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”.
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!