Sunday, October 25, 2009


Swarovski amethyst 5201 - the old stock being replaced by...

Swarovski amethyst 5238 - more cuts, more light reflection

Hands up everyone who loves Swarovski crystal. That's what I thought.Hands up anyone who has considered taking out a second mortgage on their house to buy enough Swarovski crystals or pearls to complete a big project. Uh-huh.

I decided to do some price comparisons.

Using suppliers I'm familiar with and Smadar's suggestion, I used two colors in the same price range: amethyst & violet 4mm in plain, AB and AB2x. Because suppliers sell in varying quantities and some give a price break for quantity, you'll see highest price first and the lowest price, applied to quantity breaks, second.

To eliminate the confusion created by trying to compare lots of different sizes,
I calculated the price per single bead.

Here we go!

E-Crystal Beads (Hong Kong)   I used the lots of one gross – 144 beads  
4.8 cents Plain    5.5 cents AB         6.2cents AB2x

**e-crystals also sells in smaller lots – and at under a gross, their price is not much of a bargain, but they offer some colors in wholesale lots of 1440 and those break down as low as .04 cents per bead.

In addition, for an order of $80-$150 U.S., they offer a 5% discount; $150 - $200 U.S. they offer 7% and over $200 U.S. – 10%.

This was by far the most interesting site. Check the sales. And note: They ship free all over the world and say, “Contact us if you any inquiry or need more bigger support.” Smadar
has dealt with this company successfully and this link is her recommendation.

5.6 cents Plain  6 cents AB  8 cents AB2x

Jewelry Supply

8-7 cents Plain 10-09 cents AB14-10 cents AB2x              

Crystal Bead Shop
8 cents Plain  10 cents AB  13 cents AB2x


9-7 cents Plain  11-9 cents AB  14-12 cents AB2x

9-7 cents Plain  11-9 cents AB  12-10 cents AB2x

Firemountain Gems    (48 pc price to larger price break)
13-6 Plain  8-7AB cents AB 9-.8 cents AB2x

**I had an AWFUL time trying to figure out Firemountain and might be just plain wrong about this breakdown. I find their online catalog so rambly and their pictures so low quality that it's difficult (10 pages later) to remember if you are looking at the same bead in a different quantity. On the other hand, their print catalog is gorgeous!

11-9 cents Plain  13-11 cents AB  15-13 cents AB2x

BeadFX     Canada
.19 cents Plain  .23 cents AB  .27 cents  AB2x 
Go Canada? I love BeadFX but this was a shocker.

When you look at the per piece prices, it may seem that the suppliers differ by very little,
but imagine you are beading something that requires 800 4mm bicones - If you purchase an AB from E-Crystal at 5.5 cents each, it will cost you $44.00. If you purchase from a supplier who charges 9 cents per bead, the cost is $72.00 - and once you add shipping, the cost of your time etc. that will obviously push the selling price up by a hefty chunk.

A note in closing on Rivolis. I was having a difficult time finding larger Rivolis in a variety of colors and these are the sites I've found doing a quick search:

Thatbeadlady (Cathy Lampole) has a good assortment of sizes like 27mm in lovely colors
like Vitrail Medium and Volcano. She carries some vintage and different shapes. I've dealt with Cathy and can recommend her from experience. She's a delight to deal with and ships
very quickly. Cathy is in Canada - and her prices are in Canadian dollars.

Dee's Place offers a range of Swarovski cabs in the larger sizes - both new and vintage, and also has a variety of shapes. Dee's looks interesting but I haven't ordered from this shop so I'm simply sharing the find.

If you need "more bigger support" please contact me!


  1. I'm confused. E-crystal Beads seems pretty high since almost everyone else is under one cent. Or were those values meant to be added on to some base price?

  2. My favorite supplier is if I need at least 100 or more crystals. Fusion is my fallback when INM doesn't have the color I want. INM prices plain .06; ab .07; 2xab .085. I think they're transitioning to the new bicone, so they're out of stock on many items.

  3. Patricia! Eiyee, the brain fog! I've taken out the decimals - which, combined with the word "cents" was creating the price error. Thanks for catching that.
    Christine...the price at inmcrystal would go towards the top (less expensive)sites. Thanks for the link. I use Fusion, too - but mostly for seed beads because they have a fabulous selection of colors and really clear photos.

  4. BIG SALE at e-crystal, Hong Kong! Thanks again, Smadar, for the heads up!

  5. Thanks for the great sources. I have not heard of many of these, so this was a big help!!

  6. Thanks for all the info! I've always bought mine from FMG and the last time I bought them I paid 5 cents for the plain 4mm (pkg of 48) at the 200 qty purchasing level. But they may have gone up since my last purchase which was about 7 months ago.

  7. Wow! This is fantastic. I hadn't heard of many of these sites. I was thinking of starting a large neckpiece that would incorporate a lot of crystals. Now have a starting place to find the right ones at the right price. Your blog ROCKS!

  8. Really glad to know this was useful. It would be embarrassing to tell you how many hours I've logged on the internet, over time, searching for it's great that the info. is helpful.

  9. I love Dee's Place, since you have not had the experience. IMHO, more, smaller facets is not always a better thing. I know Swarovski had to do this to get a patent, but I am disappointed. They have also done this with their flatbacks, which I have used for 25 years on my dance costumes. I can say, the larger facets mean bigger, more impressive sparkle from a distance, which is what matters on my ballroom costumes. Maybe for delicate jewelry that is viewed up close, it does not make a difference or is even a positive. Great information, as always!

  10. Thanks Marsha...
    You are correct - I was actually just reporting what I'd read...I am not overly experienced with Swarovskis - and when I use them, I tend to like the satins and opals. It's great that people add to information with comments. This becomes a learning experience for me, too. Also, very good to hear from someone who has had experience with a supplier when I haven't.

  11. What a great resource list! I love Swarovski crystals too!

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