The colorful SWAROVSKI gemstone look of the 1980s

This weekend I made a particularly rare find at an antique market.

The feeling of finding a rare piece of jewelery can be extremely satisfying, even downright exciting. It triggers a feeling of joy and happiness, especially if, like me, you have been looking for such pieces of jewelry for a very long time and unfortunately all too often have to return home disappointed and without a find.



Due to the spectacular and artistically demanding design, it was immediately clear to me that the piece of jewelry that was lying in front of me must have come from the hands of an experienced designer. Through the cabochons open on the back in a deep blue sapphire style, the likewise blue and precisely cut baguette stones in a channel setting, in which gemstones or, as here, crystals are placed close together between two metal rails, and the white sparkling diamond-like ones Rhinestones in a pavé setting, a type of setting in which small gemstones of the same shape are placed close together like small "paving stones" (French: pavé), so that the piece of jewelery appears to be strewn with stones and almost nothing of the carrier metal can be seen , the necklace can hardly be distinguished from a real piece of jewelery at first glance.

SWAROVSKI Halskette im Edelstein-Look geöffnetSWAROVSKI Halskette im Edelstein-Look Details Verschluss
SWAROVSKI Halskette im Edelstein-Look Detail Rückseite VerschlussSWAROVSKI Halskette im Edelstein-Look Rückseite


Yes, for me this piece of jewelery was and is impressive proof of the masterly art of jewelery in the field of designer and fashion jewellery. It has to be done with just as much skill, just as many work steps and just as much time in production as in the production of a real piece of jewellery. But which designer or manufacturer is behind this extraordinary piece of jewelry? On the back I discovered a stamp with the stylized letters SC. A brand I couldn't relate to at first.

The gemstone look of the 1980s

Based on the design of the piece of jewelry, it was only clear to me that it had to be a piece from the 1980s. Because especially in the 1980s, opulent jewelery with a colored gemstone look was very popular. He was an integral part of an era that was characterized by particularly bold, large and eye-catching fashion and jewelery trends and thus clearly reflected the zeitgeist of this style epoch. Luminous colored gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethysts and citrines were often used in the manufacture of the eye-catching pieces of jewellery.

But now back to the mysterious brand with the stylized letters SC and the question of who is behind the production of the beautiful necklace that I so unexpectedly discovered at an antique market in Berlin. A friend brought me the solution to the riddle, who found out after an hour what I had previously failed miserably at. It turned out that the SC, which I found really surprising and of course extremely pleasing, stands for "Swarovski Crystals" and is an early brand of the legendary crystal manufacturer Swarovski. Before the introduction of the famous swan mark and thus up until 1988, the SC mark was used here in Europe. At the same time, in the United States of America, between 1976 and 1988 to be precise, the somewhat better-known brand "S.A.L." used, an abbreviation for the term "Swarovski America Ltd".


Swarovski Crystal SC Logo 1976-1988

Swarovski Crystal Logo 1976- 1988

But no matter whether here in Europe or in the USA: The Swarovski jewelery of this time was characterized by the opulence and colourfulness that corresponded to the 1980s zeitgeist, except that the Swarovski crystals were not real gemstones, but about precisely cut crystal glass. At this point, Swarovski had been the company that had been influencing, if not revolutionizing, jewelry and fashion history for almost 100 years. Real gemstones could be imitated by Swarovski in a deceptively real way, but of course they weren't nearly as expensive. In this way, Swarovski made beautiful and carefully designed pieces of jewelery accessible not only to a small and wealthy upper class, but also to the broad masses, who made enthusiastic use of this opportunity.

Swarovskis as crystal supplier

Famous personalities such as Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe or Elisabeth Taylor wore jewelery made with Swarovski crystals and made the Swarovski company world famous. However, these pieces of jewelry were not designed or produced by the Swarovski company itself. It was other famous jewelery manufacturers such as Napier or Trifari or designers such as Coco Chanel or Christian Dior who used Swarovski crystals. This was not to change until 1976, when Swarovski launched the first line of jewelry under its own name. And this under the different labels "S.A.L." in the US and "SC" in Europe.

SWAROVSKI Vintage Ohrringe mit großem lila KristallSWAROVSKI Vintage Türklopfer Ohrringe mit rotem Kristall

S.A.L. (Swarovski America Ltd.)

During this time, however, those responsible at Swarovski increasingly came to the realization that these two labels did not have the desired recognition value, and so the famous Swan brand was finally introduced in 1988. Even today, the swan signature adorns every piece of Swarovski jewelry and almost everyone with even the slightest interest in beautiful, high-quality jewelry associates the swan with this company. According to the Swarovskis themselves, the swan is a symbol of beauty, purity and power due to its elegance and grandeur. And indeed, with the introduction of the Swan brand, the great and worldwide triumph of Swarovski jewelry began.
Swarovski SCS logo 1988
That's why pieces of jewelery are all the more rare, like the necklace I discovered, which dates from the time between Swarovski's first own jewelery line and the introduction of the Swan brand. And so it's also a truly rare find I made with the 1980's gemstone look necklace. A vintage SWAROVSKI piece of jewelry that is no longer manufactured today, has a unique design and also has a special color, leaves nothing to be desired. And even if this piece of jewelry comes from the time before the big breakthrough in the jewelry division of the Swarovski company, it really does not disappoint with this beautiful, thick gold-plated real jewelry design and the outstanding quality!
This necklace, but also the many other bold, glittering, colorful, pompous, opulent and high-quality pieces that were made with great care and attention to detail in this really very special fashion and design epoch and also with Swarovski stones you get the distinct feeling that it's time to ditch your comfortable clothes and fluffy slippers and finally get glamorous and elegant again.
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