There are many types of rhinestones on the market, and we often hear of Swarovski crystal rhinestones, Austrian crystals, resin stones, acrylic gemstones, and more. Even though these two types of stones look alike from a distance, the price is very different.
What are rhinestones? What exactly is this difference? How do you choose the right rhinestone? How do you judge rhinestone quality?
This article introduces five methods for judging the quality of rhinestones, from materials and production methods. Knowing these tips can help you find the most suitable product when purchasing or wholesaling a good quality rhinestone.
What is a rhinestone?
First, let’s get an understanding of what a rhinestone is.
According to Wikipedia’s definition, a rhinestone is a diamond simulant made of crystal. After the 19th century, this crystal glass or acrylic material was created.
These commonly used terms, such as Swarovski rhinestones, Austrian diamonds, and acrylic rhinestones, are different synthetic diamonds.
Read more about what are rhinestones made of from our post “What is a rhinestone? What are different types of rhinestones?“
In order to decorate a variety of clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc., people make artificial diamonds like sew on rhinestones, flat back crystals or point back stones and gave the accessories a shiny, high-quality appearance.
Therefore, we can also say that these rhinestones are substitutes for diamonds, and the difference is the extent to which they have replaced diamonds. Some have 80% of diamond’s characteristics (including hardness, cut, and reflection), while others only have similar appearance and texture.
How do we judge the quality of rhinestones?
How does one judge the quality of such a variety of synthetic diamonds?
First, determine the material of the rhinestone. Different materials have their own characteristics, and the difference between materials is unavoidable. For example, the melting point of glass is higher (about 1,000 degrees) and the density is high. In contrast, the rhinestone of acrylic material has a low melting point (about 130–140 °C), it is not heat resistant, and has a lower density than glass, so it is soft.
Rhinestones vs Swarovski crystals
There are various kinds of rhinestones on the market, which are roughly divided into Swarovski crystals, Preciosa (Austrian diamonds), high quality glass rhinestones (like dmc rhinestones) and plastic rhinestones. By looking at the price, you can get some idea of the quality of these rhinestones. As the saying goes, the most expensive Swarovski rhinestone is considered the best quality rhinestone. Swarovski has a long history and is the leading brand of crystal rhinestones. It is internationally renowned, has a unique cutting process, and manufactures well-known crystal rhinestones.
Therefore, in terms of materials, Swarovski has the best rhinestones for clothing, followed by Preciosa rhinestones, high quality glass rhinestones, and then plastic rhinestones, including acrylic and resin rhinestones.
The same material also has different qualities
If you have experience in purchasing rhinestones, you may have encountered this situation: the rhinestones are made of the same materials, the size and color of these are the same, but why is the price is so different? How do you judge their quality?
“The devil is hidden in the details.” If you can understand the method of judging the quality of rhinestones, you can understand the difference between price and quality, and pick the most suitable rhinestone!
Of course, different materials of rhinestones have different judgment methods. Next, we will explain how to judge the quality of acrylic rhinestones.
Introduction to acrylic rhinestone
Acrylic rhinestones are made of acrylic (PMMA, polymethyl methacrylate) and molded through injection moulding. The acrylic material has the advantages of high transparency, low price, and easy machining, so it is used as a material for making plastic rhinestones.
In Taiwan or in mainland China, there are a few factories that produce acrylic rhinestones, and each of them produce different rhinestones.
Therefore, having a basic knowledge of acrylic rhinestones and the method of judging their quality is very important for the purchaser.