Oct 302012

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!

Oct 272012

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.

Unicorn Stand for the Swarovski Fabulous Creatures Unicorn

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.

Oct 252012

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 Fabulous Creatures Unicorn Box from 1996

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.

Oct 242012

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 Fabulous Creatures Unicorn Certificate, 1992

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.

Oct 222012

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 SCS Unicorn - Fabulous Creatures 1996 Annual Edition

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 Unicorn  surpassed 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 expert dealers, like Crystal Exchange America.

Oct 162012

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 Lovlots figurines that will not be offered at Swarovski.com or boutiques in 2013.

Bo Bear So Brilliant Retires in 2012, part of the Swarovski Lovlots

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
  • More!

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.

Oct 152012

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.

Rare Paperweight....the Swarovski Pentagon

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!

According to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Book on Swarovski, the Pentagon is 3 ¾” high.  They indicate that the Swarovski Pentagon figurine is also known as the “School Block Paperweight”.

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.

Oct 012012

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 Care For Me Whales Box from 1992

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.