'Swarovsky's': Quartz Or Glass?

Q: Being new to beading, I'm not sure which beads are quartz and which are glass. I had a customer a while back back out of a custom piece that I had ordered some crystal beads for. I recently decided to use them on a different project. I know they are 'Swarovskys', paid about $7 for a pack of 100 4mm from 'Fire Mountain'....so are they glass or quartz? Secondly, does 'Swarovsky' produce both glass & quartz beads, or just one type? Third, if 'Swarovsky' produces both, any good beginner tricks to differentiate the two? and Fourth, if they don't do quartz, who would you recommend getting quartz beads from (producer & dealer)?

A: If you are looking for clear quartz, as in rock, try the semi-precious stone dealers - sometimes listed as "rock crystal". You can find round beads easily. You can buy crystal points (the kind often seen wire-wrapped) from the same people. If you are looking for perfectly symmetrical evenly faceted beads, I would stick with 'Swarovski'! There are dealers that specialize in faceted stone beads, though - 'FM' has some, but there are better dealers. I get mine at the gem shows mostly. Glass with lead in it, making it crystal. That's why clear, uncolored quartz is called quartz crystal if it's natural and rock crystal if it's synthetic, to make sure no one thinks it's crystal (glass). You won't like them if you're looking for something like 'Swarovsky' and the prices, for similar size and clarity, will shock your socks off. Colored quartz is known as amethyst, citrine, etc. I buy rock crystal from 'Rio Grande' and quartz crystal from 'Artgems' and the semiprecious stones (non-synthetic) from anyone who has the size I want at a price I'm willing to pay. 100 4-mm clear Grade A faceted amethyst beads will cost more like $700 than $7, believe me. I have some large faceted quartz, not 4mm... more like 12x15mm and more of a button shape... they are hand faceted so they vary in size... is that anything like you need? I also have quartz tubes, carved ovals, and teardrops. I Can send a scan if you want to take a look...