In the past few years, Swarovski has done some online only jewelry exclusives just weeks prior to the Christmas holiday season. Yesterday, the crystal giant sent out emails about the Swarovski Rice Siam Set, stating that this is a limited edition jewelry set of just 500 pieces and available this weekend only.
Swarovski Limited Edition Rice Siam Set
The Swarovski Rice Siam Set consists of a necklace and matching pierced earrings. This limited edition is available online only December 2nd and 3rd at their web site shoppe. The retail price of the Rice Siam Set (identification # 1193976) is $125.
The Rice Siam Set is rhodium plated with a pave cross shape suspending a red siam crystal stone. It looks like a nice addition to any holiday outfit for the upcoming holiday parties!
Although I don’t recall seeing any official news about Swarovski’s weekend special in advance of yesterday, I believe they there were 3-4 of them in 2010 and 2011, so be sure to watch your email for more Swarovski Limited Edition opportunities in the upcoming weeks!
In July, there was a formal announcement about the 2012 Steiff Swarovski Cookie, which is a limited edition holiday teddy bear.
Limited Edition in 2012, Swarovski Steiff Bear Cookie
Swarovski Steiff Cookieis a limited edition bear, available only in the USA. This exclusive Steiff Cookie has a maximum production of 1500 units, that retail at $310 each.
Cookie the Holiday Bear sports a Swarovski Twinkling Gingerbread Man around her neck, so it seems probable that Swarovski collectors and Steiff collectors will show sufficient interest for this bear to be a sell-out, though I have no facts to support this thought.
The Steiff USA web site and stores in North America are accepting orders for this Swarovski teddy bear. Sunny-Bears.com is offering Steiff Cookie at a slightly lower price during the pre-order period.
Last year, Swarovski launched 2 Skull figurines as a part of the Soulmates group. They are unique, and the crystal fanatics that have talked to us, don’t seem to want the Swarovski Skulls in their crystal cabinet.
After release of the Skull figurines, Swarovski began releasing men’s jewelry with the Skull motif: pendants, cufflinks, keyrings, and more. I found a total of 21 product offerings in the online Swarovski Shoppe when I queried “Skull”.
Here’s a summary of the product taken directly from the Swarovski web site:
Limited to just 199 pieces, this unique fashion accessory makes a very special gift for modern men. Perfect for charging or transferring data to your phone, it comes with a USB cable and is compatible with the iPhone® 4 and 4S (iPhone® is a trademark of Apple Inc). The skull shines darkly in Jet Hematite crystal with a ruthenium finish metal face. It is engraved with the individual Limited Edition number.
It’s a good thing that Swarovski didn’t make too many of these….when the iPhone 5 was released in September, Apple changed the charging port from a 30-pin adapter to a “lightning” adapter. That means that the Swarovski iPhone Skull will not work with the newest iPhone 5 models.
I recently heard that Swarovski was changing the contents of the Silver Crystal formula to be “lead free”. So if it might become virtually lead free, does that mean that it contain(ed) lead? Well, yes, it contained lead, more than 30%! If you look on some older labels of Swarovski figurines, it can be clearly seen “> 30% Pbo”.
Swarovski Label showing Lead Content
Hearing of a possible formula change, I sought the crystal giant for official answers about a lead free Swarovski crystal, and here is the information received….
We are pleased to confirm that Swarovski has developed a new formula for crystals, which we call “Advanced Crystal”™. These cryse crystals continue to have the radiance, joy and sparkling abundance that Swarovski is famous for throughout the World. They are made using the same high quality standards that we always use.
Whilst the precise details of the change are proprietary, we are pleased to confirm that this is a natural development for Swarovski. It continues our long term commitment to innovation, to the environment and to developing sustainable products.
Advanced crystals can be used and adapted for use in exactly the same way as any of the crystals that we have previously produced. We believe that this is an exciting development for Swarovski and reinforces our reputation as the market leader for product innovation, product development and for manufacturing the highest quality crystals. This also applies to all figurine products, such as Silver Crystal.
Far-reaching developments are afoot at Swarovski, with the announcement of a dramatic change to the DNA of its crystal. By September 2012, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS will have its entire assortment switched to the new ADVANCED CRYSTAL standard a patented, lead-free** formula that is much more than merely compliant with the strictest laws on the planet. Hassle-free, rigorously tested and completely reliable, it is quite simply the most advanced crystal composition on the market today, providing perfect peace of mind.
* Crystal glass and all other materials containing 0.009% lead or less.
Please note that for our figurines you will still find both variations in the markets and that our new innovative crystal recipe results in a lighter weight, there is however no optical or visual difference
Please note, that the brilliance, the light dispersion etc. are not solely defined through the crystal composition but also determined by precision cutting, polishing and purity of raw materials all areas in which Swarovski takes a leading position in the industry.
I found out that the recipe change applies to both clear and colored components used in assembling figurines.
Since the modification took place this year (2012), that means that old-stock figurines may be purchased with the original leaded content, and that new nearly lead-free identical figurines can be purchased. The only difference is that the “Advanced Crystal” figurines may weigh slightly less. The famous Frauenhofer institute in Germany tested and confirmed that old recipe figurines and “Advanced Crystal” figurines have the same visual and optical resemblance.
It would be interesting to set two identical Swarovski crystal figurines, one with leaded content and one with nearly lead free content, side by side to see if any of us thought we could tell any differences!
We are excited to be celebrating 2 years of blogging on the Kristall Buzz. This Swarovski Blog was the first of its kind solely posting Swarovski news, events, and articles for Swarovski collectors. The Kristall Buzz launched on the web in October, 2010.
Today, I took a quick photo of the Swarovski SCS Anniversary Cake for a quick picture posting to @CrystalExchange Instagram to use with our anniversary announcement. Also known as the Swarovski Birthday Cake, this figurine was created to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of the Swarovski Collectors Society in 1992. This Swarovski cake is about 2” tall, and originally retailed for $85. It came in a special white cylinder with its own certificate featuring a picture of the cake on it. (It is not generic product booklet.) At present, the 5th Anniversary Birthday cake sells around $175 on the secondary market.
Shortly after the Instagram post, one of our loyal customers emailed me an edited version of the Instagram photo reflecting our special occasion. This picture of the cake was digitally edited to show 2 lit candles on our cake!
Our appreciation goes out to our readers for the compliments on our Swarovski Blog. And a special thanks for our yummy crystal cake with the pair of burning candles!
The first SCS figurine in the Fabulous Creature trilogy was the Swarovski Unicorn. Like some of the previous trilogies, Swarovski offered an optional display stand for 1996 AE crystal figurine as well.
The Fabulous Creatures Unicorn stand measures 6” in length. It originally retailed for $45. The Unicorn Stand Box features a line drawing of the Unicorn, so any collector easily confirm when the stand is in the correct box.
The Swarovski Unicorn Stand is 2 colors with an opaque plastic piece for the Unicorn base. The remainder of the Unicorn Stand is painted wood: mostly black with a forest green trim along the very bottom edge. Trying to describe it any further would be difficult, so it is best to rely on the picture.
Swarovski SCS Unicorn Stand
The identification # for the Swarovski Unicorn Stand, as established in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski and recognized by other professional brokers is # DO1X961S.
As time has passed, we have notice the black paint peeling or chipping on the corner edges. This is one place in particular that crystal fanatics should look at when buying a SCS Unicorn Stand for their figurine display.
At present, there are not many SCS Unicorn Stands available on the secondary market or at auction. Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books recommends an insurance value of $210, based on research done in January 2012. Recent trends on the secondary market indicate trading prices in the $130 – $175. At the online auctions, there were some completed auctions near $50 for stands, and those stands were minus original factory packaging. In summary, the replacement value of the Swarovski Unicorn Stand will vary greatly depending on condition (good paint vs peeling paint) and whether or not original factory packaging is included.
The first crystal figurine in the Swarovski SCS “Fabulous Creatures” trilogy was the Swarovski Unicorn. The Unicorn is a mystical creature, the 1st non-natural figurine that Swarovski has produced for an SCS figurine. The purpose of the Swarovski Unicorn Box is to safely protect the crystal figurine while it is not on display.
The SCS Unicorn is the first SCS figurine to be ‘double-boxed’. The crystal Unicorn is situated in a white box, containing the SCS logo. This white box has a fuzzy green plastic liner form-fitted to the Unicorn. The white box measures 7” x 7” X 3”. The white box is placed into a larger box, held in place by foam glued to the outer box, that is approximately 10” x 10” x 4 ½”. On the 4 sides of the box, in 11 different languages, the text states” Annual Edition 1996 “Fabulous Creatures” – The Unicorn. The Fabulous Creatures Unicorn Box (meaning the set of 2 boxes) can be found using reference # DO1X961B, which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski Price Guide. There does not appear to be a factory-assigned identification number printed anywhere on the box, inside or outside.
Swarovski SCS Unicorn Box (Complete Packaging)
In the photo, #1 is the inner Swarovski Box for the Unicorn. #2 is the outer Unicorn Box. #3 shows the SCS Unicorn placed in the inner box (with the fuzzy green insert), which is located inside the padded outer box. The slot on the left side of the outer box is to hold the Unicorn Certificate in place.
The SCS Unicorn Box is not presently available at Crystal Exchange America; It would be in the Empty Boxes category. Previously, the SCS Unicorn packaging (includes both boxes) has sold in the $40 – $100 price range. Collectors should use care when purchasing the Unicorn in the online auctions or after-market sales agents that they are indeed getting all original packaging, and not simply the inner box.
SCS membership had significantly increased over the years…..crystal fanatics were fully engulfed in collecting and secondary market values were at an all-time high in the late 1990’s, which indirectly encouraged collectors to continue spending money on Swarovski, especially the SCS annual editions. The Swarovski Unicorn was well-liked and by now, collectors knew that to retain and increase in value (which was true at that time), the box and certificate must be saved and included for resale on the secondary market.
Swarovski SCS Unicorn Certificate for the 1992 Fabulous Creatures Unicorn
As time passed, the Swarovski annual edition certificates changed to include even more languages The Swarovski Unicorn certificate was now printed to include the “Certificate” wording in eleven different languages: English, German, Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Flemish, Chinese, and Japanese.
The genuine Swarovski Unicorn Certificate measures 4 1/8” wide and 8 ¼” tall. The picture on the front of the certificate matches the picture on the Unicorn Box.
The Swarovski–assigned reference number is printed in a very small font on the back side of the certificate. Officially, the Swarovski Unicorn certificate is DO4MM96XX. The Fabulous Creatures Unicorn Certificate can also be found using another reference # DO1X961C, which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski insurance price guide.
SCS Swarovski Unicorn Certificate is readily available at this time at Crystal Exchange America, the range of $50 – $75. However, there is never any guarantee that the Fabulous Creatures Unicorn Certificate will be easy to find, so we do urge collectors to buy Swarovski SCS AE figurines as a complete package including the original box and certificate.
Swarovski ‘s fourth SCS trilogy is the “Fabulous Creatures” series, which was in the late 1990’s era. The initial Fabulous Creatures crystal figurine is the Swarovski. All the crystal figurines in the “Fabulous Creatures” series are mythical creatures, making this series unique based on human interpretation, existing sculptures, or drawings, and not based on nature itself.
Swarovski Fabulous Creatures Unicorn, 1996 SCS AE
The Swarovski Unicorn was available for purchase only in 1996 by collectors who had a membership in the Swarovski SCS Club. The Swarovski Unicorn measures about 4 1/4” long. It is a clear figurine with a long frosted spiraling horn, frosted goat’s beard, frosted mane, and frosted tail. The SCS Unicorn is lying on its stomach.
The Fabulous Creatures Unicorn was known using the Swarovski identification numbers DO1X961 and 191 727. This SCS Unicorn contains what the crystal brand calls the ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’, which is included for the sake of authenticity. Since Martin Zendron was the designer, it is his initials “MZ” and the year “96” can be seen on the underside of the Unicorn .
Having such a long and fragile protrusion, the Unicorn horn is the most common form of damage or breakage. We have seen or heard stories from a large number of clients who report the horn has come unglued, or a simple tap to it during cleaning has caused it to break off. Sadly, this is an expensive component for Swarovski restoration experts to replace. Oftentimes, the cost is close to that of purchasing a replacement Swarovski Unicorn in mint condition.
The crystal brand has produced one other Unicorn other than the 1996 SCS Unicorn. This other Swarovski Unicorn was part of their Silver Crystal product line. This Unicorn is standing on all 4 legs and has a short horn. The identification # for this Swarovski Unicorn are 7550 000 013 / 630 119. It was produced 2004 through 2009 at a retail price of $300.
The SCS Swarovski Unicorn retailed for $325 USD in 1996. The purchase price included the crystal figurine, a custom box for the figurine, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity). While the resale price of the Swarovski Unicornsurpassed to nearly $700 shortly after 2000, a mint condition figurine, complete with original packaging can generally be purchased on the secondary market for original MSRP, from Swarovski expertdealers, like Crystal Exchange America.
The free web site www.RetiredSwarovski.com shows a list of Swarovski Lovlots that are scheduled to retire by the end of 2012. The list contains just over 30 Swarovski Lovlotsfigurines that will not be offered at Swarovski.com or boutiques in 2013.
Swarovski Lovlots Bo Bear So Brilliant Retiring in 2012
Included in the Swarovski Lovlots Retirements list are:
7 Happy Ducks
7 Kris Bears
3 Limited Edition Mos
To me, the biggest surprise was to see the Swarovski Lovlots Bo Bear So Brilliant in the list of retirements. Why? Because the Bo Bear community was just launched in July, 2012. This means that Swarovski is offering this figurine for less than 6 months. While the crystal brand has never advertised this Lovlots as a Limited Edition figurine, I think it certainly could have been! My curiosity is now a bit peaked about the actual quantity produced given its brief availability.
For a more complete list of 2012 Swarovski Lovlots retirements, RetiredSwarovski.com is the place to go. To purchase retired or Limited Edition Swarovski Lovlots, check out the “Lovlots and Zodiac” category at Crystal Exchange America’s web site.
Swarovski fanatics are constantly seeking that rare find, and hopefully at an affordable price. The more rare the find, the more exciting that it is! One such rare Swarovski find might be the Swarovski Pentagon Paperweight, that is seldom found at an affordable price for most collectors.
Swarovski Pentagon Paperweight
Jimer at Swan Seekers Network sent us an article from her newsletter archives about this figurine for collectors who are uncertain about what the rare Swarovski Crystal Pentagon is.
From Maret Webb, who originally wrote about a Pentagon found in Italy, basically shared this: The large Pentagonal crystal, Swarovski item # 9456, weighs 2.2 lbs was designed in March, 1977. Another one was later located in Arizona.
One thing that both paperweights had in common was literature, written in German. The translation of the literature they ascertained was…. The original examination date for the design was March, 1977. No one knows for certain if that was a production time or design time since it contains the Swan logo, which was not introduced until 1989. The category description for the Pentagon is “ready product” from the ‘main program’. The literature in German further indicated that the item was produced in Factory #1, which was surmised to be in Wattens.
10 colors of vaporization effect are listed as available, as well as the opportunity for an emblem. (Crystal Exchange comment…these are likely to be the same 10 colors that we find on the colored paperweights like carousels, rios, and pyramids). Suggestion of the emblem leads one to believe that this was a presentation type piece that could be customized upon order and that this is further reference to consultation with the customer.
The Pentagon comes in a very nice box with metal hinges and a latch. The box sides can somehow be removed, leaving the Pentagon on a blue velvet pedestal for display.
No one knows how many were ever produced, but they are seldom seen. The literature makes reference to a minimum order of 240 units, but it is not clear if that was for the order of which the Pentagon came from or for new orders at that time. Referring back to the group designation “ready product” , one may conclude that the factory produced 240 units at a single time, which would then be available for customization.
A special thanks goes out to Jimer at SwanSeekers.com for the Swarovski Pentagon article!
I have regularly seen this Pentagon Swarovski Paperweight on ebay, since Feb, 2012. The ebay seller generally advertises with a Buy It Now price of $5700 – $6000 USD. I have not seen this item sell, despite the numerous attempts.
The third crystal figurine in the Swarovski SCS “Mother and Child” trilogy was the Swarovski ‘Care For Me’ Whales. The Whales were an enchanting figurine demonstrating a new mother and her young whale calf over an ocean wave. The purpose of the Swarovski Whales Box is for protection and storage of crystal figurine.
The SCS Whales Box is a big white cylinder with silver-gray end caps. It is similar to the Turtledoves Box and Dolphins Box, and Seals Box at a glimpse. On the Whales cylinder, collectors can read the text ‘Annual Edition 1992 “Care For Me” – the Whales in English and in 5 other languages on the cylinder container. The Swarovski Whales Box can be found using reference # DO1X921B, which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski Price Guide. The factory-assigned identification number cannot be found on the cylinder.
Swarovski SCS Whales Box
The foam in the cylinder is designed exclusively for the Swarovski SCS Whales figurine. This particular setup employs a single piece of hinged foam with cutouts to perfectly fit the Whales. The Whales Certificate is simply placed on the top foam prior to placing the lid covering.
The SCS Whales Box can be found at Crystal Exchange America in the Empty Boxes category. One is available at this time for $125. The Care For Me Whales box includes the original foam insert.
When the Whales were introduced as the 1992 SCS Annual Edition, SCS membership was steadily increasing in numbers. More Swarovski fanatics were becoming members in this exciting Swarovski Club.
The authentic Swarovski Whales Certificate was the second certificate to be like a stapled pamphlet, with each page featuring a different language: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Flemish, and Chinese. The certificate has a mostly-white cover and measures 5.5” high and 3.5” wide. The first page of the Whales Certificate features a picture of the Annual Edition, which can be matched up with the picture on the Swarovski Whales Box.
Swarovski SCS Whales Certificate for the 1992 'Care For Me' Whales
The reference number for the Whales certificate, assigned by Swarovski, is located on the reverse side of the certificate in a tiny font. Officially, the Swarovski Whales certificate is DO4MM92XX. The Whales ‘Care For Me’ Certificate can also be found using another reference #DO1X921C, which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski insurance price guide.
With respect to availability and replacement value, the SCS Swarovski Whales Certificate is not presently available at reputable broker site or auction sites in the USA. At Crystal Exchange America, the last ones sold were in the range of $50 – $100. Crystal Exchange America recommends buying Swarovski SCS AE figurines as a complete package with original box and original certificate.
The 2012 Swarovski Disney figurines are quite lively with their new coloring and will certainly allow for Disney fanatics to get in on the Swarovski Crystal-collecting action!
In 2007, Swarovski and Disney collaborated to launch a (mostly) clear series for these same four Pooh friends. All the Swarovski Disney crystal caricatures in the clear series were designed by Mario Dilitz. The figurines with identification numbers and retirement dates are:
Swarovski also produced a title plaque for the clear Swarovski Disney Pooh friends: Winnie the Pooh Title Plaque – 9100 000 083 / 905 772. The plaque was also designed by Mario Dilitz and retired in 2010.
If you like the new colored figurines, place your order with Swarovski.com or any authorized retailer. If you prefer the clear Swarovski Disney figurines, those would have to be purchased from a secondary market dealer like Crystal Exchange America.
The Swarovski Whales is the third crystal figurine of the second Swarovski trilogy is the “Mother and Child”. All SCS crystal figurines in this series were designed by Michael Stamey, and to date, is the only trilogy by a single designer.
Swarovski 'Care For Me' Whales, 1992 SCS AE
In 1992, the Swarovski Whales could be purchased by SCS crystal collectors who possessed membership in the Swarovski Club (SCS). The Swarovski Whales measures about just over 4” in height. This crystal figurine features a clear mother whale and a clear baby whale, with a gentle wave under them.
The SCS Whales contain what the crystal brand calls the ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’, which is included for the sake of authenticity. It is simple to see the designer’s initials “MSt” and the year “92” on the bottom side of the wave. “MSt” is used for Michael Stamey’s initials since MS is used for Max Schrek (Lovebirds)
The ‘Care For Me’ Whales can be identified using the Swarovski part number DO1X921 or system number 164 614.
In addition to the 1992 SCS Whales, Swarovski has released a number of crystal whale figurines:
Swarovski Whale – 7628 080 000 / 014 483. This Swarovski Whale was available 1987 through 1991. It can be found with either the Block SC Logo or the Swan logo.
Swarovski Walter the Whale – 9460 200 023 / 680 508. This small blue whale was in the Swarovski Crystal Moments line, and was available in 2005 and 2006 only.
Swarovski Young Whale, SCS – 9100 000 338 / 1 096 741. This is the companion whale to the 2012 Swarovski Annual Edition Whale designed by Stefanie Nederegger.
A quick comparison of the 1992 Swarovski Whales to the 2012 Swarovski Whale reveals these primary differences:
‘Care For Me’ Whales is a SINGLE figurine. Paikea Whale and Young Whale are 2 separate figurines purchased individually.
‘Care For Me’ Whales are completely clear figurines. Paikea Whale and Young Whale are Shadow crystal with Crystal Moonlight accents.
The SCS Swarovski Whales retailed for $265 USD in 1992. The purchase price included the SCS crystal figurine, a white cylinder with fitted- foam specific to the Whales, and a Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity (Swarovski COA). Presently, the Swarovski Whales, in mint condition, complete with original packaging can generally be purchased on the secondary market for $305 – $345 from professional Swarovski expertdealers, like Crystal Exchange America.