My absolute favourite finish in vintage Swarovski is this one called Palian Blue! It shows an incredible range of colour from deep purples to royal blues. Hand cut faceting throws sparkle & colour in all directions. They look incredible in the photos, and even better in real life.
Actual crystals measure 12mm long. I've paired them with hand made sterling silver ear wires for a total length of about 1.5"
Many people are familiar with the Swarovski name; walk into any modern bead store and there will likely be a large selection of colours and sizes available. But I like to seek out the unusual; different shapes, discontinued colours - pieces you can’t find in modern bead stores.
I deal with a jewelry manufacturer that used to create costume jewelry from about the 1930s up to the 70s. Many of their Swarovski beads were made either exclusively for them or for other major manufacturers which were then acquired at auction. In the 50’s the competition amongst the costume jewelry manufacturers of the day was intense. Often they would commission Swarovski to produce special color combinations for them. Each respective factory had their own combinations.
In fact, the combinations were a closely guarded secret lest some competitor copy the combinations. Some of these companies included Coro, Napier, Trifari, Lissner, and Capri.
In 1972, my supplier bought a truckload of odd Swarovski crystals at auction from popular costume jewelry maker Albert Weiss Company when they closed their doors. You would be hard pressed to find these crystals anywhere else as no one knows exactly which colors were combined with which finishes to produce the end result.
Sometimes the current Swarovski company will re-issue a popular colour from the past, however these are made with modern techniques and can never fully recapture the unique processes and time consuming faceting used in the past.