Precious gems, such as diamonds, emeralds, or rubies, have specific characteristics that dealers use to determine their quality. Rhinestones, crafted to mimic precious stones at a fraction of the cost, also have certain features. Typically, the best rhinestone to buy has particular characteristics in color, cut, clarity, and contour.
Since there are many manufacturers of rhinestones, it’s important to know what to look for to ensure a quality stone. Manufacturers use different materials affecting sparkle. Additionally, rhinestones can have varying numbers and arrangements of facets to produce scintillation. Typically, each brand offers a different assortment of colors. Therefore, depending on the quality and color of the rhinestone you want will determine which brand to buy.
1. Rhinestone Color
Let’s begin with color. Since rhinestones are man-made, manufacturers can make them any color they wish. However, some colors are more expensive than others. Crystal or clear rhinestones are the least expensive. Manufacturers create standard colors by adding inorganic compounds or pigments to the base material.
Some manufacturers also make coated colors that have a surface or backside coating to produce specialized colors. For example, crystal AB is a clear rhinestone with an Aurore Boreale or iridescent coating. This coating gives the rhinestones a rainbow effect. Additionally, some manufacturers apply a lighter iridescent coating called Shimmer AB. Other rhinestones may have a coating that gives them a metallic look.
As with real gemstones, the color should be consistent throughout the rhinestone. Additionally, the color should be consistent within batches. Unfortunately, the hue may vary in cheaper rhinestones.
Notably, rhinestones have facets, or small plane surfaces, that catch and reflect the light. Facets must be symmetrical and uniform for evenly distributed light reflection. Indeed, the more facets a rhinestone has, the greater the amount of light the rhinestone reflects. Thus, the rhinestone will have more sparkle.
However, the manufacturer’s choice of material will also affect the number of facets. For instance, crystal is harder and denser than glass. This allows rhinestone manufacturers to cut a greater number of facets into the crystal than glass to create more sparkle.
The next characteristic of a quality rhinestone is clarity or the state of being clear. It’s a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside the rhinestone. Cheaper rhinestones may contain cloudiness or bubbles within their structure. A quality rhinestone will be clear without any imperfections.
4. Contour Or Rhinestone Shape
The most popular crystal shape is the round rhinestone and this is the only shape for some manufacturers. However, rhinestones are available in many more shapes including rectangles, triangles, or ovals. Some manufacturers also create fancy shapes like hearts, moons, or stars.
In conjunction with the shape is the rhinestone size. Manufacturers designate various round rhinestones using “ss” or stone size. Usually, retailers will also give the millimeter size for reference. You can view our rhinestone size chart here.
The Best Rhinestone To Buy For Your Bling Project
When starting a bling project, you may wonder which is the best rhinestone to buy. Should you splurge and buy the most expensive? Or pick a more cost-effective rhinestone? Often the answer to this question lies with the type of project you’re undertaking and your budget.
FAQs About Rhinestones
Rhinestones Etc. has the best rhinestone quality available, Preciosa Maxima. With a huge selection of colors, we have the perfect hue for you. Below, we answer a few commonly asked questions.
How Many Rhinestones in a Gross?
You’ll get 144 rhinestones in a 1 gross package.
What Are Jelly Rhinestones?
These are a type of plastic or acrylic rhinestones.
Which Is the Best Rhinestone Glue to Use?
Generally, the type of surface plays an important part in choosing the best rhinestone adhesive. Some glues work better on smooth surfaces than others. Also, drying time and ease of use are important characteristics. You can read more about rhinestone glues here.
Since 2011, Rhinestones Etc. has been selling high-quality rhinestones. We have excellent customer service, a large selection of rhinestones, and fast processing times. Browse our online catalog to find your perfect hue before you begin your next bedazzling project.
I have been adding bling for over 20 years. Through my projects, I hope you find inspiration.