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
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
.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!