Many of our customers ask ‘Is it worth spending money on Swarovski crystals?’ and the truth is, there are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to investing in Swarovski crystals. We’re going to go through the pros and cons of the well known manufacturer, and outline some of the reasons why creators are now switching to other popular brands.

Advantages of Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski leads the race in crystal quality

Swarovski is known all over the world as the leading manufacturer of crystals and cut glass, using high tech machinery to produce a myriad of crystal components. Their range of flatback stones, sew on stones, beads and pearls, which are the more popular components in the DIY sector, lead the pack in terms of quality of cut and brilliance. For example, the 2088 Xirius flatback rhinestone, the latest cut, features 16 facets in star formation, offering an amazing sparkle. The round and flatback pearl range has a smooth and pearlescent exterior and a durable scratch-proof coating making them a popular choice among jewellery designers. The overall standard of Swarovski foil backed crystals and sew on stones is of the highest quality in the industry, with a smooth, flat base and scratch resistant finish.

Boasts a huge range of products

Swarovski crystals include a vast range of products for the DIY sector, such as hotfix and non hotfix rhinestones, beads, pearls, chatons, fancy stones, cupchain, cabochons, sew on stones, crystal buttons, rhinestone shapes and Crystal Pixie for nail art. And each of these components are available in many different sizes and colours including neon, metallic, two-tone and iridescent coatings as well as the standard colour range. You can find a Swarovski crystal to match any project you’re working on.Swarovski’s brand recognition

If you’re a business selling rhinestone embellished products, such as a shoe or fashion designer, jeweller, beautician, crafter or dressmaker then a huge benefit of using Swarovski crystals is the brand recognition. This means everyone will know you produce high end products, and you can increase the price tag. Having the Swarovski name or logo associated with your products is a great marketing and advertising tool as it gives the buyer confidence and assurance that they are making a good quality purchase.

Ahead of the game with innovative new products

In general, Swarovski leads the race when it comes to new product launches and are one step in front with new colours and styles. For instance, releasing the new ‘Xirius’ cut a few years ago was a huge leap forward in quality for Swarovski. The star like cut of the facets transformed their rhinestones, offering even more sparkle. They were closely followed by Preciosa and their ‘Maxima’ cut, which increased their number of facets from 12 to 15 – again, a big step up in quality.

Another example, Crystal Pixie for nails was a huge success in the beauty industry, selling out within weeks.

This success led to the launch of an almost identical product a couple of years later from Preciosa, with their Crystal Faerie.Disadvantages of Swarovski Crystals

A surge in cost price

With Swarovski’s continual investment in state-of-the-art machinery and new crystal products, among other factors, their prices have increased massively over the last few years. It’s true that they produce the highest quality product, however many now believe this does not justify the prices they charge. In general Swarovski are 30% more expensive than Preciosa for DIY components, and more than double the price of the Zodiac brand, who offer similar crystals.Customers who are looking to purchase individual pieces to repair something, such as a vintage jewellery, a chandelier, shoes/accessories, dancewear or costume then they will be paying over the odds for a replacement crystal.

Swarovski scales back distributors in the UK

Back in October 2021, Swarovski made the decision to limit who would be allowed to purchase, sell and use their crystal components. Since then, suppliers of Swarovski components, which include flatback crystals, pearls, beads, fancy stones etc, have been selling what they had left, unable to re-stock. This is another reason for inflated prices. Only customers who comply with the strict requirements set out by Swarovski are able to purchase and sell their product; the already high-quality brand was looking to elevate their status to elite and superior quality, thus excluding many UK customers and making it harder to buy.

The rise of alternative brands

Historically, Swarovski was known to be the world’s best manufacturer of crystals, but now the closest two brands, Preciosa and Zodiac, and some Chinese manufacturers, have invested considerably in state-of-the-art machinery to offer a high quality alternative.

  • PRECIOSA - Preciosa rhinestones are widely available, they produce top quality, cut glass components to rival Swarovski. Even before 2021, many previously loyal Swarovski customers were switching to Preciosa, for a very similar but less expensive product. The entire Preciosa range is available to purchase on our website and you can read more about Preciosa here.
  • ZODIAC - We have spent years researching, testing, and quality checking different rhinestone manufacturers so we could offer a high quality, more cost-effective brand to the market, as an alternative to the more expensive and now limited Swarovski brand. And we know we’ve cracked it with Zodiac Crystals. Zodiac is a Swarovski alternative brand of cut glass rhinestones, that have the same number of facets and the same Xirius style, as the Swarovski 2088 crystal, giving Zodiac an almost identical sparkle. When compared side by side, it's almost impossible to see the difference between the two brands. We’ve had many customers comment on the likeness between Zodiac and Swarovski, and most of those have now switched to Zodiac.

Rapid decline in value

Swarovski rhinestones unfortunately do not hold their value over time, as Swarovski are forever investing money into improving their existing products, leaving older products inferior and unwanted. Of course, it is vital to update and improve products, and keep up with new innovations in the industry, but this does come at a cost. We recently purchased Swarovski crystals that are actually worth 14 time more than the price we paid.

So, are Swarovski crystals worth investing in?

If you’re a creator or business owner that relies on using the Swarovski brand name to sell your products, and you have a client base that are used to a certain high-end product and are willing to pay the price, then yes, it is worth investing in Swarovski crystals.

However, if you don’t need a Swarovski logo to show the value of your product, then your business will be far better off switching to a cost effective alternative brand such as Preciosa or Zodiac. With a lower price point, you can reach a much larger client base who will be converted as soon as they see the high quality presented by the other brands.

For more information on other crystal manufacturers, read our articles below:

An expert guide to buying good quality rhinestones

Have Swarovski rhinestones been discontinued?

Ultimate Guide: Are Zodiac Crystals as good as Swarovski?

Ultimate Guide: Expert guide to Preciosa rhinestones

Swarovski preciosa & zodiac