Types of Rhinestones and Grading
Generally, rhinestones receive a grading much like precious gemstones. This set of grades describes the quality of the rhinestone. Similar to valuable stones, rhinestones receive an evaluation based on color, clarity, and cut.
Sometimes, lower grade rhinestones will have inclusions or imperfections. A batch of rhinestones may contain individual pieces with bubbles or fractures. Often, lower grade rhinestones appear cloudy. While some precious gemstones gain value with inclusions, flaws in rhinestones are a sign of a cheaply made component. Moreover, cheaper made rhinestones can yellow or turn black with age.
Generally, consumers think of only name brand rhinestones associated with a high-quality grading. However, some inexpensive rhinestones make the grade delivering top-quality sparkle.
Is Buying the Most Expensive Rhinestone Always Sensible?
Typically, manufacturers create rhinestones from acrylic, glass, or crystal. Usually, you can easily differentiate between some of the types of rhinestones just by looking at them.
For example, acrylic rhinestones create minimal sparkle due to its diffuse reflective properties. The facets scatter the light at many angles. Glass has spectacular reflective properties with the light reflecting back all at the same angle for greater sparkle. However, glass lacks the prismatic quality of crystal. This is the ability to take light and bend it creating more brilliance.
Sometimes, you may want to use lower quality rhinestones for children’s craft projects. Other times, like jewelry making, only top-quality will do.
Often, the difference between name brand and lesser-known grade rhinestones is the number of facets. Facets are small, flat surfaces manufacturers cut into crystal to create scintillation. Generally, the number of facets and their arrangement is responsible for the crystal’s optical performance of generating sparkle and shine.
Meet the PriceLess Rhinestone
Certainly, for some shoppers, only a name brand will do. Purchasing a name brand gives a guarantee of a quality product. Yet, many consumers are simply looking for a cost-effective way to add excitement with bling.
Furthermore, among crystal rhinestones, you can find some quality rhinestones for a lot less than a name brand. One of these is the PriceLess Rhinestone. Featuring 12 precise machine cut facets of the highest crystal, it sparkles beautifully under the lights. Moreover, it’s available in dozens of sparkling colors and several rhinestones sizes.
Where Do I Buy Rhinestones?
For over a decade, Rhinestones Etc. has been selling quality embellishments at discount prices. With outstanding customer service and fast shipping, we want to be your source for sparkle.
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For decades, Swarovski has been an icon among rhinestone manufacturers. Many consumers choose this name brand over all other rhinestone types. However, declining profits amid a global pandemic has caused Swarovski to re-evaluate its manufacturing. Currently, the company is undergoing restructuring including a 20% reduction in its workforce.
In addition to reducing its workforce, Swarovski is eliminating portions of its business. By November 2021, the company will no longer produce Swarovski crystal components, such as crystal rhinestones, for resale. This means individuals will no longer be able to purchase Swarovski rhinestones from retailers. However, the company plans to continue to produce components for high end luxury brands.
If you’re a diehard Swarovski fan, what does this mean to you? Production of some crystal components will continue until November 2021. However, there will be stock shortages caused by their reduced workforce and factory production. Additionally, for a time there will still be some older stock available through Swarovski Authorized Resellers. Yet, the bottom line is, soon you won’t be able to purchase Swarovski Rhinestones.
However, comparable rhinestones will still be available. Currently, Preciosa has no plans for reducing its workforce and will continue its ongoing production. Plus, there are many quality lower priced crystal rhinestones to fill in the gap.
The Preciosa Brand Equals Superb Quality
With Swarovski Rhinestones out of the retail picture, Preciosa may emerge from its shadow. Although equal to Swarovski in quality, Swarovski has dominated the market as the premier rhinestone brand. Yet, Preciosa is the oldest manufacturer of rhinestones with over 500 years of tradition. Moreover, it was Bohemian glassmakers who created the first cut crystal stone, the Chaton, in 1715. Daniel Swarovski didn’t start his company until 1895.
Today, Preciosa continues its innovative tradition with over 35,000 premium products. You can find rhinestones, jewelry stones, beads, pendants, and pearls in the company’s inventory. Plus, the craftsmanship is equal to Swarovski. Preciosa’s Maxima Rhinestone is lead free with a refractive index equal to leaded crystal. With 15 precision cut facets, craftsmen designed this rhinestone for intense scintillation.
You can find Preciosa crystal in flatback, hotfix, or sew-on rhinestones. With a multitude of colors, you’ll find a wide range of captivating colors and coatings. Moreover, these sparkling crystal colors come in over 200 rhinestones sizes and a variety of shapes.
Furthermore, Preciosa adheres to all crystal industry standards. Additionally, products conform to ASTM standards and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Rhinestones Etc. will be stocking the Maxima in the coming weeks.
There Are Many Lesser-Known Inexpensive Quality Rhinestone Manufacturers
In the past few years, non-brand name manufactures have proliferated the market. The Asian markets in particular, began producing a large quantity of rhinestones. Keep in mind that these manufacturers may produce either glass or crystal rhinestones.
Although much cheaper in price, glass rhinestones lack the prismatic quality of crystal. Crystal has the ability to bend light producing rainbows. However, both have reflective properties through the facets and coating on the back.
One particular less expensive crystal rhinestone that we love is the PriceLess. Made from the highest-grade crystal, these rhinestones are machine cut, hand polished, and inspected for quality. You’ll find consistent hue with no bubbles or cloudiness.
Moreover, these rhinestones cost a lot less than comparable brands. Plus, PriceLess are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Currently, we have a few of these rhinestones in stock and plan to increase our offerings in the upcoming weeks.
There Are More Rhinestone Types Than Just Swarovski
While it’s sad to see Swarovski rhinestones leave the retail market, it does provide an opportunity to discover new products. Many of these products produce exceptional scintillation and brilliance at a lower price.
Rhinestones Etc. has been selling quality products for over 10 years. We offer our products at discount prices without compromising quality or service. And because we know you need your rhinestones right away, we ship most orders within 24 hours.
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In the world of glitter and glamour, the rhinestone reigns. Facets catch and reflect light creating a brilliance that is unmatched by any other embellishment. And the beauty doesn’t belong only to Hollywood stars on the red carpet. You can achieve fabulous results by applying rhinestones to dresses, shirts, shoes, pocketbooks or any other clothing and accessory. But which ones should you use, hot fix rhinestones or flat back rhinestones?
Generally, it’s a matter of preference and your project. Flat back rhinestones will easily stick to more surfaces with the right adhesive. However, when you use transfer paper you can adhere more hot fix rhinestones at one time. Additionally, the glue on hot fix rhinestones cools in a few minutes, creating a permanent bond.
I have been adding bling for over 20 years. Through my projects, I hope you find inspiration.
On your first purchase of quality embellishments from Rhinestones Etc.