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Swarovski Crystal Beads vs Glass Beads: What's the Difference?

April 04, 2023 4 min read

Swarovski Crystal Beads Vs Glass Beads

If you’re an avid crafter - or even running your own jewellery shop - you’ll understand how important it is to select the right beads for your projects. When you’re trying to choose the best beads to work with when crafting, you generally have two choices: you can either opt for glass or crystal beads. Both come with their own advantages, but what’s the actual difference between them? In this comprehensive guide, we're going to take a deeper look at the unique characteristics, pros, and cons of each bead type, and offer insights on various factors to consider when making your choice for your next creative project. Let’s dive in!


What are Swarovski Crystal Beads?

Swarovski crystal beads are a premium bead choice for many crafters, and are renowned for their exceptional quality and unmatched brilliance. The secret behind their luxurious appearance lies in the unique manufacturing process, which involves adding minerals to traditional glass. This creates the dazzling sparkle and high reflection rate that sets them apart from other beads. 

Another key factor that makes Swarovski crystal beads highly desirable is their precision cut: Swarovski factories employ advanced cutting machinery, ensuring perfectly cut and faceted crystals every time. This precision contributes to their remarkable shine and scintillating play of light, which is further enhanced by their extensive range of shapes, sizes, and colours on offer. 


What are glass beads? 

Glass beads have long been a staple in the crafting world, offering a more budget-friendly alternative to their crystal counterparts. Glass beads are crafted primarily from glass, with occasional additives like calcium oxide or sodium carbonate to enhance specific properties or create unique visual effects. 

While glass beads may not possess the same level of sparkle as Swarovski crystals, they are still favoured for their versatility when it comes to shapes, sizes, and colours. Additionally, their cuts are less precise, which can add a rustic or organic feel to your creations. When comparing the two types, you'll find that glass beads have a more solid and substantial feel compared to the delicate and refined nature of crystal varieties. 


Glass beads vs crystal beads

So, how to tell the difference between Swarovski crystals and glass beads? When it comes to glass beads vs crystal beads, Swarovski crystals and glass beads can be distinguished based on facets, clarity, consistency, and branding. Swarovski crystals have more facets and precise cuts, providing superior sparkle. They are also known for their exceptional clarity, unlike glass beads which may contain imperfections. Swarovski crystals also have uniform shape, size, and color, whereas glass beads can vary.


Factors to consider when choosing beads for craft projects

Selecting the right type of beads for your craft project involves taking a look at different several factors, so here are a few key considerations from us to help you make the best decision: 


Glass beads are generally more affordable than Swarovski bicone beads. If you're working within a tight budget or creating a large-scale project, glass beads may be the ideal choice for your project. 

Intended use

Consider the end product and its purpose. If you're creating items for sale, investing in Swarovski crystal beads may be worthwhile, as they can generate more interest and command a higher value due to their premium quality and appearance. 

Longevity and durability

When designing jewellery or other items that will be worn or used frequently, Swarovski crystal beads are the superior option, given their stunning beauty and resilience. Their brilliant shine and precise cut make them more durable and less prone to chipping or damage over time.

Aesthetic preferences

Depending on the style you wish to achieve, you may prefer the subtle, understated look of glass beads or the eye-catching and dazzling finish of Swarovski crystal beads. 


Both glass and Swarovski crystal beads come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and colours, so they’re both suitable for a wide variety of crafting projects. Consider how much flexibility you need in your project and choose the type that best suits your creative vision. 

Ultimately, both glass beads and Swarovski crystal beads have their unique attributes, making them suitable for various craft projects. When it comes down to choosing between the two, the decision depends on your budget, intended use, and whether or not you plan to sell your crafts once complete. Don’t forget that Swarovski have now updated their wholesale policies, so you can no longer buy Swarovski crystals if you’re not using them for a physical, commercial product. 
At Bluestreak Crystals, we stock the entire Swarovski crystal beads range. You can buy them in single orwholesale packs and they’re available in a wide range of designs. Browse our collection today and see just how magnificent these crystals truly are. You can also compare them to our Bicone beads, which also come in a great choice of designs.


Check out our most popular Swarovski Crystal Beads


Swarovski Crystal Beads