"Advanced Crystal" is the term used by Swarovski to indicate that their crystals are now lead free. Swarovski crystals are now considered to be "Lead Free", as it contains .009% (90ppm) of lead or less. (0% lead is not technologically feasible as there are inherently traces of lead in the environment.)
Prior to the introduction of Advanced Crystal in September 2012, Swarovski crystal, like other crystal was inherently leaded. That is, what made crystal, crystal, and not glass was the percent of lead it contained. The new Advanced Crystal is defined in the European Directive 69/493/EEC (Crystal Directive) as "crystal glass". Advanced Crystal offers all the same visual and optical characteristics of fully leaded glass.
The change in the crystal is in the crystal’s DNA so the change in composition is not noticeable by the naked eye. However, while the optical characteristics are the same, the reduction of lead makes Swarovski crystals approximately 15-20% lighter in weight.
Swarovski decided to introduce Advanced Crystal for a number of reasons. Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability are, and have always been core values for Swarovski. Advanced Crystal also allows Swarovski to meet certain legal and regulatory conditions in fields and industries that Swarovski crystals are used. View the full listing of Laws and Regulations that Advanced Crystal Conforms To (on Page 6).
There are a few limitations of Advanced Crystal. Certain colors such as: Citrine, Fireopal, Hyacinth, Lt Siam, Palace Green Opal, Siam and Sun are not compliant with RoHS (European Directive on the restriction of 6 hazardous substances for electrical and electronic products) for use in packaging, electrical and electronic equipment as well as children’s products in selected regions. But Advanced Crystal does meet the lead requirement s for RoHS and for CPSIA (The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act). It is up to each designer or manufacturer to be sure that the products they are using are complaint with all relevant laws and regulations (also regarding required labels and warnings).
For a full, detailed overview of Swarovski’s Advanced Crystal, please review the Swarovski Advanced Crystal document. For a one page overview by Swarovski, click here.
There is still a lot of non Advanced Crystal in the marketplace. If you specifically require Advanced Crystal to meet certain regulations, make sure you ask us to only ship you Advanced Crystal products (which may require a special order depending upon our stock composition). In our experience less than 1% of our customers have this requirement. The below picture shows how "Advanced Crystal" can be easily identified on all Swarovski crystal packages with either an "M" or a "C" on the packages.
*If you have any questions about whether specific Advanced Crystal is complaint with certain legal or industry regulations, we suggest that you contact the Legal Department at Swarovski North America. HARMAN has derived all the information herein from Swarovski itself and is not responsible for the adherence of Swarovski crystals to any laws or regulations.