Many Swarovski collectors have the belief that their Swarovski Collection is an investment. And as an investment, the value will continue to grow as time passes.
Owning a Swarovski collection ourselves, we truly wish this were the case. But the reality is that this 'investment' belief has not proven to upheld.
For a long time, Swarovski ERV (estimated replacement value) did increase each year. The most cherished SCS Annual Editions grew in value each year. Hard to find colored paperweight were highly sought after, and for this reason, they too would increase in value each year.
However, now times have changed. With the introduction of the online auctions, Swarovski value seemed to stabilize, slowing down this "increased value" each year.
As the auctions became a popular venue for Swarovski collectors to check out, selling prices of current (not retired) crystal almost seemed to be 'sale prices' which was unheard of since Swarovski had a fixed price system agreement with all its retailers at that time. Even today, on the front of the Swarovski Price List, which printed by Swarovski, it has clearly stated for several years, 'Non binding recommended retail prices'.
At present, the global economy is less vital than in recent years. Many collectors are taking a second thought when purchasing Swarovski crystal, perhaps spending less and adding items they truly admire, not everything Swarovski makes.
Thus collectors are purchasing less Swarovski, saving their money for life's necessities. For those who actively shop for new products, they sacrifice the personal shopping experience at a store for those bargain prices found elsewhere on the internet. And for those collectors finding themselves in a financial pinch, they begin to sell off their Swarovski . All these definitely factor into lower prices on the Swarovski commodity sadly. When supply overwhelms the demand, prices fall. The original expectation for "investment growth" or "profit" can become a "loss".
And this comes to full circle when our Swarovski Catalogue publications are updated annually. When Swarovski crystal is trading at lower prices, the Estimated Replacement Value (Swarovski ERV in our book) is lowered. Our placement of ERV is also made with this additional fact in mind...the Swarovski collector once owned the item in their personal collection. A catastrophe occurred, and the item is lost, damaged, or stolen. Originally insurance was purchased to protect the Swarovski item, now the item is gone. It is the insurance responsibility to put the policy holder's collection back to where it was before the catastrophe struck. The policy holder is not expected to 'wait for a good deal', but restored to whole in a reasonable time frame. Thus, it will be more expensive to restore the policy holder to whole, than a collector who simply has a desire to expand their collection with a new piece. This collector has no limited time frame to work within, and can indeed wait for the 'good deal'.
Our hopes are, at some point, things will turn around, and that Swarovski Crystal values once again will flourish. In the meantime, collectors may have to be realistic and purchase the Swarovski items that bring you happiness at prices you are satisfied to pay.