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Monday, October 3, 2016

Tzafora on the New Swarovski Shimmer Effect Stones

Most of you will remember that I posted a review of the new Swarovski Shimmer Effect stones last week. If you didn’t read it, you can check it out here. In sum, I think the new stones are a nice addition to the Swarovski range, but I’m not completely sold on what Swarovski claims about them. As with any collection, there are some definite hits (I’m looking at you Silk and Topaz), but there are also some misses. That being said, my opinion is just one of many, so I reached out to Renee at Tzafora to see what she thought. Here’s what she had to say:

“[The product] is described [by Swarovski] as radiating three shades of a single color, which I was very excited about. However, when the crystals arrived I found this was actually very misleading. The shimmer effect is a coating - just like how AB (Aurora Borealis) is a coating. Typically, these coatings enhance the brilliance of the crystal, giving the appearance of it being more sparkly, but it can (and often does) affect the original stone color. For example, if you take Jet AB, the stones look almost peacock-green rather than black with extra sparkle. Even in stones that are Crystal AB [the clear color], sometimes the cut of the stone shapes bring out different aspects of the coating; [for example] I tend to find the square shapes shimmer more yellow and the rivoli (a round stone that comes to a point on top) is more blue, even though it's all the same coating.

This same phenomenon occurs with the Shimmer coating. It appears to have a blue overtone [in general]. With the stone colors that are already blue you can see differing shades of the same color palette. It truly is fabulous. However, when you come to other colors like red, pink or yellow, you'll see a definite contrast. You've lost the ‘three shades of the same color’ thing and now entered into that strange mysterious world of ‘it's not going to be exactly how you think it will be’ zone that happens sometimes with Swarovski colors and coatings.

It's fantastic when clients know specifically what colors they require for a project, but I will always double check with them when it involves a request of a color with an AB coating (and now, Shimmer coating), because these can be very misleading. [The coating] doesn't always mean more sparkle... [usually] it becomes a different color [altogether].

Overall, the Shimmer Effect is beautiful, but it's important to note that it can drastically change the appearance of the stone depending on the stone color. [For example,] If you're looking for a ‘more sparkly red color’, it's advisable to make the effort to look up Siam and Light Siam in AB coatings and Shimmer coatings to see if that's exactly what you're after. You may be surprised by the outcome of the applied effects.

Having said that, it is still my wish that Swarovski would simply offer more ‘regular’ shades, particularly when it comes to stones shapes beyond the flat-back rounds. I've never understood why certain stone shapes that are incredibly popular (like a flat-back sew-on pear) only come in a limited choice of colors.”

So there you have it. I think Renee did a fantastic job reviewing the stones and I agree 100% with everything she has to say. She’s absolutely correct that more often than not the coatings (be it AB or Shimmer) change the original color itself pretty dramatically. I still stand by my statement that the Shimmer Effect does change the stone color less than the AB coating, but Renee is absolutely correct in saying that the Shimmer stones do not exactly match the coordinating ‘regular’ stones like Swarovski claim. Likewise, I agree that Swarovski’s efforts would be better placed in extending the current collection of ‘regular’ and AB stones instead of producing new effects.

So what’s our collective verdict? We both like them, but they’re definitely not all Swarovski claim. It’s best to view the new Simmer Effect stones as a totally new collection of colors rather than a more sparkly version of non-AB shades.

Here’s a video Renee sent showing the blue overtone of the new Simmer Effect stones she mentioned in her review. She starts by showing Blue Zircon, which as she noted does live up to Swarovski’s claims, but as you can see, the subsequent colors (Fuchsia, Citrine, and Light Colorado Topaz, respectively) really have a blue overtone that you don’t get in the original variety:


  1. I wish I had found this post before I ordered the Crystal shimmer stones. They definitely do not match the color of regular crystal stones. They have a more orange tone to them and of course the blue when they catch light, but the blue I can deal with; the light orange, not so much.

    1. Oh no! That's too bad! They definitely won't work well for replacements, but I wouldn't discount them entirely if you're using them for a project that doesn't already have the regular Crystal stones. The AB and the Shimmer reflect light much better, in my opinion, but they're definitely NOT true to the original color! I hope you can figure out a solution and put your stones to use!