What is Swarovski & Preciosa ?
The name Swarovski is the family name of Daniel Swarovski, the founder. Whilst apprenticed to his father (a glass cutter) in a Bohemian glass foundry in 1892, Daniel created a prototype cutting machine and moved to patent the invention. With the help of financial backers he formed his own company, Daniel Swarovski & Co, which was established in Wattens, a town located in the Austrian Alps where there were extensive sources of wood to fuel the furnaces of the foundry and easy and inexpensive access to hydro-electric power.
Before the end of 1895, the new Swarovski Company had produced its first line of crystal glass products. Initially there were a few production problems but by the early 1900's after refinements in production and technique, the company's line of crystal glass items expanded to include crystal jewellery.
In the 1956, Daniels's grandson in collaboration with Christian Dior developed a metallic rainbow-like coating they called Aurora Borealis (AB) and in 1976 the first of their ‘Silver Crystal' figurines (a mouse) was created.
They continue to innovate as world leaders in crystal production, with shapes, colours, coatings and effects in the broadest array. Taking crystal production from it's initial uses, Swarovski have added numerous applications to the base product. Nowadays you can expect not only to see crystals on chandelier trimmings and traditional jewellery; now you can knit with crystal yarn, have crystallized wallpaper, add crystals to all manner of textile applications, and embellish almost anything and everything with crystal.
Today, Swarovski is still a family business, their crystal range includes jewellery stones and beads, many crystal ‘fabrics' and trimmings, cubic zirconia, ornaments, chandelier parts and handles. They also have several other brands such as reflective surfaces - Swareflex, grinding, cutting and drilling systems - Tyrolit, and optical lenses - Optik. All Swarovski products reflect the values of the company - respect, integrity, and a sense of responsibility toward people and the environment.They are certified according to class II of the OEKO-TEX Certificate 100.
The company's headquarters are in Feldmeilen, Switzerland and Swarovski has production locations in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UK and the US.
The Preciosa brand name was first registered in Bohemia in 1915, but the history of glassmaking in Jablonec region has been written since the 14th century. In fact, for centuries, Bohemia, a part of the Czech Republic, has been known for the art of crystal cutting.
In 1711 the Fisher brothers brought the secrets of crystal cutting and polishing to North Bohemia. In 1724, the first factory specialising in the manufacturing and export of crystal chandeliers was established in Práchen near Kamenický Šenov. Bohemian chandeliers were ordered for the Royal Courts - Versailles and Fontainebleu palaces of Louis XV, Sultan Osman III of the Ottoman Empire, and Empress Elizabeth of Russia. In 1743 Czech master craftsmen created a chandelier in honour of the coronation of Empress Maria Theresa which still bears her name. By the 1800's, Jablonec nad Nisou had become the world centre of jewellery industry. But the development of jewellery and glass companies, which were established and prospering in North Bohemia throughout this time into the 1900's, was interrupted by World War II.
In 1945 the seven main crystal factories and 18 small firms in and around Jablonec nad Nisou merged, forming the Preciosa company. Preciosa was officially established on April 10, 1948. In 1993, the company Lustry Kamenicky Senov Inc., the largest Czech manufacturer of chandeliers and lighting fixtures became a daughter company Preciosa - Chandeliers, Inc. In 1995 the subsidiary company Preciosa Figurky, Ltd. was formed in the Preciosa Group.
In 2009, the Jablonex Group divisions 'Glass and Beads' joined in Preciosa Group as the new company Preciosa Ornela Inc., adding a further diverse range of glass products made from glass rods and lampworking, technical and utility glass and all types of glass seed beads and beads.
Nowadays, Preciosa Group associates the following companies: Preciosa Inc., Preciosa - Chandeliers Inc., Preciosa Figurines Ltd. and Preciosa Ornela Inc. The company’s headquarters are still in Jablonec nad Nisou.
As a company Preciosa support the preservation of the environment , and enforce environmentally safe working conditions and ecologically responsible technologies. Preciosa crystal and glass components are certified according to the European Standard EN 71, the American norm ASTM F 963-07, and the International Standard OEKO-TEX 100.
What's the difference between Preciosa & Swarovski?
These days very little. For many years Swarovski stones were far superior to Preciosa’s but as technology improved, the differences became almost indistinguishable and Preciosa’s pricing structure made their brand extremely competitive. It's said that Swarovski tried to counteract this competition by introducing a 12 facetted stone but within months Preciosa had done the same. Then in 2004 Swarovski launched the 14 facet Xilion cut calling it “the new generation of brilliance” and the extra sparkle from 14 facets was undeniable. However, at a distance the extra sparkle of the Xilion cut seemed to override the actual colour flash of the stone so although there was a lot of sparkle, there wasn't as much colour coming through the dazzle.
Then Preciosa launched the Viva12 rhinestone. They modified the cut of the original 12 facet stone to enhance the sparkle and optically purified the crystal for extra brilliance. In our opinion the Viva12 stones were by now the most sparkly on the market while also retaining that important colour flash up close as well as at a distance. On all counts we felt that the Preciosa Viva12 stone delivered on sparkle, colour and excellent value for money for such a world-class stone.
Recently Swarovski then launched the Article 2058 Xilion Enhanced stone, and Art 2038 stone in the Hotfix range. Both have slightly higher 'tables' (especially in the Art 2058) in the centre top of the stone, making them have the appearance of diamonds more so than ever before. This makes for a very beautiful stone up close, really important if one needs a couture element for occasions such as bridal and red-carpet, or if budget is no constraint. Apart from plain Crystal where Swarovski's Art 2058 Xilion Enhanced and Art 2038 Hotfix are the brightest we've ever seen, there is still little variation from a distance in terms of sparkle and brilliance between the two brands, with Preciosa Viva12 stones just pipping Swarovski at the colour post and for a good price.
Interesting Facts about Swarovski and Preciosa
Preciosa is older that Swarovski . Then, like now, Preciosa was located in Jablonek, Czechoslovakia. Daniel Swarovski worked for Preciosa (under its previous name) in the mid-1800's. He learned all there was to learn about making crystals, and had a nice little career for himself.
Then, as in many times and places throughout history, things got ugly for the Jews. Mr. Swarovski packed up his family and left Jablonek for Austria, and set up shop.
The Swarovskis ran their crystal business, generation after generation, doing moderately well until WWII. How they have weathered WWII when almost all the other Austrian Jews were handed over, well, no information on that either. Some reckon that it's most likely because optical lenses were important for the war effort, and Swarovski made the best.
After WWII, however, Swarovski did incredibly well. Preciosa in Jablonek still made beads and crystals, but weren't able to put a lot of resources into research and development. The Soviet Union saw no compelling reason for investing in bead-making companies, though the optic portion of the company did well. Their beady customers were mostly from within, and they were largely forgotten in the West. Swarovski put a ton of money into R&D, expanded their product line, and became THE company to beat for lead crystal.
In 1989, the Soviet Union began to crumble, and by 1990, the Czech Republic was looking at itself to see which industries would be salable in the West, and provide hard currency. Unsurprisingly, Preciosa became one of the newly privatized companies that is becoming well known in the West.
Swarovski vs Preciosa vs Imitation
From our naked eye, we can’t see the different in between Swarovski & Preciosa but we can easily differentiate the imitation crystal due to its poor surface finishing & sparking. The color for Aurore Boreale Preciosa crystal is a little bit darker than Swarovski.
By comparing Swarovski & Preciosa, it is very hard to find any difference between them. Both of them are precise in their cuttings and they are evenly sparkly. However, for the imitation crystal you can see clearly the cutting & surface finishing are poor.
It`s Time to Shine!
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