Among those of us who are Crystal Fanatics, the controversy over the values for our retired Swarovski Crystal collectibles is often discussed. At one time, many of us would buy low and sell high to obtain and reinvest in our collection. Those days are long gone, as the values for most collectibles have plummeted in recent years. Of course, there are the occasional few pieces that will increase in value, but they have become far and few between. Some collectors collect just for the pure joy of owning and being able to admire their collection, but for those of us who bought years ago when the prices were high, well that’s another story.
While doing a little research this week, I was troubled at the considerable difference between values in a once popular publication that appraises Swarovski Crystal on an annual basis, and the actual selling prices in the marketplace.
Case in point: let’s take a look at a few recent sales during the end of August, 2011 timeframe. Bear in mind that I am quoting the values from the 2010 ‘annual edition’ publication. It is is also noteworthy to remember that the valuations from this publication are for ‘Mint in Box’ (MIB) Swarovski crystal pieces, including the accompaning certificates, which Swarovski is phasing out. And that the selling prices were obtained from a public, very popular, long-time auction site that is used to sell everything from ‘soup to nuts’ on a worldwide basis.
The FIRST SCS Annual Edition Trilogy
The Lovebirds –
Sold on 8/28 MIB for $1325 and on 9/4 for $960 without a box.
Estimated Retail Value: $3300.00
Listings at $1995 & $2809 were a No Sale
The Woodpeckers –
Sold on 8/21 MIB for $825; Sold on 9/4 for $441 with no box
Estimated Retail Value: $1375.00
Listings @ $650, $999 MIB & $1500 were a No Sale.
The Turtledoves –
Sold on 8/28 for $335 MIB; Sold again in August for $260.68 and again for $292.50 with no box
Estimated Retail Value: $750.00
Listings all the way from $450 up to $859.95 were a No Sale.
The Rare In Flight Series (because of their rarity & age, they are often found with no box or cert)
Gold Hummingbird –
Sold on 8/21 & 8/28 for $479.99 with no box; and on 8/23 for $399.95 with no box
Estimated Retail Value: $950.00
Gold Bee –
Sold on 8/21 & 8/28 with box & cert for $689.99
Estimated Retail Value: $1350.00
141 Tulip Candleholders
Sold on 8/21 & 8/28 for $499.99 MIB
Estimated Retail Value: $950.00
Sold on 8/25 MIB for $393.88
Estimated Retail Value: $725.00
Listings from $399 to $649.99 were a No Sale.
Sold on 8/23 for $823.69 and on 9/4 for $861.69 MIB
Estimated Retail Value: $1600
Listings for $875 and $1699 were a No Sale.
Sold on 8/27 for $299.99 on 8/27 MIB
Estimated Retail Value: $450
Listings for $359.99 and $615.79 were a No Sale.
5th Anniversary Birthday Cake
Sold for $79 MIB on 8/30
Estimated Retail Value: $220
While I am aware that these are just a few items, I think the point has been made.
I also will concede that the ‘publication’ I am referring to is definitely good if you need documentation to make an insurance claim & that the values include commission costs for secondary market dealers. However, who pays full price nowadays? which is what will happen if you buy from a secondary market specialist. And, more importantly, does that justify the cost to purchase these editions yearly? or the obvious discrepancy between selling prices and valuations? Therein is where the controversy arises.
One thing is for certain: Swarovski Crystal is worth what someone is willing to pay for it!
The Crystal Fanatics Club maintains a Photo Gallery in Full Color of more than 9,000 Photos. The majority of Photos include all the Swarovsk Crystal issues. The Photo Galleries are offered FREE to our CFC Members with a $29.95 yearly membership, less than the cost of your daily newspaper, and certainly less than the Cost of the books mentioned in this article. Included with the Photos are all the information you need to know to document your collection: Product number, Designer, Theme Group, a brief description, Size, the appropriate Logo, Original Cost, and an estimated Current Value (for whatever that’s ‘worth’).
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