Jul 302012
 

In 1989, Swarovski was near the end of the first SCS trilogy, “Caring and Sharing”.  The final SCS figurine in this series was the Swarovski Turtledoves, by Adi Stocker.

Swarovski Turtledoves - Amour, SCS AE 1989

Swarovski SCS Turtledoves - Amour, 1989 Annual Edition

The Swarovski Turtledoves could be purchased only in 1989 by Swarovski SCS members.

The Swarovski Amour Turtledoves is approximately 3.5” long.  From a quick description of this crystal figurine, they might sound like the Swarovski Lovebirds: 2 amorous clear birds with frosted beaks, perched on a frosted branch.

The ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’ is found on the side of the Turtledoves branch, where the branch is clear, (as it is quite difficult to see on frosted crystal, like on the Swarovski Woodpeckers).  The backstamp, consisting of the Swarovski Swan, the letters SCS, the designer’s initials “ASt” and the year “89”, is easily visible.

The Turtledoves are identified using the Swarovski part number DO1x891 or the system number 117 895 was revealed.

It is interesting to note that the SCS Turtledoves crystal component for the birds’ wings is the same component used for the wings on the Swarovski Woodpeckers and the ears on the 1990 Swarovski Dumbo figurine!

The crystal giant has also produced one other Turtledoves design, by a different designer Gabriele Stamey.  This more recent Swarovski Turtledoves figurine was introduced in 2004 and can presently be purchased in the Swarovski shoppe.  The most striking differences between the Amour Turtledoves and Silver Crystal Turtledoves are the frosted beaks (SCS AE)vs topaz beaks (Silver Crystal) and resting birds (SCS AE) vs a bird with its wings spread (Silver Crystal).  Also, the SCS AE Turtledoves are a bit smaller 3.5” long vs 4.25” for the newer Silver Crystal design.

A special thanks to Jane Warner for consultations made during the writing of this Swarovski Turtledoves article.  Jane is the Swarovski expert author of Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski.

In 1989, the MSRP of the SCS Swarovski Turtledoves was for $195 USD .  Just like the other ‘Caring and Sharing’ figurines, the purchase price included the crystal figure, a custom box for the Turtledoves, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    Collectors who want to purchase the Swarovski Turtledoves  from a Swarovski expert dealer, like Crystal Exchange America, should expect to pay $550 – $650 for the SCS Turtledoves in mint condition with original box and certificate.

Jul 292012
 

Yesterday, I happened to see a funny picture about a ‘crab sunbathing’ and thought it might be fun to pass along the picture and write about the Swarovski crab figurines produced by our favorite crystal brand.

Sunbathing Crab in California!

The earliest Swarovski Crab was produced 1984 through 1986 in the Trimlite product line.  The Trimlite Crab is about 1.75” long.  It was known by the product identifiers 50/2G / 52502.  The Swarovski Trimlite Crab originally retailed for $25 when it was available in the late 1980’s.  This Swarovski Crab is a clear crystal stone set in a gold-colored setting which is used for the head, legs, and pincers.  It was a part of the Trimlite “Seaside Collection”.  According to the most popular book on Swarovski crystal, the estimated replacement value (for insurance purposes) is approximately $150 and I was able to find the Trimlite Crab at  professional broker sites for $155 to $180 each.

The next Swarovski Crab was introduced in 1996 and did not retire until 10 years later in 2006.  It was the Swarovski Mini Crab.  Like the Trimlite Crab, the Swarovski Mini Crab was also about 1.75” long.  This newer crab, which was in the Silver Crystal product line, was designed by Michael Stamey and is identified using product numbers 7624 000 004 / 206 481.  It originally retailed for $75, and in 2012 can generally be purchased in the $45 – $75 price range.

Swarovski Crystal Crab Figurines

L to R: Trimlite Crab, Swarovski Hermit Crab, and Swarovski Mini Crab

The most recent Swarovski Crab was produced 2005 through 2010.  Designed by Heinz Tabertshofer,  the Swarovski Hermit Crab was the largest of all the Swarovski crabs sold and marketed by the crystal giant.  It measured in at 2” in length.  Just like the Swarovski Mini Crab, the Hermit Crab was considered Silver Crystal too.  While the hermit crab retailed for $85, present day, it normally sells in the $60 – $120 range.

Both the Silver Crystal Swarovski Crab figurines are fairly inexpensive and easy to find.  Since I’m not much of a seafood person, I’d much rather display a crystal crab than have to eat one!

Jul 272012
 

It was 13-14 months ago when we posted Swarovski Hello Kitty News that a Hello Kitty product line was launching from the crystal brand’s web site.

In its first launch, there were about 3 crystal figurines, a 2011 Swarovski Hello Kitty Limited Edition, and lots of jewelry and accessories.

Here we are, one year later, and the crystal giant has added more Swarovski crystal figurines, limited editions, and accessories to the Swarovski Hello Kitty product line.  The 2012 Swarovski Hello Kitty releases mostly have a ‘rock inspired design.  As you look at each of the new introductions, you will see that Hello Kitty is connecting with her wilder side and she is less about cute and innocent.

Swarovski Hello Kitty 2012 Figurines: Limited Editions and Crystal Figurines

Swarovski Hello Kitty: LE 88, LE 2012, Hello Kitty Gold Bow, & Hello Kitty Santa

  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Limited Edition 2012 – This Hello Kitty figurine is limited to just 88 units world-wide, with a retail price tag of $8000.  It very much resembles the Hello Kitty Gold Bow, but this one is using the glittering crystal Pointiage® technique.
  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Hearts, Limited Edition 2012 – This Hello Kitty figurine is clear and she is wearing a pretty pink dress and lovely rose-colored Pointiage® bow consisting of 600 crystals.  The Swarovski shoppe indicates that she is over 8” tall and has a retail price tag of $600.  It appears that this figurine should be available for most of 2012.
  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Gold Bow – This Hello Kitty figurine is crystal satin (gray) instead of clear and she sports a black jacket and yellow bow (instead of red or pink).   While the Swarovski shoppe indicates that she is over 8” tall, I have a hard time thinking this is true with a retail price of $140.
  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Santa – This Hello Kitty figurine is clear naturally wearing a Santa-red jacket, a Santa hat, and a Santa-red bow.   The candy cane she is holding appears to be Santa red (siam) and crystal moonlight (one of the colors that the 2011 AE polar bear cubs wars available in). While the Swarovski shoppe indicates that she is over 8” tall, I have a hard time thinking this is true with a retail price of $140.  While I did not find an official launch date for this figurine, I’m assuming that it is October since that is when most of the holiday figurines will be available from Swarovski.

(See Swarovski Hello Kitty Size Upate post from August 4 for correct figurine dimensions.)

Other Swarovski Hello Kitty Accessories include:

  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Charms – The 2 new charms are the Hello Kitty Rock Charm and Hello Kitty Guitar Charm.  The Hello Kitty Candy Charm is on sale at 50% off if you are looking for a deal!
  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Fashion Accessories  – Of the 12 items in this category, there are 3 new items and 5 items that are 50% off.
  • Swarovski Hello Kitty Jewelry –  There are a few new items and plenty of sale items. In this category, there are plenty of Hello Kitty Pendants, Hello Kitty Bracelets, Hello Kitty Necklaces, Hello Kitty Pierced Earrings, and Hello Kitty Rings.

So, if you are a Hello Kitty fanatic, check out the new rock-inspired figurines and jewelry at the Swarovski shoppe now!

Jul 242012
 

As the Swarovski SCS memberships were being offered worldwide in 1988, the need to support multiple languages was a growing concern.  Back then, you simply did not find shelved products, instruction booklets, etc with multiple languages on.  What was purchased in the USA was English, and what was purchased in Spain was in Spanish.  It is MUCH different in today’s world.  So when Swarovski offered the SCS membership more regions, it was becoming increasingly necessary to have Swarovski COA documents available for the Swarovski Woodpeckers in multiple languages.

At Crystal Exchange America, we have seen a variety of genuine certificates packaged with the Swarovski Woodpeckers:

The English and English-French variations of the Swarovski Woodpeckers COA are indistinguishable on the front, and include the same picture of the crystal figurine on the inside.  The differentiation between the two is whether or not there is the authenticity information in French on the inside left side of the COA.  However, the Multi-Language Woodpeckers COA is significantly different.  It is more of an accordion-style with a single photo and 5 different languages on the mini-foldouts.

The Swarovski Woodpeckers COA was originally in a square white envelope when it was packaged with the crystal figurine.  However, most of the time, an envelope for the certificate is not presently included with the Swarovski Woodpeckers.  This original envelope is tissue-lined, and bears the official Swarovski logo on the front side.

The Swarovski –assigned part numbers are generally found on the back panel in a very small font.  The Swarovski Woodpeckers Multi-Language certificate is DO4M991.  The Swarovski Woodpeckers English certificate is DO4E871. I was unable to locate the Swarovski Woodpeckers English and French certificate number.  The Woodpeckers Certificate can also be found using another reference # DO1X861C, which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski Price Guide.

It is important to remember that the Swarovski Woodpeckers, like all other Swarovski AE figurines, does have a COA that is specific to it.  Less knowledgeable collectors and ebay traders have posted online auctions selling their figurine to include the original box and certificate, but the auction picture revealed Woodpeckers with a generic product booklet instead.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the Swarovski Woodpeckers Certificate article.

If the language of the certificate is important to a client, then I would recommend that this be taken into account when determining a value for the Woodpeckers certificate.  The Swarovski Woodpeckers English and French Certificate recently sold on Ebay Canada for under $15.  And the Swarovski Woodpeckers Multi-Language Certificate may be more readily available in the Euro community, so checking with a professional brokerage service or Ebay sites there would be the best venues for determining a replacement value or obtaining them as they are harder to find here in the USA.  The SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers Certificate (English version) can normally be found in the $75 to $150 price range.  Crystal Exchange America does have the English version of the Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers Certificate  at their store website.

Jul 232012
 

The Swarovski Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’ was the second Swarovski SCS crystal figurine.  These Woodpeckers were another amazing work of art.  A title plaque for the 1988 SCS annual edition was offered to SCS members an an optional accessory to the AE Woodpeckers, from the Caring and Sharing trilogy.

Swarovski Woodpeckers Plaque, accessory for the SCS 1988 AE

1988 SCS Plaque for the Swarovski Woodpeckers

The Swarovski Woodpeckers plaque is rectangular in shape, with rounded corners.  It measures about 1.5” high and 3” long.  It is identical to the Swarovski Lovebirds Plaque, but with obviously different verbage.   The SCS Woodpeckers plaque is dark blue on the back side with a fold-out hinge allowing it to freely stand.  The front side resembles has a silver-colored brushed finish.  The outer edge is dark blue as is all the engraved text and design on the Woodpeckers plaque.  In addition to the SCS logo at the top, the text reads:

Annual Edition 1988
“Sharing” – the Woodpeckers

The Woodpeckers Plaque is identified using reference # SCMRP88, which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski catalogue of recommended insurance values .

We believe that the Swarovski Woodpeckers Stand and Swarovski Woodpeckers Plaque were sometimes sold as a set.  Crystal Exchange America has seen just a couple of them that come together, in a small Swarovski gift box that matches the silver and blue color coloration of the Swarovski Caring and Sharing trilogy SCS boxes.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the Swarovski Woodpeckers Plaque article.

The SCS Swarovski  Woodpeckers Plaque is not always easy to find, so placing a replacement value on it can be tricky.  Crystal Exchange America, presently has a single listing for Swarovski Woodpeckers Plaque that is over $175 with their commission.  There are a couple plaques in the online auctions ($135 to $150), but remember that auction items may be sold quickly and then not available for a long time to come.

Jul 222012
 

The second Swarovski SCS crystal figurine was the Swarovski ‘Sharing’ Woodpeckers.    These Woodpeckers, part of the Caring and Sharing trilogy, were certain to be treasured by the SCS member.  Just like the Swarovski Lovebirds, Swarovski offered an optional display stand with the 1988 SCS annual edition.

Swarovski Stand for the 1988 SCS Woodpeckers 'Sharing'

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers Stand

The Swarovski Woodpeckers Stand is very similar to the Lovebirds stand…It is mostly thin plastic with a cardboard base underneath.  The SCS Woodpeckers Stand is navy on the surface, and has a velvet-like texture.  The underneath side appears to be black cardboard.  The round cut-out on the top is a perfect match to the frosted Woodpeckers trunk, which gives it further stability not seen by many other display stands.

The Stand for Swarovski Woodpeckers Sharing can be found using reference # DO1X881S, which is used by Crystal Exchange America.  The Swarovski Woodpeckers Stand is not included in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski Price Guide.

The SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers Stand is not easy to find, so determining a value on this stand is more difficult.  Remember, the Lovebirds were very limited in terms of distribution.  Crystal Exchange America does have a couple Swarovski Woodpeckers Stand units available in the range of $135 – $185.  We have not found too many Swarovski collectors purchasing them, but they are available for collectors who want to have every possible accessory to go with their Woodpeckers.

Jul 202012
 

Most everyone who reads the Kristall Buzz blog knows that it is maintained by the Swarovski expert dealer Crystal Exchange America with occasional contributions by the well-known Swarovski book author Jane Warner.  One of the most common questions that we hear is…..”I own Swarovski Crystal figurines x, y, and z;  What is the value of my Swarovski collection?”  Well, this is a huge question, and I am going to try to address the issue of Swarovski Value in this article.

First, I want the owner to completely forget about the price paid.  The original purchase price has absolutely no bearing on selling price, nor insurance replacement.  If anything, the price paid could be a sore spot in realistically determining a present day value as the collector / owner will be focusing on ‘profit’ (or loss as the case may be) in their mind and not the real question which is ‘What is the value of my Swarovski figurine?’

The simplest scenario is when the collector needs to know the Swarovski value to obtain adequate insurance.  If this is the case, we recommend purchasing these Swarovski books from www.wbrb.com .  The Swarovski ERV in the book is specifically determined for collectors to use for insurance purposes.  However, collectors need to remember that the replacement cost fluctuates and that the concept of replacement value needs to be revisited annually.  Providing an example….if a figurine is found at a reliable brokerage site at $500, it may have an ERV of $525 or $550.

However, when most people inquire about value, they are asking what they can obtain by selling the Swarovski figurine.  When selling, there are a couple of considerations.

  • Are you urgent to sell (must sell now and must sell fast)?
  • Can you sell at a more leisurely pace (3 to 12 months to conclude a sale is ok)

If you are in an urgent situation, you can typically expect the selling price to be less than if time is on your side.  If you have just a couple of Swarovski figurines, this may not be of significant consequence.  However if you have a substantial Swarovski crystal collection (ie 100 or more figurines, some of which are Swarovski AE or Swarovski NLE), liquidation prices can be quite painful to the pocketbook or personal expectations due to prior hypes on value, oftentimes only about 10% or 20% of the price you could purchase the figurines for at a Swarovski broker, like Crystal Exchange America.

So, our last scenario is what Swarovski value via what can be obtained from a leisurely sale.   To determine this, we first need to know actual current trading prices.  One can view completed transactions on eBay as one source.  When I say completed transactions, that may be a from a “Buy It Now” or “Auction” style listing that was actually successfully concluded.  This does NOT mean unsold figurines.  Another option would be to look at the figurines available with a reputable online dealer, like Crystal Exchange America.  They focus on secondary market sales of retired Swarovski, but do indeed have some current figurines at discounted prices.  If looking at their prices, remember, these are available prices, not sold statistics.  So, to be conservative, you may want to assume that they are selling at 10% less (not because the company is discounting, but because the cheapest ones sell, and the sold ones disappear from the web site when they are no longer available).  Using these two references and doing some mathematical averaging, you can roughly determine true trading prices.

Now that you have a trading price for the Swarovski crystal figurine, you can do some final calculation to see what you can get by selling your Swarovski figurine.  Crystal Exchange America operates on a 20% commission (minimum commission is $25), so on a figurine that sells for $500, the seller gets $400.  Ebay also has a number of fees associated with using their service:

  • Final Value Fees, which i believe are 10% of the selling price
  • Listing fees, must be paid even if items do not sell
  • Fees to use PayPal, which is practically required by eBay, around 3% or 4%.

Using eBay is more of an effort to use for the seller, but is indeed a logical option to get world-wide exposure selling a Swarovski crystal figurine.  In our example of selling a figurine for $500, if the crystal owner would sell the figurine on eBay, the seller would obtain about $425 (using an estimate of 15% for overhead to cover listing fees, FVF, and PayPal fees).

So, one can see that the frequent question “What is the Value of my Swarovski Crystal Figurine (or collection)?” does not have an easy answer.  And the answer that goes with it is definitely a function of how the individual wants to use the term “value”.

Jul 192012
 

Almost one month ago exactly, I wrote a post about the newest Lovlots clould community that was soon to be released…. Swarovski Emotis.  Today, I got an email from Swarovski, (in German!) that the crystal giant has them available in their online store!

Lovlots Emotis: left to right: Hope, Energy, Anger, Love, Curiosity, and Burning Desire

Swarovski Emotis: Hope, Energy, Anger, Love, Curiosity, & Burning Desire

  • Swarovski Emoti Love
    Official Swarovski description: Love is in the air! With a heart filled with love, this little pig spreads love throughout Lovlots City. Crafted in Kakadured crystal with Fuchsia pants and clear crystal feet, this cute design is finished with a heart in fuchsia-toned metal.”
  • Swarovski Emoti Hope
    Official Swarovski description:  “Look on the bright side! Always seeing the sunny side of life, this Emoti brings optimism to Lovlots City. The body in Violet Moonlight crystal and head in Crystal Moonlight accentuate the colorful rainbow in synthetic material.”
  • Swarovski Emoti Energy
    Official Swarovski description:  “It’s electrifying! With a playful lightning bolt, this Emoti energizes the Lovlots. Crafted in Crystal Moonlight, Rosaline Moonlight, and Light Siam crystal, this character sports a cloud in silver-tone synthetic material with a silicon rubber lightning bolt.”
  • Swarovski Emoti Curiosity
     Official Swarovski description:  “What’s up? With its curious nature, this little rabbit is always asking why? One ear shines in Crystal Moonlight, while the other sparkles in Peridot Aurore Boreale crystal in the shape of a question mark.“
  • Swarovski Emoti Burning Desire
    Official Swarovski description: “I’ve got to have this! Everyone will want to have this little bear with flaming red hair burning with desire. With an Aquamarine Aurore Boreale crystal body and red silicon hair.”
  • Swarovski Emoti Anger
    Official Swarovski description:  “I’m about to explode! Resembling a volcano, this Emoti is steaming with anger. Sparkling details in Fireopal Silver Shade and Crystal Moonlight crystal are highlighted by clouds of steam in matt white synthetic material.“

All the Lovlots Emotis have an MSRP of $90 each. Personally, I’m not too fond of these, but who knows…there may be a segment of the Swarovski-collecting population that does.  And we may find a whole new world of emotions that we never even knew existed, that is…. until the Swarovski Lovlots Emotis came along!

Jul 182012
 

The second Swarovski SCS crystal figurine in the Caring and Sharing trilogy was the Swarovski ‘Sharing’ Woodpeckers.  These Swarovski Woodpeckers would have a special presentation and package that would be very similar to its predecessor, the Lovebirds.

Swarovski Woodpeckers Box, SCS Box for 'Sharing' in 1988

1988 Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers Box

The SCS Woodpeckers had a custom box, which would be so unique, no other figurine would fit in it.  The box was primarily silver and royal blue in color.  Since the SCS was growing its distribution channels, the packaging would also be available in other languages.

"Sharing" - The Woodpeckers on the Swarovski Woodpecker Box

The English Woodpeckers Box that we most frequently see in the USA features a blue top.  On all 4 sides, collectors can read the text ‘Annual Edition 1988 “Sharing” – the Woodpeckers.

The multi-lingual Woodpeckers Box is a box that we only occasionally see.  This box has the text for “Sharing” – the Woodpeckers in four different languages, depending on the side:

  • “Donare – I Picchi” (Italian)
  • “Compartiendo” – los Carpinteros (Spanish)
  • “Partnershaft” – die Spechte (German)
  • “Partager” – les Pics (French)

The Swarovski –assigned part numbers can be found on the rear side in a very small type.  The English Swarovski Woodpeckers Box reference number is DO3E871.  The multi-languange Swarovski Woodpeckers Box reference number is DO3M881. The Woodpeckers Box can also be found using another reference # DO1X881B (same reference number regardless of the language), which was originally used in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski Price Guide.

The foam was specially made to especially protect the SCS figurine.  As can be seen in the image, the trunk rests in the largest indentation on the left side.   The egg-shaped indentation on the right fits over the mother woodpecker wing and head.  There is also a slot in the foam below from the crystal for the mirror.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the Swarovski Woodpeckers Box article.

Regarding availability and replacement value, the SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers Box is becoming harder to find.  One reason is that collectors simply did not keep the packaging.  Even for collectors keep it, the Woodpeckers boxes was thin and would easily tear.  I did not find packaging boxes for the SCS Woodpeckers in the online auctions, nor at Crystal Exchange America.  However, in their last completed transactions,  Swarovski Woodpeckers Box in good condition sold in the range of $350 – $500!

Jul 172012
 

The Swarovski Woodpeckers was the second Swarovski SCS crystal figurine produced.  It was in the Swarovski Caring and Sharing trilogy.  To date, the SCS Woodpeckers are the only SCS figurine to ever include a special mirror.

The Swarovski Woodpeckers Mirror is an octagon shape (8 sides), about 4” in diameter.  The mirror has a beveled edge and is accented with an official Swarovski logo.

There are two different official Swarovski Woodpecker Mirror displays.  The only difference in the mirrors is the Swarovski logo that is present on the mirror.

Swarovski Woodpeckers Swan Mirror on Left; Swarovski Woodpeckers sCs Mirror on Right

Swarovski Woodpeckers Mirror: Variation 2 on Left; Variation 2 on Right

The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’ Mirror, variation 1 (as it is referenced in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski) has the sCs logo painted on it.  This Sharing Mirror can be reference using identification # DO1X881M V1, as originally used in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski.  Crystal Exchange America presently has this SCS Woodpeckers Mirror available for $175 to $200.

The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’ Mirror, variation 2 (as it is referenced in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski) has a Swan logo painted on it.  This Sharing Mirror can be reference using identification # DO1X881M V2, as originally used in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski.  Crystal Exchange America presently has this SCS Woodpeckers Mirror available for $70, but it is not in MINT condition.

Many collectors report to us that their Swarovski Woodpeckers did not include a mirror.  While we do believe them, the crystal brand indicates that all Woodpeckers included a mirror in the box, especially since there is a slit in the foam for the mirror.  The only possible explanation that has been offered is that perhaps it was removed by retailers before the SCS member took the Woodpeckers home.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the Swarovski Woodpeckers Mirror article.

The Swarovski Mirror Variation 1 is the more common of the two mirrors produced, at least that is true in the USA.  It is easier to find this mirror at reputable broker sites and in the online auctions. Replacement cost for either Woodpeckers Mirror is in the $75 – $200 price range, depending on the source.  If purchasing a replacement mirror, carefully inspect it for scratches on the reverse side (they sometimes show through), tarnished edges, and unflaking paint on the logo to ensure the mirror has like-new qualities.

Jul 162012
 

The Swarovski Woodpeckers were available for purchase only in 1988 for collectors who were members in the Swarovski SCS.  In the last article about Swarovski Woodpeckers, the most common variation was the focus of the article.  In the previous article, it was not mentioned that Swarovski released 2 different versions of the Swarovski AE.  However, this article will expand on the Woodpeckers variations and what makes them unique.

Displaying the two variations of SCS Woodpeckers side-by-side, it is not possible to distinguish the variations.  While there are often great differences in the positioning of the birds and how close or far apart the mother beak is from the baby beak, this is not what makes them unique.  To identify the variations, one must look at the very bottom of the figurine where the backstamp is located.

The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’, variation 1 (as it is referenced in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski) has a frosted base.  The bottom side looks a lot like the trunk as it is not possible to see into it.  The backstamp is difficult to see as it too has a frosted-like appearance.

The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’, variation 2 (as it is referenced in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski) has a clear base.  The bottom side is clear, just like the top of the trunk that the birds are attached to.  The backstamp is easy to see as it has a frosted-like look.  (Remember, the backstamp is the year of the Woodpeckers “88”, and the designer’s (Adi Stocker) initials “A St”.

Both 1988 Swarovski  Woodpeckers were known using the Swarovski part number DO1X881 and system number  014 745.  Swarovski did not assign unique numbers to them even though they were different.  Furthermore, it was not possible to order a specific variation, and for the most part the variations went undocumented for many years.

Backstamp on Clear Base of 1998 Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers showing Backstamp on Clear Base

Some Swarovski Crystal Fanatics make the mistake of looking at the top of the trunk and become excited seeing a clear top, thinking that the bottom will be clear too.  This is not the case.  ALL Woodpecker trunks are clear on the top, so when looking at the trunk to determine the variation, it is the bottom that must be examined.

So why are there differences in the trunk base?  According to a former employee, the SCS Woodpeckers were supposed to have a clear base.  But something did not go as planned during manufacturing, and the trunks had to be, more or less, ‘filed’ to make the bottom smooth and allow the Woodpeckers figurine to stand upright.  The next step should have been to re-polish the trunk base to restore it to its original intended design.  But that did not occur….the trunks were ‘backstamped’ and used as is.  So, in short, the filing the base and leaving it with a frosted-like appearance was a corrective action taken when the bases did not come out of the mold process ‘just right’.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the articles about the second SCS Annual Edition exclusively for SCS members: the Swarovski Woodpeckers.

In 1988, the SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers retailed for $165 USD.  For this price, the SCS member received the crystal figurine, an octagon-shaped display mirror with a Swarovski logo, an SCS custom box for the figurine, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    While Swarovski Woodpeckers Variation 1 (Frosted Base),  in mint condition, complete with mirror, and original packaging can usually be purchased on the secondary market for $1000 – $1400.  Swarovski Woodpeckers Variation 2 (Clear Base),  in mint condition, complete with mirror, and original packaging is much harder to and likely will cost $2500 – $2800 from Swarovski expert dealers, like Crystal Exchange America.  At the present time, they have one Variation 2 Woodpeckers crystal figurine only (no box, no certificate, no mirror) at $1875 plus shipping.  Personally, since they cannot be distinguished displayed on a shelf, I would have a hard time spending the extra $1,000 to get Variation 2 over Variation 1.

Jul 152012
 

Following the Swarovski Lovebirds, the Swarovski Woodpeckers was the second figurine in the ‘Caring and Sharing’ series.  The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’, were available for purchase only in 1988 by Swarovski SCS members.  By then, SCS membership had grown and was available in more countries than just the English-speaking ones.

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers -1988 Annual Edition 'Sharing',

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers - 'Sharing', 1988 Annual Edition

 

The Swarovski Sharing Woodpeckers stands just over 4” tall.  It is a figurine with 2 clear birds, attached a frosted tree trunk.  The birds are a mother woodpecker (the bird with the full body) and a baby woodpecker, with its head peeking out of the tree.  Since the figurines are hand-assembled, we often see the woodpeckers at various angles and proximity from each other.  Sometimes the beaks are so close that you can barely slip a piece of paper between them, while other figurines may have the woodpeckers situated such that the beaks are nearly ¼” apart.

Adi Stocker is the designer of the Swarovski Woodpeckers.  The SCS Woodpeckers were the first SCS figurine he created with full credit from the crystal brand.  Since that year, Adi Stocker has designed 4 other Swarovski AE figurines.

 

The Sharing Woodpeckers contain the ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’, which is included for the sake of authenticity.  Looking closely at the underside of the frosted tree trunk, the year “88” can be seen.  Per Swarovski’s definition, the designer’s initials “A St” should be visible, but it must be very faint.

Backstamp of the Swarovski 1988 SCS Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers Backstamp (Frosted Base)

The Woodpeckers were known using the Swarovski part number DO1X881, and when Swarovski began using system numbers for identification, 014 745 was divulged, so it can be identified using either number.

Since the 1988 SCS Woodpeckers, the crystal giant has produced other Swarovski woodpecker figurines:

  • Swarovski Woodpeckers, Black Diamond  by Elisabeth Adamer.  These Swarovski Woodpeckers, in the Paradise line, retires in 2012.
  • Swarovski Woodpecker, Ziggy by Edith Mair.  This Woodpecker, in the Lovlots line, was a limited edition figurine available in 2010 only.

The SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers retailed for $165 USD in 1988.  The purchase price included the crystal figurine, an octagon-shaped display mirror, a custom box for the figurine, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    The Swarovski Woodpeckers,  in mint condition, complete with mirror, and original packaging can usually be purchased on the secondary market for $1000 – $1400, from Swarovski expert dealers, like Crystal Exchange America.

Jul 112012
 

In June, our favorite crystal brand announced that the Swarovski Lovlots Angel Mo would be released July 9, 2012 joining a series of other Lovlots Mo cows.

Swarovski Lovlots Christmas Angel Mo, Limited Edition 2012

Swarovski Christmas Angel Mo, Limited Edition 2012

Well, they did make the Swarovski Angel Mo available online, but with some limitations as to who can purchase it.  While I (in the USA) was not able to add it to my shopping cart, if you are in any other country, you can add it to you cart!  Check out the product availability based on country of residence:

I find this interesting in that according to the Swarovski members’ only announcement which has since been removed from their website, Lovlots Angel Mo is a limited edition available only in 2012.  I know the hype….I am a secondary market dealer that specializes in Swarovski.  It means that some collectors will purchase a hoard of figurines, then sell them on Ebay at inflated prices or list them on our site at above retail price as the owner themselves wants to get in on the action of making some money.  While it can be perceived as a win-win for me (the dealer) and the owner (the seller), it is certainly a losing situation for the buying collector who simply does not want to take a chance that it could be sold out prior to it being available here in the USA.

Honestly, I don’t like how commercial Christmas has become….with artificial Christmas trees out mid-summer, decorations hitting stores after Labor Day, and so forth.  All this before the Halloween trick or treating event or the Thanksgiving turkey is even cooked.

While I can certainly appreciate the crystal giant putting on the brakes to ensure that Swarovski Christmas Ornaments and merchandise release dates are appropriate for the figurines, I think that delaying the Swarovski Christmas Angel Mo only for the USA collectors was an incredulous decision.

Straight to the point, this is going to upset crystal fanatics in the USA.  What could this mean to the crystal brand and its followers?

  • Disappointed collectors.  Collectors who ‘want it now’ will likely be forced to pay ‘above market prices’ to ensure they have the Lovlots Angel Mo in their crystal collection now.
  • Reduced Lovlots Angel Mo profits.  Dedicated Swarovski crystal collectors are not going to wait nearly 3 more months to get it online, instead, they will probably turn to the online auctions to buy it now and will not buy later from authorized source(s).
  • Reliance on other distribution channels.  Collectors will build bonds with new channels: secondary market brokers, gray market dealers, and eBay dealers.

This is not about ‘fairness’…. it is about the loyal following of Swarovski crystal collectors and the reality of what goes on post-sale of limited edition Swarovski figurines.  I really hope that when it comes to limited edition releases, that Swarovski will settle on a world-wide launch date to eliminate the mini-frenzy that could be bearing down upon the collectors in the USA.

Jul 102012
 

We have terrific news for bird fanatics and Swarovski crystal collectors….the Swarovski Gouldian Finches are available for purchase in the Swarovski online shoppe!

Gouldian Finches

Swarovski Gouldian Finches

I can’t say that I have previously heard of this particular breed of bird.  But oh my….they are so beautiful!  The male Gouldian Finch’s colors are so vibrant.  It’s not a wonder that these birds are also known as the Rainbow Finch.

The Swarovski Gouldian Finches are 2 brightly colored birds, perched on a silver-colored metal stand.  The bird pair stands about 4 ½ inches tall.  The Gouldian Finches are in the Swarovski Paradise product line, which is where the same product line that includes many of the other colored-bird crystal figurines.  The article number for the Swarovski Gouldian Finches is 1141675. The crystal brand gives Dominic Schöpf credit for the stunning design of these newest rainbow birds.  While the Swarovski Peridot Gouldian Finches retail for $690,  something tells me that they are completely worth it looking at the image in the online shoppe!

The Swarovski Gouldian Finches would look great displayed with other Swarovski Birds.  If you are a bird lover and crystal collector, check out the discount and retired Swarovski birds available at Crystal Exchange America!

Jul 082012
 

The very first Swarovski SCS crystal figurine was the Swarovski ‘Togetherness’ Lovebirds.    These Lovebirds were an outstanding figurine, to be cherished by the SCS member.  Swarovski offered more than just the figurine, they also offered an optional display stand with the 1987 SCS annual edition.

The Swarovski Lovebirds Stand does not compare to the effort and presentation that we think of when the term ‘display stand’ is mentioned along with ‘Annual Edition’.  The Lovebirds stand is mostly thin plastic with a cardboard base underneath.  The SCS Lovebirds Stand is navy on the surface, and has a velvet-like texture.  The underneath side appears to be black cardboard.  (And I’m not going to disassemble it to figure out what is in the middle.)  The cutout on the top is a perfect match to the frosted Lovebirds base, which gives it additional stability not seen by the presentation stands produced in the 90’s and into the first decade of 2000.

1987 SCS Togetherness Swarovski Lovebirds Stand

Swarovski Lovebirds Stand

The Stand for the Swarovski Lovebirds Togetherness can be found using reference # DO1X861S, which is used by Crystal Exchange America.  The Swarovski Lovebirds Stand is not included in the Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski Price Guide.

Based on collector reports, it appears that the Swarovski Lovebirds Stand and Swarovski Lovebirds Plaque were sometimes sold as a set.  Crystal Exchange America has seen just a couple of them that come together, in a petite Swarovski gift box that matches the silver and blue color configuration of the Swarovski Caring and Sharing trilogy SCS boxes.

TogethernessLovebirds Stand, Lovebirds Plaque, with Box

Swarovski Lovebirds Plaque, Lovebirds Stand, and Box

The SCS Swarovski Lovebirds Stand is not easy to find, so determining a value on this stand is more difficult.  Remember, the Lovebirds were very limited in terms of distribution.  So, of those SCS members that purchased the figurine, what percentage actually procured accessories to go with the Lovebirds?  I did find any ongoing transactions anywhere for the Swarovski SCS Lovebirds Stand! I found a couple completed auctions (Feb, 2012) on ebay for “Lovebirds Stand”, but without being able to see a picture or review the item description, I cannot be for certain it is the correct stand.  But if one wants to  assume they are valuation, each were sold at $199. It is not fair to draw conclusion on value based on out-dated pricing as re-sale prices fluctuate based on availability as well as the state of the economy.  That being said, the last two transactions for the Lovebirds Stand at Crystal Exchange America were back in 2007.  Both Swarovski Lovebirds Stand units sold in the price range of $155 – $180.  Would a Swarovski collector pay that now?  Would they pay more than that now?  In short, it all probably all depends on the condition how badly a collector wants it.  If the ebay auctions were indeed for the same stand, this would show that the value of the Swarovski Lovebirds Stand has not dramatically changed in the past 5 years.