I really should get some sort of discount from Swarovski. I rave about them all the time. Wouldn't you think they would send me a few free crystals at least? I really, really, really do love their little gems. Noting, but nothing sparkles like a Swarovski crystal. Oh,there are plenty of imitators out there. Some try to fool you into thinking they are the real thing. I was at a big name chain craft store just recently and had some crystals in my hand that I thought I might try. Hanging on the rack they sparkled so nicely I thought maybe, just maybe I could talk myself into substituting them for the more expensive Swarovski. I was looking them over carefully when I realized it was the way they were packaged that made them look so good. There was a very cleverly positioned silver lazer type strip on the package right behind the "crystals". Take the beads away from that strip and they looked like any other imitation glass bead. No, there is still no credible competition for that Swarovski sparkle in my book.
Worried about the lead in lead crystal beads? I say poppy-cock! Unless you plan to sit and suck on your jewelry there is no danger. The lead is in the glass. It is chemically part of it. I don't see it leaching out into your skin in any huge amounts. The manufactures of lead crystal glasses say not to serve acidic drinks in them and they recommend not storing liquids in lead crystal. A few beads in your jewelry isn't going to harm you. I wouldn't recommend lead crystal for young children, because they do sometimes put things in their mouths that don't belong there. I did get a bit of an uneasy feeling when I saw nursing necklaces made of lead crystal. I've never done that! If you are still leery, just don't wear the crystal next to your skin. Earrings are a great way to show off your sparkle since the crystal part doesn't touch your skin, and unless you have very strange anatomy, there's no way to suck on your earrings!
Shown above are a couple of my newest Swarovski creations. I love making them and sharing them with you. Have a closer look here:
Red Swarovski Earrings