E-NEWSLETTER 1 - March 2011
Hello and welcome to our first new style e-Newsletter. Thank you for registering your interest to receive this publication. We will produce them randomly whenever we have something interesting to tell you, and they will be of varying length, dependent on how much news there is! So, it will be very unlike the structure of the previous paper Newsletter, but hopefully more up-to-date because of shorter lead time and no envelope stuffing tasks for us either!
WARNER BOOKS 2011
The eagerly awaited Warner Books for 2011 are now in stock. We have the colour and the black and white editions of both the Silver Crystal and Beyond Silver Crystal publications. Colour books are £115 each (a reduction of £15 from last year’s price) and the black and white books are £57.50 (reduced from £65).
We have been able to do this by ordering in bulk which enables us to pass those savings onto you. You’ll find information about all of the books in the Publications area of the website, and also in the shop in the “Miscellaneous, including Publications and Display” area, where they are available to purchase on-line.
INSURANCE GUIDE 2011
Our 2011 insurance guide is now published to our website. Just go to the insurance/ valuations tab, and then half way down the first page you will see a huge arrow and the word “download” – just click there to see the different documents, all of which are available to download free of charge. The guide has grown from 40 pages last year to a massive 55 pages this year! The Excel version, once again, has been designed so you can enter the amount of each piece you have, and it will total up the value of your collection for you. You may need to slightly adjust your default left and right margins to ensure that it will print correctly – so do check using “print preview” before you try.
The watermarking this year has been made a lot lighter, following observations from some of you that the grey in our Lodge logo was a bit too dark when printed out which caused problems when it was clashing with some of the figures. Sadly, we have to watermark everything these days!
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT
The older, more vintage pieces aren’t doing quite as well at the moment as the more recent retirements. We sell a wide variety of items and every week it changes. One week we’ll have a rush on Pandas, another week it will be Pegasus, you can never tell. We often say “if only we had a crystal ball …!” (Groan!) We can go weeks without selling any Disney pieces, then suddenly we’ll get several, separate Disney orders in all on one day.
In terms of escalating values, the stars are the SCS Pandas 2008, Tinkerbell Limited Edition (LE) 2008, Black Panther LE 2010, Shady the Sheep Lovlot LE and Flower Mo Lovlot LE 2009. Interesting that there is a pattern here which is that they are all firsts of a theme. That is the first of the Endangered Wildlife Trilogy, the first Disney LE, the first LE Soulmate piece, the first LE Lovlot and the first on-line LE Lovlot. But just to break that trend, the first gold SCS members only Christmas ornament (2009) hasn’t been quite so successful on the secondary market yet. It will be interesting to see how the limited edition red tipped 2010 holiday ornament fares over the next year, and whether similar colourways will be repeated in future years.
Swarovski have reintroduced their price lists in the UK after a 2 year absence. The new price list has a picture of Charming Mo on the front – so do look out for that when you next visit your local retailer.
Another Signed Numbered Limited Edition (10,000 in the world) is being launched very soon – and yes, in colour crystal! It is absolutely stunning!
There will be 2 batches of retirements from Swarovski’s range, the first of which have recently been announced in the Sneak Preview / Members Only area of their website. Some older pieces within batch one, but some relatively new and quite surprising choices.
CRYSTAL LODGE NEWS
Following our purchase of Crystal Exchange Ltd last September, and the launch of our Ebay store just ahead of that, things have been pretty chaotic around here. The Christmas rush was absolutely crazy and we have, understandably, fallen behind with some of the projects that we had hoped to have made a start on by now, including our e-Newsletters. So, our apologies for the delay with this.
Over the course of this year, with our “new” website now unbelievably 2 years old, we are going to have a bit of a revamp, adding more photos and information wherever we can, and hopefully, even more products.
RECENTLY DISCOVERED PROTOTYPES
Not content with having the news about the Alabaster Pinky Mo, of which there are only 300 in the world (as reported in previous Newsletters), we now know that there is a Golden Shadow Missy Mo, a Golden Shadow Shady Sheep, a Black Diamond Shady and a Black Diamond Missy Mo! It is believed, but unconfirmed at this stage, that they were produced in extremely low quantities – possibly only 3 of each in the world. We’ve also seen photos of the renewal heart and the renewal swan in golden shadow crystal, but have no idea of numbers or provenance at this stage.
CRYSTAL FANATICS CLUB
If you can’t get enough crystal news – don’t forget The Crystal Fanatics Club (CFC)! Now in its 12th year. An internet based group from all over the world and a great place to meet and chat to like-minded people about your favourite crystal products, and swop display ideas etc. For more information, visit our “links” page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
We’ve received some questions from collectors which we thought it might be useful to publish.
Why don’t you sell current pieces at a discount as you must get them in collections that you buy?
Indeed we do end up with crates of current pieces that we won’t sell! However, we also receive a lot of “introductions” from Swarovski, where collectors who are unaware of the secondary market ask where they can buy/sell retired/discontinued pieces. We feel that to sell current pieces at all – let alone at a discount, when we are not an authorised primary market retailer would be completely wrong.
Swarovski have a strict policy of non-involvement with the secondary market, so we, voluntarily, don’t trade on the primary market as a mark of respect and also in recognition of the fact that Swarovski give out our details to people who are seeking help with secondary market issues. It would be completely disrespectful to offer current pieces at RRP or below, competing with, and undercutting the very same company’s stores who are giving us those introductions.
Would you like us to hand out your business cards to our local Swarovski store?
We would like to thank all those of you who have offered to do this on our behalf, but again, we feel it is not something we wish to be involved in. Such action places the staff in the Swarovski stores in an awkward position – do they take the cards because they feel obliged to, or do they refuse and then risk offending the collector offering them. Rest assured, the stores have access to our details if a collector needs them, and that is absolutely brilliant. But thank you everyone who has offered, we really appreciate the gesture.
Will there be a Swarovski signing event this year?
Sorry – can’t help with that! We just don’t know - I receive my collector invite in the same way as you do, and at the same time, and that is the first I know about it! I hope there is an event as I absolutely love Anton’s designs. Not only is he a fabulous designer, but he’s a lovely man and goes out of his way to make the day special for collectors.
Do you know anyone who can repair crystal?
Yes, I do know someone who can repair crystal – Swarovski! I can’t stress enough, please, please don’t attempt your own repairs! Only Swarovski have the knowledge and expertise to bring your piece back to pristine condition. Although do remember that if they can’t bring it back to pristine condition because of damage to major body parts etc, then they will not undertake any repairs to the piece.
HARD TO FIND ITEMS
A new addition to our “Rare and Unusual” area of the website shop is the Sonntage paperweight. Believed to have been given to special clients of Swarovski in 1972, the base of the paperweight is a calendar showing the Sundays. Amazingly, we have both a mint and a non-mint piece in stock! Other rare items are the Iluliac iceberg, Black Bull. To be added to the website very soon are various “OM” and Allah items, with more goodies lined up including the Limited Edition Masks! We will shortly be adding these items, and will try, where possible, to make announcements on the “news/offers” page. We are only able to send items such as the Black Bull and the iceberg to UK addresses, due to problems insuring it for an overseas journey at the moment.
We are still looking for an absolutely pristine clear based set of Woodpeckers with box, certificate and mirror – all must have matching logos. The logo changed from the blocked SC mark to the swan during 1988 and therefore the Woodpeckers can be found with either logo, but to be a “proper” set the logos on the item, box, certificate and mirror must be the same!
For those of you who have never seen the clear based Woodies, we believe that they were the earliest Woodpeckers to be produced and that the top and bottoms of the log that the Woodies sit on were polished at the end of the process. It is generally believed that after a while, Swarovski stopped polished the base of the log as there was little point as no-one would see it. The photo shows the difference between the 2 bases and the different boxes, dependent on logo.
And finally …
A cute Limited Edition Happy Duck is now in stock. The Happy Duck “Hope” with pink ribbon was sold in aid of Breast Cancer charities at the end of 2010. It wasn’t a worldwide issue, but we have managed to get hold a small supply of them. They come in the same bright and cheerful Happy Duck packaging as the regular ducks. A lovely addition to the Happy Duck family.
Until the next time – happy collecting!
With very best wishes,
Alison and The Crystal Lodge team