Apr 152011
 

Since 1976, Swarovski has generally included a Swarovski Certificate inside the packaging for the majority of crystal figurines. While the paperwork does indeed state certificate on the front side, it served a purpose of advertising other Swarovski crystal figurines in production at that time.  When Swarovski moved away from the octagonal-shaped literature, the ‘certificate’ no longer featured product photos.  All along, these Swarovski certificates were very interchangeable among products, keeping in mind the production eras of the various figurines.

Swarovski Certificates 1976 thru 2010

In 2011, Swarovski has made changes to the paperwork (Swarovski COA) included the crystal figurines. In the last couple of purchases, I have not found any blue certificate, red certificate, or white certificate.  Instead, I find a card labeled Certificate of Authenticity (in both English and French) on the front side, and on the backside, a reference number, date of purchase, and initials of order fulfillment person. I have found only a single card for a multiple unit purchase, not one card per item.  The card is about 3.25 inches long and is enclosed in a pearlized envelope with the word Swarovski in Silver foil on the front.  Plus, in the envelope is a ‘care advice’ booklet.  This booklet includes brief advice on caring for ‘fashion jewelry and watches’, ‘handbags and accessories’, and the ‘crystal living collection’.  This Care Advice booklet is printed in both English and French.

Swarovski COA 2011

Swarovski does continue to include unique certificates for Swarovski AE figurines. The Swarovski Siku Polar Bear has a certificate specific to the 2011 SCS crystal figurine.  It does not use the newer Swarovski COA and care advice unit described above.

It is possible that the Swarovski certificate may be a cost-savings (every penny counts these days).  It could be that this personally-dated card is used to validate a warranty period.  It may be speculated that this may be a technique to close the loop on grey-market purchases…no card…no warranty support.  In any case, it is becoming more important to purchase current products online or from an authorized Swarovski dealer to ensure your full warranty is honored.  Collectors will have to quickly give up the notion that their new Swarovski crystal figurines will have a certificate of authenticity if multiple items are combined into a single order.



Mar 262011
 

Here are more acronyms used in advertising Swarovski crystal that is offered for sale.  While the many experienced Swarovski Crystal collectors understand the frequently used acronyms, there are still a lot of people buying and selling Swarovski who do not have knowledge of the acronyms or can be mislead by improper use of the acronym.  So, I thought I’d do my best to cover a few more acronyms and offer cautions on the use of them.

Swarovski COA – Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity.  For the majority of Swarovski crystal products, the Swarovski COA is truly a generic product booklet that can be interchanged with other Swarovski crystal products. I have a lengthy page on the Crystal Exchange America site about Swarovski Certificates and two Kristall Buzz Swarovski blog postings on the Swarovski COA:
Swarovski Certificates / Generic Product Booklets 1976 to present
The Swarovski COA is definitely important for some figurines, but the ones in the image above are the interchangeable generic product booklets.  Swarovski SCS figurines and Swarovski AE figurines should have certificates.  In many cases (but not all cases), limited edition figurines have a special Swarovski COA.  Not all sellers are knowledgeable about Swarovski because they are not serious collectors.  For a Swarovski Annual Edition, the seller may include the generic product booklet in lieu the true Swarovski COA.  This would likely be a costly mistake for an unskilled collector who does not know what the ‘complete package’ should include.  Purchasing a special (correct) Swarovski COA may not be an easy task as they are typically harder to find and can be expensive to purchase separately.
Wrapping up, this should serve as a reminder to thoroughly read auction descriptions, view the auction images if there are any, and ask questions if there might be contradictory information.  Use caution when an auction for an Annual Edition states Swarovski COA included, but shows an image of the generic product booklet.  When in doubt, ask questions about the items included for sale and what the seller’s return policy is.  When the transaction is finished, the buyer should be happy with outcome final price.



Jan 302011
 

Recently, I wrote about the Swarovski certificate of authenticity included with Swarovski Crystal figurines. After posting the article, I remembered that the limited edition Chinese Zodiac figurines do indeed include a unique Swarovski certificate of authenticity.

Starting off with some background information, Swarovski has a crystal collection known as the Chinese Zodiac.  These crystal figurines are produced in silver shade crystal.  While there are 12 different animals representing the Chinese astrology, Swarovski presently has only six Chinese Zodiac figurines (under $300):
  • Swarovski Zodiac Dog (2006)
  • Swarovski Zodiac Horse (2002, 2014)
  • Swarovski Zodiac Pig (2007)
  • Swarovski Zodiac Rabbit (2011)
  • Swarovski Zodiac Sheep (2003, 2015)
  • Swarovski Zodiac Tiger (2010)
In the Asian market, the company produced some limited edition Swarovski Chinese Zodiac figurines.  These crystal figurines are different from the six above in that they are:
  • Limited by year of production
  • Crystal golden shine in color (not clear silver shade crystal)
  • Include a special Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity (stating limited edition figurine)

Two golden shadow limited edition Swarovski Chinese Zodiacfigurines have been produced to date:

  • Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Tiger
  • Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Rabbit

All these Chinese Zodiacs have a fold-out card titled ‘The Chinese Zodiac’.  The information is printed in both Chinese and English.  This is not a Swarovski certificate of authenticity; it is a brochure that discusses the Chinese Zodiac astrology personalities.  It is included with all Chinese Zodiac figurines.  However, the limited edition Chinese Zodiac figurines also have a certificate of authenticity specific to the figurine.

Swarovski Chinese Zodiac fold-out card (included with all Chinese Zodiac figurines)

Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity for the Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Tiger

All this being said, in 2011, Swarovski is making two more Chinese Zodiac figurines.  These are in crystal golden shine, but are NOT limited editions. The 2011 releases are much larger and much more expensive (over $850 retail). While I would assume that these Large Chinese Zodiac figurines include ‘The Chinese Zodiac’ fold out card, since I don’t have either of them in my collection, I cannot say for certain.  The 2011 Chinese Zodiac introductions are

Since the limited edition Chinese Zodiacs were only available retail market in China, most Swarovski crystal fanatics wanting them were forced to turn to the online auctions or Swarovski secondary market dealers to secure the figurines for their collection.  Crystal Exchange America presently has listings for the limited edition Zodiac Tiger and limited edition Zodiac Rabbit.  No matter who the supplying source is, be sure that your limited edition Chinese Zodiac includes the Swarovski certificate of authenticity for maximum resale value.



Jan 192011
 

For the most part, I have addressed the question about the importance of the Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity at the Crystal Exchange America web site.

First and foremost, if the crystal figurine in question is a Swarovski Limited Edition figurine, or a Swarovski Annual Edition, the Certificate of Authenticity is important to retain the highest value, and sell-ability of the figurine.  This is because avid Swarovski Crystal collectors prefer to have ‘the complete package’ when purchasing retired Swarovski.

When the Swarovski figurine in question is not any type of special edition, then Swarovski includes a ‘generic product booklet’ titled ‘certificate’ with the figurine when produced.  Given this type of certificate is generic and interchangeable between products, the significance is lower.  Nonetheless, some Swarovski fanatics will certainly pay extra money when purchasing discontinued Swarovski crystal figurines to ensure they have that ‘complete package’.

Regarding current Swarovski products, the company states that they cannot replace a Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity.  They do recommend that customers retain their receipts for any warranty issues that may arise.

The company has used at least eight different Swarovski certificates since 1976.  The first three have an octagonal shape.  They were used from approximately 1976 to 1988.  From 1988 to 1995, a square white Swarovski certificate was used.  The only round Swarovski certificate was used from 1995 to 2000.   Since 2000, a variety of square certificates have been used, including issues in white, blue, and reddish-orange.

If you have a special edition figurine missing the certificate, Crystal Exchange America has some Swarovski certificates listed on their site.  If you are seeking the Swarovski Certificates more generic in nature, Crystal Exchange America has a few sets listed in the online auctions running for the next 30 days.



Jan 182011
 

Continuing the discussion about Swarovski cylinders and boxes, I am going to share more information about the foam inserts used in Swarovski cylinder packaging.

There are three main types of Swarovski foam that I have seen in cylinders.  Additionally, I have seen stryrofoam inserts used in Swarovski cylinders.

The first type of foam is rolled foam.  It is a single piece of foam that a figurine can be wrapped or rolled in prior to placing it in the cylinder.  It is generally gray in color and about ½” thick.  Being very generic, it can be used for many types of figurines.  I have seen rolled foam used in both gray cylinders, but not in blue cylinders.

The next type of foam is generic molded foam.  It is may be hinged or in two separate pieces.  It has a cutout, generic enough for many types of figurines to fit into.  The foam  is gray or blue in color.

The last type of foam is specific foam created for use by one and only one figurine.  The specific foam was likely created if Swarovski felt that the rolled foam for generic molded foam would not sufficiently protect the Swarovski crystal figurine for shipping and storage.   It is gray or blue in color.

For the very oldest Swarovski cylinders, those with the block SC logo on them, I’ve also seen white styrofoam used.  It is in two separate pieces and may also have the block SC logo on it.

If you have a Swarovski figurine missing the packaging, Crystal Exchange America has a lot of empty Swarovski boxes that include appropriate foam and identification label listed on their site.



Jan 162011
 

I get many questions about Swarovski boxes and Swarovski cylinders.  So here’s a chance for some explanation on the packaging that Swarovski uses to protect the ‘silver crystal’ figurines during shipping and storage at the store prior to purchase.

The earliest boxes used are gray cylinders with the old Swarovski logo (block SC logo) printed on them.  Many of the gray cylinders had two removable plastic ends, so that the crystal figurines could easily be taken out from the top or bottom of the cylinder.  (Sometimes the fit was snug with the foam, and it takes more access to pull the figurine out.)  Some plastic ends have the block SC stamped into them, and some do not.   I have also seen ‘metal ends’ on cylinders, but very rarely.

Swarovski Box with Block SC Bottom
Swarovski Box with Tin Lid and Bottom

The block SC logo was replaced by the Swan logo in 1989, so the gray cylinders were modified to have the Swan logo printed on them.  Initially, these gray cylinders also had two removable plastic ends.   Some plastic ends have the Swarovski swan stamped into them, and some do not.  Later,  one end was modified to a permanent cardboard-like bottom, and access is only available opening the top end of the cylinder.  This modification may have been a money-saving opportunity or perhaps a safety concern for the figurine as the plastic ends do not stay snug on the Swarovski cylinders indefinitely.

Swarovski Swan Box.  Also view of Swan Bottom and Permanent Bottom

Around 2002, Swarovski changed their corporate colors to navy blue.  At this time, the cylinders changed colors again, to navy blue.  The navy blue cylinders have the Swarovski swan printed on them and have access via the top only, as only that end is detachable from the cylinder.

Swarovski Blue Box and Permanent Bottom
I do want to mention that when gray cylinders were used, Swarovski crystal logos, certificate style, and box logos did NOT all “match” across the board on the set.  This is especially true for figurines produced during that cross-over time when the logo changed.  Swarovski did not discard the original boxes, they simply used them until the stock was depleted and then began using the newly designed cylinders.  So, a collector should not be alarmed when retired Swarovski is purchased if this is there is not a 100% match on logos for their crystal figurine, certificate, and packaging.
Crystal Exchange America has a lot of Swarovski empty boxes listed for sale on their site, if you have a Swarovski figurine that needs protecting.