Welcome to the first Crystal Lodge Newsletter of 2015.

Crystal Lodge news

The run up to the Christmas period this year was phenomenally busy, and if Christmas 2013 was the “Austerity” Christmas, then 2014 was most definitely the antidote! We are almost up to 7,450 orders despatched, according to our sequential invoice numbering system (having started from invoice one back in 1999).

We’ve been busy with a lot of “behind the scenes” work and paperwork, including updating the website with new releases, moving the newly retired items into the shop and adding them to both Ebay and Amazon! Then, of course, there was the insurance valuation guide to work on. Updates of the reference guides, however, are currently “on hold” as we explore alternative solutions, we should have more news about that later this year.

Talking of the insurance valuation guides, the 2015 versions have now been uploaded to our website and can be found on the “insurance and valuations” tab. Once again, there are 2 versions of the document, which are in pdf and Excel format. The advantage of the Excel spreadsheet is that you can input the number of each item you have in your collection and the spreadsheet will calculate the total for you. Please take the time to read the accompanying guidance notes before completing your valuation guide. This year’s guide includes items up to and including the Spring/Summer releases from Swarovski.

Swarovski news

At last the fourth rabbit we told you about ages ago has been released – holding red roses! Perfect for Valentine’s Day! We had almost given up hope of seeing the 4th rabbit, and were convinced it would be a Halloween themed rabbit holding a pumpkin!! Maybe Swarovski will think about doing that for us, as we love these cute creatures – why stop at four?!

This year marks the 120th anniversary of Swarovski, so look out for some special products including the Replica Mouse in AB crystal, and a limited edition pair of Eagles. I suppose, technically this replica mouse is a “replica, replica mouse” as it’s a copy of the first replica mouse which was produced as a tribute to the very first mouse which started it all! If you don’t know the story of the original mouse – here’s an abridged version.

By 1976 Swarovski's business expanded from that of a cutting, manufacturing, and jewellery production facility to a business committed to silver crystal as an end product for figurines and collectibles. All apparently due to four crystal chandelier parts being glued together just for fun, creating the first member of Swarovski's full cut crystal animal menagerie: the mouse. This mouse was designed by the late, great Max Schreck and the Swarovski Silver Crystal range that we know and love was born! Jet (black) stones were added for the eyes and nose, metal whiskers painstakingly cut to size and added, and finally the leather tail was carefully cut by hand. It is believed that 1000 of these mice were made (which still had holes in the ear stones due to their original purpose, ie being chandelier parts). They were sold to Swarovski employees and were a huge hit. The mouse that went into full production was slightly different, having the more familiar metal spring tail, the ears were smaller and they didn’t have the holes in them as they were specially produced stones rather than chandelier parts!

So that’s what Swarovski mean when they say “It all started with a mouse”. But that’s not the only anniversary this year – believe it or not its 10 years since the launch of the first Lovlot Mo. A huge “Jubilee Mo” has been launched to celebrate that milestone!

If you are a UK SCS member, you should have received your copy of the “Figurines and Home Décor” booklet through the post recently. (I am not sure, at time of publication, whether this booklet is available globally). What a fabulous publication and a lovely surprise. It is wonderful to have a price list again! It certainly helped us - perfect timing as it arrived as we were working on the insurance guide. We were able to add items which are “coming soon” from Swarovski which are not even on their website yet. Brilliant news as we’ve been able to issue our guide earlier than ever before, as we could work out which pieces had retired, by process of elimination – and were also able to include Q1 and Q2 new releases, instead of just Q1.

The 2015 Crystal Journey was also recently announced featuring Paris, Strasbourg, Lake Constance and of course, Wattens. The dates for the full journey are 24th September to 3rd October 2015, with the shorter option of just the Wattens part of the event, being 30th September to 3rd October 2015. Full details are included with the latest copy of the Swarovski magazine and are also available in the SCS member area of the Swarovski website.

Following hot on the heels of the on-line limited edition Birthstone Angels issued last year on a month by month basis are the Birthstone Kris Bears which will be released monthly during 2015. I have to say I think they are absolutely gorgeous! Ten cute mini Kris Bears holding numbers 0-9 are in store now, and coming soon will be 15 mini Mos, available individually or as a set. So, Kris and Mo fans, in particular, have a very busy year of collecting ahead of them!!

And finally …

Thank you for all the Facebook likes – we have now reached a total of 301 “genuine” likes which is great. Our next target, according to Facebook, is 500 – so only another 199 to go ….!!

Well, that’s all the news for now – so until the next time, happy collecting!

Alison and The Crystal Lodge team

Secure Payments Through Worldpay and Paypal