The improbably successful Austrian crystal manufacturer is the epitome of shopping mall luxury. It sounds foreign, exclusive, precious. Yet you can buy a pair of Swarovski earrings from Amazon for $17.60. The same total carat weight in diamonds, in a very similar setting, would cost you somewhere north of $5,000, depending on quality and provenance.
Swarovski makes glass and yet the company has managed to create for itself a brand that carries weight in the luxury world, something no other manufacturer of non-gems has ever even tried.