Are My Swarovski Christmas Ornaments Worth Anything?
It’s worth doing a little due diligence before tossing your sparkling Swarovski Christmas ornaments. Depending on the year of your figurine or ornament, and whether or not it’s retired and limited edition, you may be able to sell it for a significant price, but it’s not likely you’ll make a living flipping Swarovski Christmas ornaments.
According to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on all things Swarovski Crystal, the estimated replacement value of Swarovski pieces has been in decline due to the global economy and ability to find rare or unusual pieces more readily. So if you are planning to get in the collecting game, you may have to wait a long time for more recent ornaments to go up in value (if at all).
That being said, if you happen to inherit a tree’s worth of Swarovski snowflakes from dear Auntie Jenny you could try your luck at selling them to the highest bidder on an open marketplace like Ebay, Etsy or Facebook. These places generally attract collectors, speculators, or individuals looking for something unique and special to give as a gift, and they may fetch you a good price, but don’t expect to retire from them.
However, there have been some recent changes to the brand operations, management, and vision throughout the pandemic that may well make anything Swarovski more valuable.
How do you pronounce Swarovski?
Comes in handy when reselling or searching for items.
Swar – ov – ski
can be pronounced
Swar – off – ski
When Did Swarovski Start Making Christmas Ornaments?
1991 was the year Swarovski began making limited edition Swarovski star and snowflake ornaments as part of their Giftware Suite and New Concepts division. You can see by the year either etched on the piece or engraved on a silver tag. Swarovski Angel Ornaments, as part of their Crystal Moments series, were released in 1996.
Swarovski is a 127 year old company founded in Wattens, Austria in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski. It has remained a family influenced business since it’s founder decided to create an affordable “diamond for everyone”. Not only does Swarovski produce the beautiful jewelry and accessories you see shining in store windows, it also makes telescopes, binoculars (Swarovski Optik), crystal products and abrasives for grinding crystals (Tyrolit).
Swarovski is a unique innovator in man-made crystal glass. This glass is crafted using quartz, sand and minerals to produce exceptionally high-quality crystals that offer brilliant clarity resulting in the glistening and twinkling Swarovski figurines, jewelry, and ornaments you see shimmering through shop windows. This is more prevalent during the holidays when they release newer, trendier pieces in dizzying arrays of color.
The company’s creative process is known for linking together the arts, sciences, and economics in order to create trendy, meaningful pieces that tell a story. As a leader in ultra-precise crystal cutting done by hand through a technique known as Pointiage, this is what makes Swarovski glass resemble the brilliance of diamonds because true crystal would have more imperfections.
Swarovski crystals have changed the shopping experience and made men and women feel ridiculously beautiful and special through their pieces.
What is the rarest Swarovski Christmas Ornament?
In the 1980s Swarovski USA produced annual crystal ornaments as part of their Giftware Suite division. There were ornaments made for that particular year only and they did not have a Swarovski logo on them, so by virtue of this exclusive production being only in the United States, the absence of a logo, and the fact these were produced under a different collection than the Star and Snowflake ornaments that began in 1991, it is unlikely for there to be an abundance of these ornaments for sale. If you would like to collect Christmas related ornaments from the early 1980s, keep your eye online, from one of the shops listed below, and around garage sales or estate sales in the event you stumble upon one of these rare ornaments.
Swarovski Discontinued Loose Crystal Bead Embellishments
In 2020, it was announced that Swarovski would be streamlining and scaling back it’s product offerings. This meant they would no longer be selling the fancy crystal stones, pearls, and beads to wholesalers, other jewelry brands, or independent jewelry designers. This change as Swarovski entered 2021 was part of a massive restructuring that occurred within the 127 year old company in an attempt to stay more profitable, competitive, and to offer higher quality products.
According to the then CEO of Swarovski (and member of the family) Robert Buchbauer, he was quoted in Bloomberg explaining the reasons for these changes,
“After years of exuberant expansion, Buchbauer says Swarovski needs to refocus and learn that less is more. That means exiting the low-margin wholesale business where cheaper competition from Egypt or China has dented profit.”
What this means is that these otherwise very popular loose stones and beads will become more rare and hard to find over time. If you happen to have these small items in your craft box and want to try your hand at embellishing an ornament or item and selling it on Ebay or Etsy then perhaps you’ll make a few dollars. A quick look for Swarovski stones or Swarovski embellished on Ebay returned a highly expensive Swarovski crystal encrusted basketballs and footballs.
These screenshots taken in November 2021, show sponsored posts from a 100% rated seller on Ebay.
How can you tell if your Swarovski Christmas Ornament is Real?
There may be several ways to determine the authenticity of your Swarovski Christmas Ornaments:
Packaging. The triangular boxes have been around since the first ornament was released in 1991, however, they haven’t always had the textured, matte, and deep navy color as today’s boxes do. The design and color has varied between white, red, blue boxes, with some boxes having images or designs on the cover.
Certificate of Authenticity. Each annual ornament should be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Swarovski has included little booklets with their products for decades with the wording ‘Swarovski certificate’. If you are buying from another collector or auction site, inquire as to this certificate.
Inscription of Year. Each year Swarovski releases an annual Christmas snowflake and includes the year as either an etching on the ornament (early 1990s) or via a small silver tag at the base of the ribbon and ornament. Look for the swan etching in the silver hanging ring with a copyright symbol as well.
Flawless crystals. Since the finest craftsmanship and artistry have been applied to the creation of Swarovski crystals due to the company’s signature technique of Pointiage, there exists a flawlessness to the crystal that isn’t found in natural gems or crystals.
Brilliant Clarity. Due to this flawlessness of Swarovski crystals, the light is able to pass through each crystal more fully because there are no imperfections and the cuts are precise. The result is the sparkling brilliance that glistens like no other and why their stores are so mesmerizing.
Free of scratches, oils, cracks or bubbles. Unless it has fallen and a piece has broken off, your Swarovski ornament should be free of any internal scratches, cracks or bubbles.
Symmetry. Since Swarovski ornaments are man-made or manufactured, they should have a relative degree of sameness with regards to color, shape, size and design.
Logo. Almost all genuine Swarovski products feature the Swan logo, collectors who seek these products with the Swan logo are known as swan seekers. The shift away from the block letter C with internal ‘S’ happened in 1989. Any pieces produced prior to this date have a different logo and, in some cases, it may only be faintly visible or almost impossible to detect. The absence of a logo does not mean it is not a genuine Swarovski, according to Crystal Exchange America there have been some pieces imprinted with a backwards swan (a rarity indeed)!
Look for the swan etching in the silver hanging ring with a copyright symbol as well.
According to the Swarovski FAQs on their website:
You will find the following logos on almost all Swarovski crystal and jewellery products:
Square Silver Crystal SC logo (1976 – 1988)
sCs/SCS logo (Swarovski Crystal Society 1987 – present)
Swan logo (1989 – present)
Weight. The folks at AnnualOrnaments.com did a comparison test between an authentic Swarovski ornament and one they purchased on eBay for $28.88. They weighed the authentic Swarovski crystal ornaments against the purchased ornament and found the knock-off weighed less than the real ones. The authentic ornaments weighed 40g whereas the fake weighed only 36g, in addition to other “tells” the fake was a close looking glass replica of the real deal.
Authorized Dealers. It is best to only purchase your ornaments from an authorized dealer due to the risk of knockoffs and imitation ornaments.
Are My Hallmark Christmas Ornaments Worth Anything?
It’s that time of year where you’re pulling bins and boxes of holiday decor in anticipation of the holiday season. At the same time, the pressure is on…
How to Care for Your Swarovski Crystal Ornaments
Although Swarovski ornaments resemble diamonds, they are much more delicate since they are made of crystal glass and require careful handling when cleaning.
A few recommendations when cleaning your Swarovski ornaments before displaying them or putting them away for the season:
- Use soft cotton or microfiber cloth to wipe down ornaments
- Fill the sink or a large plastic dish with lukewarm water, 1 cup of vinegar and a few drops of mild dish soap. You can soak the item or use the water to clean off any dust, stickiness from the tree or grubby hands.
- Lay ornaments to dry on a soft cloth or towel in order to avoid chipping on the counter or table
- Gently use a soft cloth to polish ornament or decor. Use a toothpick to remove and loosen wax from candlesticks
- Do not use commercial grade cleaners or abrasive cloths or tools
How to Display Your Swarovski Christmas Ornament Collection
Aside from the obvious and hanging these gorgeous ornaments on your tree, you can purchase a rotating stand specifically for your snowflake ornaments from Amazon. Some stands that can be as high as 3ft with 10 arms and 60 hooks for hanging. It is powered and rotates so you can enjoy the full spectrum of all your treasures.
- Other examples have included single or double ornament stands sold by Swarovski.
- Purchase a Nordic type Christmas Trees
- Wrapping metal rings together to tie the ornaments inside each ring.
Where can I sell my Swarovski Christmas Ornaments?
This is a professional brokerage service that has a huge selection of Swarovski collectibles for you to safely list, buy, and sell. They have an extensive collection of figurines from a variety of themes and many years in the business validating the authenticity and quality of Swarovski pieces, not just ornaments. Certainly a site to visit in your research.
You can see what other sellers are asking and receiving for their collections.
Warner’s Blue Books on Swarovski
In its 24th year of publication Warner’s Blue Books detail all of the ornaments and crystal figurines Swarovski has made through the years (more than 5100!). It has recently revamped it’s catalogue list into 3 different books in order to better organize the figurines based on changes to how Swarovski names their items, i.e. removing the word Silver Crystal from it’s naming. These catalogues include the product names, part numbers, dimensions, year introduced and year retired, as well as an estimated retail value on retired items (known as Swarovski ERV). Furthermore, the website lists a Swarovski Assistance Identification service where you can submit images of your pieces and experienced professionals can assist with identifying the ornaments. An exceptional resource for all things Swarovski.
This is an online gallery featuring over 8000 items that range from wall hangings to fountains to sculptures. They are currently closing out their Swarovski inventory but have a page as of November 2021 with a selection of rare Swarovski Crystal ornaments.
An Authorized Dealer of many brands of ornaments from Swarovski to Jim Shore, they specialize in offering dated annual ornaments.
This site lists retired ornaments by year and provides interesting facts and history for each of the years mentioned. It is a choppy reference source, but if you want to comb through the site you will certainly learn something.
Join the SCS in order to connect with members around the world or find Facebook or online groups with members who may be interested in purchasing from your collection.
In late 2021, Swarovski saw a reshuffling of its leadership with family members stepping away from day-to-day operations and moving into roles on the board of directors. These changes were meant to bring in a new era for the fifth-generation family business that would allow it to better manage its global affairs “ in a more unified manner and according to best practice”. Furthermore the new talent and expertise from outside the family were made to promote Swarovski as an innovative brand in the luxury market.
This restructuring of the company could bring forth newer, more innovative, trendier, exclusive collections and limited edition items that inspire the next generation of collectors or increase the collectability and value of figurines, ornaments and styles from previous years. As with any change in company leadership it remains to be seen whether Swarovski’s sparkle remains.