How to tell a real Swarovski from an imitation?

Swarovski® Crystal components are regarded as the highest quality machine cut and polished crystal beads in the world. The demand for luxury products unfortunately can create a host of imitators. 

How to tell a real Swarovski from an imitation

The Swarovski® company creates its crystal with a special compound that imitators cannot duplicate. This special compound creates the incredible brilliance of their product. The delicate color palette is another quality that sets Swarovski® crystal components apart from others.

With so many crystal beads and components out there, how can you tell if the crystal you are purchasing is actually a Swarovski® crystal component....or an imitation?

Here are some tips that can help you determine which crystals are genuine:

  1. Swarovski® crystals are generally not strung when offered for sale.
  2. Look for the original Swarovski® packaging. Dependant on size, the bulk packages will range from 10 gross to 1/2 gross, in well-branded, sealed envelopes. The newest Swarovski® bulk packaging is sealed with an authenticated silver toned hologram saying "CRYSTALIZED." Unless sold by the Dealer in smaller packets.
  3. Swarovski® crystals are perfectly uniform. Since they are machine cut, each crystal is the same. This means that the height, width and slope are consistent. A hand polished imitator bead will not have as uniform a cut. You may also notice different dimensions from bead to bead.
  4. Swarovski® uses machinery that precisely cuts each crystal. According to Swarovski®, "cutting hard materials such as crystal and gems, in such a way that they have a hundred identical facets in several directions, is a very complicated task; each direction of the reflected light must first be calculated by computer, then this has to be simulated in 3D, optimized and finally converted into control programs for complex machinery." This is just part of the technology that gives Swarovski® crystals their unbelievable flash.
  5. The precision cutting of Swarovski® machinery allows each crystal to have its facet juncture "pointing up". This means the facet junctures all meet at precisely the same point. This is a similar aspect of diamond faceting. See the illustration above.
  6. AB finish Swarovski® crystals have a uniform surface luster.  The "imitations" often have scratches unless stated as seconds.  Some of these imperfections, in the "imposters", have to do with the lower quality of the finish.
  7. Because of its special crystal compounds, Swarovski® crystal will out-sparkle a bead of lesser quality when placed in a side-by-side comparison.