What are rhinestones? Rhinestones which called rock crystals are also known strass in many European languages. They were first made from Czechoslovakian or Bohemian hand blown glass. Originally, they gathered from the river Rhine, so they have the name rhinestones. These rock crystals could be cut and casting to produce beautiful imitation diamonds. Rhinestones have lots of tiny imperfections, and they can bounce around the light to create their dazzling effect. As the popularity of these natural crystal jewelry, rhinestones are widely used as imitations of diamonds. And jewelers sought techniques to create artificial gemstones that duplicate the look of rhinestones. The most famous one is Swarovski rhinestones.

Types of Rhinestones

Knowing the types of rhinestones can help you understand more about what are rhinestones. There are three types of rhinestones. The Flat Back Rhinestones, the Hotfix Rhinestones and Sew on Rhinestones. These three types of rhinestones make the rhinestone jewelry available in a wide array of shimmering colors, also features simple yet beautiful designs.

Flat Back Rhinestones
These Flat back rhinestones can be divided into two types. One is foiled, the other is un-foiled. The un-foiled are often used for setting into jewelry pieces where it’s desirable for the light to be able to pass through the crystal. The foil backed crystals are the most popular kind and can be applied to just about anything with a little adhesive and some imagination.

Hotfix Rhinestones
Are just like the foil backed rhinestones with a ready applied adhesive backing, they can be applied with heat either from a hotfix applicator or an iron with the steam turned off.

Sew on Rhinestones
These look much the same as flat back rhinestones but with a hole each side of the crystal. They can be stitched into footwear or clothing and are easier to remove than rhinestones which have been glued into place.

The Sizing of Rhinestone

Rhinestones are sized by using the term “SS”, or stone size, followed by a number to indicate size. For example, SS8 is equivalent to 2.3 mm, SS10 is 2.8 mm. SS is more commonly used for apparel means, while PP (or pearl plate) is used for jewelry. SS (Stone Size) sizes are currently the most common method of measuring rhinestone articles. PP (Pearl Plate) sizes were originally used for measuring pearl sizes but are now more commonly used to measure very small articles.

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