HOW TO IDENTIFY A SWAROVSKI STRASS PRISM ..........
At the top of each crystal (where the hole is), you will find the logo etching of Swarovsk--see photo. Every crystal component over 18mm in size (USED TO) carry the Strass signature (with the exception of Emerald and Bordeaux) etched into each item using a laser technique.They have also introduced a Bordeaux Blue-Limited Edition-and it also does not have the Logo.
Swarovski has had many logos,(the Block,Swan,etc) since the 60's to tell the difference between other manufacturers. Watch out for copy cats and imitations! The logo assures that you have purchased the highest quality of crystal available. ALL of the Swarovski 8558 crystal balls have 8 rows of facets which distinguishes them as Strass. (My sample image is an #8558 crystal)
There are a few changes being made by Swarovski.
Due to large increases in energy costs (which constitutes a major factor in the production of crystal)-Swarovski prices have been increased in the last few years.While most items have increased 3-10% the following items have been increased considerably:
Hearts -8781- 28 and 40mm(20mm discontinued)
Stars -8815 - 20,28,40 and 50mm
Moons -8816- 20,30 and 50mm
Shell- 8817- 28 and 40mm
Starfish -8818- 28 and 40mm
Snowflakes -8811- 20,25,30 and 35mm
Leaf -8805- 26,32 and 45mm
Production of these 8000 series has stopped already and they have moved to the 6000 series.(Jewelry category).Also the 6000 series(above stated crystals) WILL NOT have the laser etched Swarovski Strass signature logo.(We may still have a few of the crystals with logos available but they have stopped production at the beginning of the 2008)
Some simple facts:
Swarovski Strass is 32 % leaded crystal
Swarovski Spectra is non-leaded
From most expensive to least:
For Swarovski crystal balls 8558 is 8 rows of facets-32% leaded-logo etched
--------------------------8550 is 6 rows of facets-32% leaded-logo etched (this is the crystal we had previously called "the nipple"---nothing nasty----just THAT is what is looks like.
---------------------------8551 is 6 rows of facets-no lead-no logo
Bordeaux and Emerald Swarovski crystals are NOT logo etched (I don't know why....)
Crystal becomes crystal when lead is added to glass.The % of lead varies.Most manufacturers are 24%-30% leaded (or non leaded).Swarovski has the highest lead content of 32%.
If you see 33% leaded...beware...as there is no such value.(I have only seen 33% leaded on EBAY!)
Swarovski does sell a cheaper version of Non -Leaded Crystals.These are called Swarovski Spectra.These DO NOT have the Logos and are not leaded-so they are not quite as brilliant-but it is still optically pure.The lead helps refract the sun for greater rainbows. Swarovski crystals also have the most facets.
Hope this guide will help you in buying your next crystal.
Swarovski has discontinued many of their colored crystals. They are now considered retired ,included are stars,moons,starfish,hearts and several others in the 6000 series.
Any questions, please let me know, but if if can wait until after the game, I would REALLY appreciate it.