Borealis stones were first created in the early to mid
of fire and light, aurora borealis (AB for short) rhinestones
and beads were a favorite of vintage jewelry makers. But
don't be fooled by retailers who try to convince you that
the piece of aurora borealis jewelry they are selling
is from the Victorian, or Edwardian, or even Art Deco
period. It isn't.
the early to mid 1950s, the Swarovksi Company began experimenting
to give a lustrous aurora borealis coating on crystals
to make them more radiant. The process was meant to simulate
the effect of the Northern Lights, or the celestial Aurora
Borealis. By 1955, the process was perfected by Swarovski,
who also worked closely with Christian Dior in the design
of jewelry with these stones.
you examine a rhinestone or glass bead which has this
coating, you will see shimmering colors radiating from
the beads in a variety of shades. Early colors had mainly
a bluish coating, but over the years more and more variations
in the coating color was perfected and the stones now
have a wide variety of colors available. Jerry Smith from
Beads and JSBeads.com has a wonderful chart of Aurora
Borealis coating colors on his site.
first, the jewelry made from these stones was only available
to the very wealthy, but the process was licensed for
use by other manufactures, such as Corocraft, who used
it in their Vendome line. Later, when plastic beads with
this finish became the vogue, the jewelry became cheaper
and more affordable by the general public.
use of Aurora Borealis stones and beads in jewelry was
very popular until the mid 1960s, when it tended to fade
from the manufacture of jewelry, only to have a huge resurgence
in later years of the last century when vintage jewelry
collecting started to become so popular.
one can acquire jewelry from many time periods with AB
stones, for investment purposes, the 1950s is the time
period on which to focus. Aurora Borealis stones were
fashioned into all types of vintage jewelry - necklaces,
bracelets, earrings, rings, pins and brooches are all
found with these stones.
So, when you find a piece of jewelry with original aurora
borealis stones, don't be fooled into believing that it
dates from the 1930s or 1940s. Occasionally, you may find
a patent number on the back of a piece which will specifically
date it, but the patent will never indicate a piece earlier
than 1955 unless the stones have been replaced.