Swarovski Elements (formerly known as Strass) is the finest crystal in the world. It is made of the highest quality advanced crystal that is machine cut and machine polished with unpararalled precision. Computerized optical testing followed by human quality assurance insures that every piece is flawless.
These strands are 1 meter long (39") and are made up of 42 pieces of 16mm octagons pinned together with decorative chrome "bowtie" pins. The most common strands are made of 14mm octagons, these 16mm crystals are 14% larger for a noticable difference.
Note that these are the HIGHEST Quality brand made by Swarovski, the same quality as the famous Swarovski figurines. When comparing, keep in mind that Swarovski has another Brand (Spectra) which is a non-lead alternative. If a retailer advertises Swarovski crystal without the Elements (Strass) branding, they are probably selling the Spectra (non-lead) version which is less expensive. Every piece of Swarovski Elements (Strass) crystal has the Strass logo laser etched inside the crystal similar to the way high end diamond are etched with serial numbers.