Are you new to using rhinestones? Then you may be scratching your head over rhinestones sizes. While jewelers use carats and millimeters to rhinestone manufacturers use something called “ss”. If you’re not familiar with this measurement, you may have difficulty determining which size you need.
Many years ago, rhinestones were a naturally occurring resource found along the banks of the Rhine River in Europe. Sparkling quartz pebbles, prospectors measured these according to their stone size. Later, this measurement became shortened to ss.
Over time, this natural resource became depleted. However, people loved their glittering effect so manufacturers found a way to produce rhinestones in the factory. Today, many manufacturers produce many different rhinestone sizes, but they still use the ss measurement.
Which Rhinestone Size Should I Use For My Project?
Manufacturers vary in the variety of sizes they produce. While they all use the ss measurement system, some companies have a larger selection of rhinestones sizes. Some produce only the most popular sizes such as 12ss, 16ss, and 20ss. Others, like Swarovski, create rhinestones from the tiniest 3ss size to the large 40ss size.
The smaller the number next to the “ss”, the smaller the rhinestones. For example, a size 6ss rhinestone is about the size of a head of a pin. A size 34ss is slightly larger than an eraser on a pencil. Until you become familiar with the variations, it can be confusing. Thus, most companies will list the millimeter size alongside the “ss” size. Which size you should use depends on the type of project you’re working on.
Smaller size rhinestones are perfect for nail design. Rhinestone nails are very trendy and fashionable. After applying nail polish, use nail glue and topcoat to secure the rhinestones on to your fingernails.
Typically, costume designers like to use bigger rhinestones on dance and skating apparel. Generally, using a bigger rhinestone will give you a flashier shine. Incorporating several different sizes allows for a serendipitous, unforeseen play of light. Sometimes you may need very specific sizes. Many people like to bling out the Nike symbol on their sneakers. To do so requires a very specific set of rhinestones.
Rhinestones Sizes Conversion Chart
When trying to determine the best size for your project, it’s helpful to know the millimeter size. Most suppliers offer a conversion chart. For your convenience, below is a conversion chart from ss to millimeters:
ss mm ss mm ss mm
3 1.4 8 2.35 20 4.7
4 1.6 9 2.65 30 6.41
5 1.8 10 2.85 34 7.17
6 2.0 12 3.1 40 8.54
7 2.15 16 3.9 48 11.11
Another aspect to consider when ordering your rhinestones is the area you’re planning to cover. Although larger rhinestones are more expensive, they do cover a larger area than smaller rhinestones. Fewer rhinestones also mean less work for you.
Adding rhinestones to clothing, shoes, or nails adds explosions of light. Rhinestones grab your attention with each twinkle of a facet demanding attention. Undoubtedly, this is why so many fashion designers use them.
Are you still have difficulty deciding on what size you need? Rhinestones Etc. will be happy to help you determine what works best. Send us your questions here, and we'll do our best to help you.
I have been adding bling for over 20 years. Through my projects, I hope you find inspiration.