As a Swarovski authorized wholesaler we have received thousands of questions over past twelve years. And we get it. Swarovski loose crystals assortment is extremly complex and difficult to navigate through. Without some basic understanding it is quite hard to choose and order the right crystals for your jewelry, fashion and craft projects. In order to make that process a little bit easier for you, we prepared this overview of Swarovski crystal categories.
Crystals from SWAROVSKI®, in past also known (and today still referred to) as Swarovski Elements, can be divided into two main groups: standard products and forward integrated items.
Standard Swarovski Crystals
These crystals have a 4-digit item number and fall under 6 main categories:
- Round Stones (a.k.a. Chatons)
- Flat Backs No Hotfix & Flat Backs Hotfix
- Sew-on Stones & Crystal Buttons
- Fancy Stones
- Pearls & Beads
- Pendants & BeCharmed Collection
These products are a part of “in stock program”. Generally speaking, this means that they are being manufactured regularly and consistently. Of course, each product in a particular size and color has its status:
- in program = being produced on a regular basis
- special production = being produced on demand with huge MOQ (minimum order quantity), usually 14 400 pcs
- out of program = being discontinued
- future out of program = being currently produced but going out of program soon
- out of program with discount, if available = discontinued with additional discount for remaining stocks
We always advise our customers to keep in mind the status of a certain product in a particular size and color. If you’re not sure whether your desired crystal is standard or not, you can always contact us. Read more about each of these categories below.
Swarovski Forward Integrated Items
On the other hand, these products are being produced upon customer’s wish and order. Since you first have to configurate them, i.e., you have to choose, for example, type, size and color of carrier material, plating, setting, stone etc., prices vary and there is no fix price list for them. These items usually have a 5-digit item number and can be also divided into 6 main categories:
- Cupchains and Findings
- Plastic Trimmings (Basic Bandings and Mini Rondelles)
- Metal Trimmings (Flat Back Bandings, Rivets, Rose Pins, 3D Studs, Roses Montées and Chaton Montées)
- Synthetics (Crystal Graphic, Crystal Rocks, Crystal Fine Rocks, Crystal Ultra Fine Rocks, Crystal Medley, Crystal Galuchat)
- Crystal Mesh
- Hotfix Transfers
6 Main Swarovski Crystal Categories
Round Stones start with number 1 and have a pointed back. There are 17 shapes available in this category, but the most popular ones are 1088 and 1122. You might be wondering why some of these stones have a letter U or F next to their numbers. The letter F stands for Foiled, which means that the crystal has metal foiling on the back which reflects the light and produces that so much desirable shine and sparkle. Without the foiling the light just passes through the crystal and that’s what the letter U denotes – Unfoiled. Unfoiled crystals are, therefore, transparent, you can see the surface behind them, which limits their usage.
When talking about bestselling crystals in tis category there is one more thing we would like to point out. The round stone 1088 starts with the size PP14 (∅ 2 mm). If you need smaller size, then choose the cut 1028 which starts with PP2 (∅ 0,90 mm) and goes up to PP13 (∅ 1,90 mm). Generally speaking, round stones are most often used for jewelry design, but many fashion designers also use them for textile embellishment by sewing them on the garment with an appropriate sew-on setting. Another way to use these round stones is to glue them with Swarovski Ceralun 2-component clay which is available in 17 colors.
At the bottom of this category in our shop you will find the plastic color chart set with real stones which shows you all the colors that a particular product or product group comes in. Last year we wrote an article explaining Swarovski color variations. In that article you can download all color charts in PDF format so we’re not going to go into too much detail on that here.
Flat Back crystals start with number 2 and have a flat reverse side so that you can glue them on to various surfaces. They come in 60 different shapes and in plenty of colors. For Flat Backs No Hotfix you need an external glue. People use them mainly for nailart, textile, shoes and home décor items. The 2 most popular cuts are 2058, which goes up to size SS 10 (∅ 2,70 – 2,90 mm), and 2088, which starts with SS12 (∅ 2 – 3,20 mm) and goes up to SS48 (∅ 10,90 – 11,30 mm).
Flat Backs Hotfix come with a thin layer of a heat sensitive glue on the reverse side. This glues is being activated by the heat of a household iron, hotfix applicator or heat press. This kind of application guarantees a long lasting crystal effect which is so much desirable when it comes embellishing of textile, dance dresses, gymnastic leotards, etc. The 2 most commonly used shapes of Flat Backs No HF are 2038 and 2078.
Depending on the shape, Swarovski sew-on crystals come with 1, 2 or 3 holes and are perfect for sewing onto clothes, wedding dresses, home accessories, etc. You can also combine them with other types of crystals to create one of a kind sparkling jewelry. These crystals start with number 3 and the most popular in this category are Swarovski 3288 Xirius and 3223 Navette Sew-on Stone.
Swarovski Fancy Stones come in a range of sizes, colors and cuts, from a classic gemstone shape to a tear, flower or heart shaped crystals. In this category we have 185 items, so make sure to go to the next page when browsing through our shop if you don’t find the item you’re looking for on the first page. The majority of fancy stones have a matching setting which allows you to create colorful sparkly earrings, rings, bracelets or necklaces. Fancy stones will definitely make a great addition to any jewelry-making, beading or crafting project. Important to remember is that these crystals always start with number 4.0
Crystal Pearls and Beads
Although both of these start with number 5, they actually fall under 2 different categories.
Crystal Pearls are made of a unique crystal core covered with an innovative coating that creates a silky-smooth rounded surface. They are available in a variety of shapes sizes and colors with the 5810 being the most popular one. Unfortunately, in our B2B shop you cannot see the colors, so again, go to our previously mentioned blog post on Swarovski color charts.Or even better, order a physical color chart, which is not only showing you the colors, but also different shapes and sizes of Swarovski crystal pearls.
Swarovski Beads also come in a variety of shapes sizes and colors. From the classic round beads over hexagon and letter beads to special shapes like skull, heart, star, flower, butterfly, etc. Initially meant for jewelry, Swarovski beads are now even more popular among fashion designers who use them for stunning beading work. The most popular cut in this category is Swarovski 5328 Bicone Bead which comes in more than 200 color variations. As usual, a plastic color chart is also available for this product group.
These items start with number 6 and allow you to design effortlessly stunning necklaces or bracelets. Simply attach a bail and add it to a gold or silver chain to create a unique jewelry piecet. Swarovski pendants come in various shapes, but we would like to bring to your attention this beautiful 6228 Xilion Heart. It is available in more than 100 colors. Here is a 3-D view from our B2B shop which shows it in all of its beauty and sparkle.
It’s not that complicated after all, ha?
We hope that we’ve managed to simplify and explain Crystals from SWAROVSKI® assortment with this article. Should you still feel somehow lost in this “crystal labyrinth” do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to guide you and bring clarity. And if you want to order Swarovski Crystals from our B2B webshop, we’ve made a special tutorial for you. It explains how to find the items you’re looking for and place your order.
And now we want to hear you. Are you familiar with all these Swarovski categories and subcategories? Which crystals do you use most often?