Rhinestone Definition            

The definition of rhinestones is “An imitation diamond, used in cheap jewelry and to decorate clothes.” according to Oxford dictionary.

Besides, according to Merriam Webster, America’s leading and most-trusted provider of language information, rhinestone is “imitation stone of high luster made of glass, paste, or gem quartz.”

The Origin of Rhinestone 

The original rhinestones were small, sparkling Quartz stones found in the Rhine River, Austria, in the 13th century. The name rhinestone comes from the discovery of crystals that were gathered from the Rhine River. Rhinestones were mass produced until the 18th century, when the founder of Swarovski, Daniel Swarovski, invented a machine for cutting and faceting crystal stones.

Over the past few decades, different types of rhinestones, like glass stones or plastic stones, have been produced. Rhinestones become more accessible and are widely used by designers.

Differentiate by Place of Origin

We sometimes name the rhinestones after the place it is made in. Swarovski rhinestone originates in Austria, so we call it “Austrian crystal”. As for Preciosa, they are called Czech rhinestones. There are also Egyptian rhinestones, Chinese rhinestones and Taiwanese rhinestones.


Choosing the right style of rhinestones

 Regardless of the diversified options of the rhinestones, choosing the proper rhinestones for you is the most important.

For instance, if you need them on fabrics, you can choose sew-on collections and Hot Fix kinds. If it is more of a high-end project, GLO will be a great fit. On the other hand, GLO-demi rhinestones will be a great choice for a mass project on a budget.

We would suggest you choose the rhinestones based on how you want to apply the stones, the style you are going for and the budget.

Different rhinestone mediums

Glass Rhinestones

The glass rhinestones are made of glass and formed by machine cutting. The glass itself is transparent. Manufacturers will put a layer of metal coating onto the backside of the stones so light is able to reflect and make rhinestones shine like a diamond.

Crystal Rhinestones

When the lead oxide is added to glass, a crystal is produced. The lead enhances the sparkle of the crystal and helps to reflect the colors better than pure glass. The higher the lead content, the better the quality of the crystal. Glass must have at least a one percent lead content to be classified as crystal in the United States. In Europe, the lead content must be at least four percent to be classified as a crystal. Crystal rhinestones such as Swarovski and Preciosa Crystal are more expensive than glass rhinestones.

Plastic Rhinestones

Plastic rhinestones are also called “plastic gems” and “imitation stones”. They are mass production, low cost, lead-free, light and do not easily break. If you need a large number of rhinestone with a low budget, plastic rhinestones are great for you. There are two kinds of plastic stones: acrylic and resin.

Acrylic Rhinestones

Acrylic rhinestones are formed by mold injection. The acrylic material is transparent, easy for molding, light and unbreakable. They can easily be mass produced in various shapes, sizes, and colors of rhinestones.

Resin Rhinestones

Resin rhinestones are made by dripping the resin into the silicon mold. This way, manufacturers are able to make the stone with complex designs on the surface.