Acronyms continue to be the norm is today’s fast-past environment and abbreviated language used in texting in other situation with writing constraints. In online auctions, due to the limitation of characters in item titles, it is very common to see abbreviations used in the titles. While the majority of Swarovski collectors understand the acronyms, I’m sure there are still a lot of inexperienced bidders (aka newbies) on the scene. I have also seen acronyms misused in titles, so I thought I’d do my best to explain the acronyms, provide history, and offer cautions on the use of them.
Swarovski MIB – Swarovski Mint in Box. This means that the Swarovski figurine is in original factory condition complete with Swarovski Box. MINT implies free of damage. However, this gets a bit trickier on the very old candleholders (and other figurines) where it is fairly common to see “pin pricks”, rough edges, or on large items where it is not unusual to see bubbles. While these “pin pricks”, rough edges and bubbles still passed Swarovski’s standards of perfection to ship product to the retail stores, some crystal collectors will not accept these characteristics in a figurine described as MINT Swarovski.
Also, the box should be the CORRECT box for the figurine. This is easiest to discern when the Swarovski product identification label is still attached to the Swarovski cylinder or Swarovski box. The box included should NOT be ‘just any’ box with the Swarovski logo on it.
Swarovski NIB – Swarovski New in Box. Swarovski BNIB – Swarovski Brand New in Box.
I don’t feel there is any significant difference in item descriptions for items that are NIB or BNIB. I do question that if an item is retired, should it really be described as a NIB Swarovski figurine or BNIB Swarovski figurine? When I think of NEW, I don’t think of pre-owned, retired, or previously displayed crystal figurine. I think of a current product or new release coming from a store or online retailer. I’d bet that a lot of sellers would disagree with this perception, but what about the buyers? Again, that’s just my opinion.
Swarovski NRFB – Swarovski Never Removed from Box. I personally have never cared for this description for a Swarovski crystal figurine. Can the owner REALLY say that the figurine has never removed it from the box? They don’t honestly know whether or not their retailer displayed it. Or if it was purchased on the secondary market what the previous owner did with it. If it is a NRFB Swarovski figurine….was it ever inspected to know if it was in Mint condition at the store prior to purchase? And if it were inspected, does the description NFRB still apply since it would have to be removed from the box for the inspection? It is my professional opinion, that I’d rather know the item is MIB than NRFB.
Beginning several years ago and still used at present, I see ads stating Swarovski NMIB (yes, one that I have not covered). Reading the description from the original ad, I learned the seller was shortening ‘Nearly Mint in Box’. Nearly Mint? REALLY….Nearly Mint means NOT MINT. It means there is damage somewhere on the figurine. The seller may mean minor damage, but any damage is significant damage when it comes to Swarovski Value. It may be minor if the collector is displaying it and the cosmetic damage does not bother the owner when looking at it. Or to the seller, it may be minor since the hopes are that it will sell at the highest possible price. So bidders should carefully consider if they wish to purchase a NMIB Swarovski figurine, or spend extra money to purchase a MIB Swarovski figurine.
None of the acronyms Swarovski MIB, Swarovski NIB, Swarovski BNIB, or Swarovski NRFB imply inclusion of the Swarovski COA (aka Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity). Also, none of them imply anything about condition of the box…they all focus on the crystal inside the box.
Kristall Buzz has also featured articles on acronyms to be of interest to Swarovski collectors:
Some buyers feel more comfortable with unbiased professionals doing the inspection rather than a seller’s description of an item they are attempting to get rid of or possible make money on, especially if the crystal figurine is a high-dollar figurine. In this case, crystal collectors may inquire about professional brokerage services like those offered by Crystal Exchange America.
However, some collectors like the excitement of bidding in auctions or taking a chance on a bargain. In conclusion, I feel that the buyer should thoroughly read auction descriptions and ask questions if there might be conflicting information. When the transaction is completed the buyer needs to be satisfied with the crystal condition and price paid.