Crystal effects are coatings or surface finishes that are applied to the glass/crystals to enhance their appearance. These coatings are alternatively referred to as Stone Effects or Finishes. Most of the names of these crystal finishes follow the Swarovski naming.
Crystal effects are most commonly applied to crystals, especially the Swarovski crystals, but they can and are also applied to stones, glass pearls, glass beads, and even plasitc & acrylic beads.
Coatings are normally applied to only half of a bead. Whenever the coating is applied to both sides of a bead, it has the suffix 2X; e.g. CAB 2X.
Crystal effects & finishes add beauty & character to the crystals and sometimes can enhance them dramatically.
In September 2010, Swarovski introduced the protective layer "P" for effects Crystal Bermuda Blue and Crystal Tabac.
In February 2012, Swarovski has extended this "P" layer to include Crystal Comet Argent Light and Crystal Vitrail Medium.
This "P" layer applies only to Pendants and Beads at this time of writing (Feb 2012). This protective layer is a special lacquer system that is applied over the effect. It protects the effects from scratches, fingerprints, and prevents moisture (e.g. sweat) that could lead to corrosion penetrating into the effect layer.