Monday, July 18, 2011

What's the Difference? Swarovski Crystal Beads or Glass Beads?

Faceted Glass Beads
Did you know typical glass beads don't contain lead or only minimal traces of it? But when lead is added to the equation and you've got crystal, the amount of lead can be as small as 1% to be considered crystal in the jewelry making world, but how much lead it contains also determines it's quality. The more lead, the higher the quality. Did you know that Swarovski crystal contains at least 30% lead or more? Making it the highest quality crystal worldwide.

Faceted Swarovski Crystals

 Lead adds weight to glass, lead is also what makes crystal reflect light. The higher the lead content, the more light and colors it reflects. The light-reflecting quality of plain glass pales in comparison to Swarovski crystal. Unlike glass beads, Swarovski crystals are uniform in shape in size. They are cut with precision and polished using high-tech machines also used to cut gemstones. These machines use a process similar to diamond cutting to facet the crystal, which ensures no bubbles or scratches are left inside the bead.

I really had no idea what huge differences there were in these two beautiful types of beads before starting jewelry making. I have come to love both the colors and qualities of glass and crystal beads, I really enjoy using both elements in my pieces. I hope this blog has shed some "light" on this subject for you.


  1. I love Swarovski. They just add so much more sparkle and color to any piece of jewelry =) I buy it whenever I can mainly if it is on sale or I see a piece I just have to have =)

    Thanks for stopping by our blog! =) I think I'm a new follower......blogs are giving me problems this morning =/

    Thanks for sharing the information, I didn't know that! We learn something new every day =)

    I do love the Swarovski crystals, I buy them every chance I get now when they go on sale or something =) Or I see something I just have to have haha

    I didn't know the fact behind it though, it was nice to read this and see =)

    I like glass too but if I can then Swarovski just adds so much more color and sparkle =)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! New GFC fan! =)

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  2. Ok pardon the funky comment above. =/ Blogspot is messing with me today =( Those were two seperate comments. One never posted just disappeared so I did a different one then they both appear together ....=/

  3. That's ok about the comments, technology can be a little funny sometimes. I totally agree about the crystals and I didn't know most of this stuff either so it was enlightening to learn about and share. Thanks for stopping by.

    I don't think it caught you as a follower... maybe it slipped through. :)

  4. I followed your link over from Trina's cake topper page (aren't her things marvelous!). I enjoyed reading about crystals VS glass. Who knew? Thanks for sharing your the info. BTW, I was over at your Etsy site and you have some lovely things! I'm also a jewelry maker and I really like your work!

  5. @Melobeau, YES Trina's stuff is absolutely amazing. So crazy what can be done with clay and some creativity. :) Thanks for stopping by and going by my store also. Do you sell on etsy too? Or blog? If so, leave your info. I'd love to check it out.



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