Swarovski is the brand name for the range of precision-cut lead-crystal glass and related products produced by Swarovski AG of Wattens, Austria. These beautiful beads were first created in 1892 and transformed Victorian jewellery design. Today, these pretty crystals are as popular as ever in jewellery making and are ideal for making a complete range of items from earrings to necklaces, bracelets and broaches.
In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski crystal beads are coated with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis is one of the most popular coatings and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance. This makes Swarovski crystal beads a perfect accompaniment to any type of finding as the beads catch the light and really do sparkle with an iridescent shimmer. They are particularly popular used as charms and are incredibly easy to incorporate into even the most simple of designs.
To make your own charms using Swarovski crystal beads, you only need the most basic of jewellery making equipment. And you don’t necessarily have to use them to make jewellery either – they can also be used to add a special sparkle to clothes or even mobile phone covers. All you need to make simple charms are a pair of round nose pliers, flush cutting pliers, a selection of crystal beads and perhaps some accent beads to add a flourish to the design, silver or gold jump rings and silver or gold eye or head pins. Decide on the design you’d like to create using a combination of Swarovski crystals and accent beads. String the beads onto a silver or gold head or eye pin, depending on your design. Leave enough length at the end of the pin so that you can make a loop for hanging and use the flush cutters to trim any excess wire from the end of the pin.
Use the round nose pliers to bend the remaining wire into a loop to finish off the charm. The smoother the loop, the better and stronger the charm will be. If you’re able to solder skilfully you can give a more professional finish by soldering the join in the loop to secure your charm properly. Once you have several charms you can then string them together to make a ‘cluster effect’ necklace or sew them onto a jumper or cardigan to give it a new lease of life and added sparkle. Swarovski crystals are incredibly easy to use and look stunning for very little cost.
Good suppliers of crystals will carry a wide selection of colours and effects and the crystals have become so popular that there are even artists creating large sculptures incorporating the iridescence and shimmer of these simple but beautiful beads into their work. They are particularly good for children’s jewellery projects as the bright colours and tactile nature of the crystals appeals to younger jewellery enthusiasts. The best way to discover the nature of these crystal beads is to buy a bag and just sit down and create your own designs with them. The only thing that limits you is your own imagination, so let it run wild and see what happens!
Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of cooksongold.com. Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of jewellery making supplies from over 10,000 products including Swarovski crystal beads, jewellery tools, precious metal clay, gemstones and gold and silver sheet – gold, platinum and palladium plus technical information for jewellers, jobbers, designer, craftsmen, artisans and students.
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Cheapest place to get swarovski crystal beads?
I have recently started making swarovski crystal jewelry (earrings,necklaces, and bracelets) and i would like to know what the CHEAPEST out of all the websites are. I know about firemountaingems.com, but i just want to know if there are any cheaper places. P.S im not buying alot alot, im buying around 15-30 packs of beads, thats it. 🙂 Thank you!
The cheapest website for Swarovski that I’ve found so far is BlueMud – www.bluemud.com . They have a discount system that gives you a percentage off based on how much you would spend before discount. Their first discount level starts at $50. I’ve been happy with every order I’ve gotten from them.
Using a basic example (4mm amethyst bicones – I just used the first colour I came across) to compare BlueMud and FMG’s prices: http://www.bluemud.com/5328-4mm-Amethyst-48-Pack-P2964.aspx vs. http://www.firemountaingems.com/details.asp?PN=H203182CY .. BlueMud’s prices at the base level are better than FMG’s at the second discount level (50-199), for that particular bead.
I’m not sure which beads you’re looking for.. I don’t know if all of their prices are better (for every shape and size of bead), but I think it would be worth your while to check it out. Since you only want to order 15-30 packs – that only puts you in the first discount level (15-49) with FMG, right? (Unless you’re buying other things as well.)
Good luck with your shopping!
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