Swarovski is an actual company in Austria that is known for its amazing. It makes fine crystal in many forms such as figurines, finished jewelry, beads, and jewelry components etc. The company has a patented technique and it creates a very high end quality crystal with a beautiful luster and sparkle. Swarovski is still known for making the highest quality crystal in the industry.
Many vendors sell Swarovski crystal and beads, but, the original factory was founded in Austria in 1895. Bicone crystal beads are some of the best known from the Swarovski line. They are cut with a diamond shape on either side, thus giving off a lots of sparkle.
|Bicone is a shape resembling two cones that are joined at the widest part the bead can be smooth or faceted, meaning the little flattened cut patterns on the sides to give that added sparkle.|
samples of bi-cones:
Still manufactured in Austria, they are considered the finest crystal beads in the world.
When you purchase your crystals for your beading, it depends on where your are buying them on the quantity you will get them in. If you get them loose, you will be able to pick and choose exactly which one you want, and buy them individually. If you get them pre-packaged, they normally come anywhere from 1 to 6 in a package and can range from $4.00 to $8.00, ( on average, prices vary greatly depending on store markup) per crystal and or package.
Be aware, there are many imitation Swarovski crystals, simple glass, that are pretty and will look nice as focal beads in your tatting for a fraction of the price, if you are making a piece that has a lot of crystals in it, sparkly glass is a really nice option, and not as heavy. Real crystals are still made with lead :D yes, real lead crysta
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Unfortunately, I am not a crystal expert, and I do not know how to tell a real crystal from a fake, I will try to do some research on the internet and find out, or maybe find some links that can explain, but at this time, I simply don't know how to tell.