What Are Rhinestones?

Rhinestones are imitations of gemstones, which are most often made of lead glass with high refractive index of light. This glass is a lead crystal and has characteristics similar to those of cut diamonds - strong luster, high refraction index, and beautiful color in stones.

What Are The Different Types Of Rhinestones?

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.

Glass Rhinestones

Glass rhinestones include a lower ratio of lead oxide. The glass itself is transparent. A layer of metal coating is placed onto the backside of the stones so light is able to reflect and make rhinestones shine like a diamond. High-quality glass rhinestones are a great alternative to crystal rhinestones with similar shine and lower cost.

Plastic Rhinestones

Plastic rhinestones are mass produced, low cost, lead-free, and light. However, they do not have the same shine as glass rhinestones. If you need a large number of rhinestone with a low budget, plastic rhinestones may be the right fit for you.

There are two kinds of plastic rhinestones: acrylic and resin. 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. Jelly rhinestones are made by dripping the resin into the silicon mold.

How can I understand rhinestone sizes?

You'll most often see one of the three following measurements for rhinestones: MM, SS or PP.

  • MM (Millimeter Size) - common unit of measurement. Many flat-backs, pointed-backs, sewn-on, or other shaped rhinestones are measured in mm. This unit of measurement is usually used to measure larger size rhinestones.
  • SS (Stone Size) - SS stands for size of a stone. The units are for round rhinestones, mainly in the glass and crystal flat-backs chaton, Rivoli, chaton, and other styles. SS units are smaller than mm and can be used to measure more accurately. Therefore, it is often to measure smaller size rhinestones.

How do I use different types of rhinestones?

Flat Back Hot-Fix Rhinestones

Hot Fix Rhinestones, also called iron on rhinestones, have a heat activated glue already adhered to the back. To apply these stones, the glue must be activated by heat and then applied to appropriate material.

Flat Back Non Hot-Fix Rhinestones

Apply the rhinestone on the objects by glue. Compared to the Hot Fix rhinestones, there are more options of the shapes and colors. They are also great to use for rhinestones jewelry.

Sew On Rhinestones

There are two main types of sew on rhinestones. Some have holes on the sides or in the middle of the rhinestones and others are attached to a sew-on metal base. Although sew-on rhinestones can be labor intensive and time consuming, the advantage of sewing method is that these flat rhinestones can strongly attached to fabric and won’t fall off easily. However, it takes lot of time and effort.

How Do I Apply Rhinestones?

    Choose Your Adhesive: Depending on your project, choose the right adhesive. For fabric, a fabric glue or a hotfix applicator for hotfix rhinestones will work. For harder surfaces, try a strong craft adhesive.
    Apply Your Rhinestones: One by one, apply a small amount of adhesive to the back of each rhinestone and stick it to your surface. Use a pair of tweezers for precision.
    Let It Dry: Patience is key! Allow your project to dry completely before moving or wearing it.

What does AB or Special Effects mean?

AB stands for Aurora borealis (which means "northern lights"). Aurora borealis rhinestones have a special iridescent finish that shines with many colors. The iridescent surface is a result of a very thin layer of metallic atoms that have been deposited on the lower surface of the stone. This process was invented in 1955 by the Swarovski.

Where can I get a size chart so that I can see the sizes of PP and SS crystals?

You can download a size chart by clicking HERE.

How many pieces are in a gross?

One gross equals 144 stones.

How do I care for my rhinestones?

We all love when our rhinestones shine bright. But, like all good things, they need proper care. Here's how you can ensure your rhinestones keep their sparkle for years to come.

  1. Gentle Cleaning: When it comes to cleaning rhinestone-embellished items, gentle is the way to go. Avoid harsh detergents and opt for a mild soap instead.

  2. Hand Wash Only: Machine washing can damage your rhinestones and cause them to lose their shine. Always hand wash your rhinestone items and use a soft brush to remove any dirt.

  3. Avoid High Heat: High heat can loosen the adhesive holding your rhinestones. So, stay away from tumble dryers and irons. Instead, air dry your items in a shaded area.

  4. Store Carefully: Store your rhinestone items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Too much sunlight can fade the color of your rhinestones over time.