Swarovski was founded in 1895 by a Bohemian, Daniel Swarovski, who established a crystal cutting factory in Wattens (near Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria) where he could take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes he had patented.
The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor, chandeliers, and beads and rhinestones for manufacturers and artists. Swarovski crystal contains approximately 33% lead to maximize refraction.
In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or "AB", is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance. Other coatings include Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado.
The original Swarovski logo was an edelweiss flower, but was replaced with the current swan logo in 1988. All sculptures are marked with this logo. A recent development was the 2004 release of a new copyrighted cut, Xilion, designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (crystal components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).
Swarovski is the brand name for the range of precision-cut crystal glass products produced by companies owned by Swarovski AG of Feldmeilen, near Z?rich, Switzerland.
The Swarovski Group also includes Tyrolit (makers of abrasive and cutting tools); Swareflex (reflective and luminous road markings); Signity (synthetic gemstones); and Swarovski Optik (optical instruments).
The company runs a crystal-themed indoor theme park, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site.