Founded by Daniel Swarovski in 1895, Swarovski is the brand name of a type of lead crystal that is precisely cut into sculptures, figurines and chandeliers. Collectors also buy these crystals to make jewellery or high-end home decor. These crystals are considered very high quality in colour, lustre and light refraction. The figurines are highly collectable, and collectors can end up buying forgeries unless they know how to distinguish between a fake and an authentic Swarovski crystal.
Look for bubbles. Swarovski crystals have no bubbles within the glass, so if you find bubbles, it is not authentic.
Notice the lustre. Swarovski crystals have a uniform lustre, with no oily looking finish. Imitations will often have minor imperfections and scratches that come from lesser quality.
Look for that extra sparkle. Swarovski crystals with have much more sparkle than a fake, especially when observed in sunlight. The depth of colour will be especially noticeable when compared to a fake.
Examine the packaging. If you are lucky enough to have the original packaging, look for a silver-toned hologram with "Swarovski Elements" printed on it.
Look for the logo. Originally the logo was a flower, which was then replaced by the letters "S.A.L" The current logo is a swan, but it is slowly being phased out in favour of simply the name Swarovski.
Take the object to an expert. If you are still in doubt whether your crystal is genuine Swarovski or not, get the advice of an expert such as an antique or jewellery dealer.
If you are unsure of an object's authenticity, do not buy it. Buy Swarovski crystal only from reputable dealers. Be very cautious when buying crystal from online sellers and auctions. Many forgeries are sold on the Internet.