AB, top coated, third party, 2x, the list goes on… but what does it all mean?
What is a coating / coated crystal?
Crystals can be top and/or bottom coated. While Swarovski produces both styles of coated crystals, coatings can also be applied by a third party to Swarovski crystals.
Surface Effects are on the top of the crystal. Examples of surface coatings are AB, Blue Shade, Moonlight, Commet Argent Light (CAL), Paradise Shine, Satin, and Luminous Green. Below is an image of Fuchsia Blue AB a surface effect by Swarovski.
Bottom coated or Translucent Effects are on the bottom side of the crystal and shine through the transparent crystal upwards. Bermuda Blue, Heliotrope, Vitrail Light, Vitrail Medium, and Volcano are all examples of this. The third party coating electra is shown below on a white opal crystal.
What is a third party coating?
Top and Bottom coatings can be applied by a third party. The crystal would be Swarovski and the coating would be applied by another company. All third party coatings are clearly marked in the description on our Web site.
Is AB, AB2x and Full Coated the same thing?
AB is a rainbow like effect that is applied to a crystal. Aurora Borealis is one of the most popular effects from Swarovski.
AB2x means that the AB coating is applied to both sides of the bead and does not apply to rhinestones, because they only have 1 side. The AB coating is only applied to 1 side of a bead.
Full Coated is the same as the AB2x coating, in that the AB coating is applied to both sides of the bead, but it is applied with an improved technology offering a more consistent metallic finish. Currently only available on the A5000 bead.
What do the letters after the colors/coatings mean?
“2x” – Coating is applied to both sides of the crystal.
“V” – The coating is applied to the reVerse or inVerse of where you would typically expect it to be applied. Top coatings would be applied to the bottom and bottom on the top.
“Z” - The coating is applied to only a partial area of the crystal.
“F” – Foiled with the current Platinum Foiling
“U” – Unfoiled
“M” – Aluminum Foiling
“CAL ‘V’ SI / CAL ‘VZ’ SI – Crystal Argent Light coating is used as a foiling
“P” – Protective layer or coating is applied to the back of the crystal or bead to protect the bottom coating from moisture, finger prints, scratches and general damage.
"G" – Partially frosted on the facets of the crystal. Some frosted crystals do not have the “G” marker because the frosted area is not on the facets.
“B” – The effect is on 3 sides of a cube shape.
“FC” – Full Coating. A new technology where the AB coating is applied in an all-round fashion to the 5000 series beads