 November 2009). "'This Is It' movie showcases Michael Jackson's fashion comeback". LA Times. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  18. ^ Calder, Emma (15 May 2018). "Swarovski partners with UK personalities to encourage female empowerment". Professional Jeweller. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  19. ^ "See the VS Fashion Show Outfit That Boasts 450,000 Crystals". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  20. ^ Knowles, Kitty (2018-05-01). "ElektroCouture: Inside The Fashion House Behind Swarovski's $60,000 Light-Up Dress". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  21. ^ Tran, Quynh (2017-04-10). "Marlene Dietrich's Fashion Tech Vision". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 2019-01-30.

External linksEdit