Continuing to chip away at its reputation as a manufacturer of crystal alone, Swarovski Gems, the division of the Austrian firm that sells patented-cut natural gems, held a swanky soiree in Manhattan last week as part of a rebranding effort for its marcasite (natural pyrite) gems. (Marcasite jewelry is traditionally made with pyrite.)
Dubbed Natural Reflection by Swarovski Gems, the initiative celebrates “the next generation of marcasite,” according to the firm. At last week’s event, the brand also debuted a new shape for its marcasite line called the small round tablet cut, available in sizes of 6 mm–13 mm.
The small round tablet cut, available in sizes of 6 mm–13 mm, a new shape offered in Swarovski Gems’ new marcasite line, known as Natural Reflection by Swarovski Gems
Held on the 21st floor of the Glass Houses in the Chelsea Arts Tower, located downtown at 25th Street and 11th Avenue, the event impressed just about every attendee as soon as the elevator doors opened and they were treated to panoramic views of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and the Upper West Side thanks to the space’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The light in the venue underscored the underlying message about pyrite, a.k.a. “fool’s gold.” The steely-colored mineral is cubed in its natural form, but it’s also very reflective—and, thanks to Swarovski Gems, it is poised for rebirth in the fashion arena.
View of the Hudson River from the Glass Houses; Bug Design made with Swarovski marcasite and Swarovski genuine gemstones by M.C.L by Matthew Campbell Laurenza
“I think the space exemplified how beautiful marcasite can be,” said Cheryl Palacios, trend and communications manager of the Americas.
Towering bronze cube silhouettes that mimicked the look of pyrite in a Brobdingnagian but raw state anchored the center of the room, while small live displays of the mineral itself sat atop pedestals for up-close analysis.
“We wanted to really capture the essence of how natural pyrite grows,” Palacios said of the statues, which will next journey to the September editions of the Hong Kong and Bangkok trade fairs for similar events. “We have a challenge in that Swarovski is seen only as a crystal company, but we’re trying to show how Swarovski Gems indeed cuts genuine gemstones, including a natural material such as marcasite.”
Inspiring finished jewels from Swarovski partners—seven manufacturers including Po Chai Jewellery Co. and 20 independent designers like Walter Adler Chefitz of Walt Adler Designs, the first winner of the first Swarovski-sponsored JCK Rock Star Competition—lined the perimeter of the space on pillars under glass.
Walter Adler Chefitz, collaborator with Swarovski Gems and winner of the first-ever JCK Rock Star Competition sponsored by JCK and Swarovski
Swarovksi Gems also gave pyrite a prominent spot in its Gem Visions 2013 trend research publication, where the brand called pyrite “the new ‘IT’ gem in fashion-forward jewelry” and a material to love for its futuristic “cool, smoky, edgy glamour,” and “industrial chic reflective gleam.” According to Swarovski Gems, pyrite “behaves like a gemstone and looks like a metal, and is “a genuine gemstone that offers brilliant design possibilities at an affordable price.” And what do you know—JCK forecasted the very same thing back in December.