Rhinestones 101

New to Rhinestones, here's a little Rhinestones 101 to get you started.

Crystal AB AB Rhinestones-The AB next to the rhinestone color stands for Aurora Borealis, named after the lovely  Northern Lights. Its beautiful array of ever-changing blues, greens, reds, and violets create a dazzling display on the horizon. The same shimmering rainbows of color can also be seen on stones with the AB coating. Its  appearance will change subtly depending on the surface  it sits on and the angle from which you see it




 Capri Blue HotfixHotfix Rhinestones - have a glue disk that adheres the rhinestone to a product once heat is applied. Be            Createful rhinestones can be applied at 325 for 15    seconds, cool, peel and press again for 5-10 seconds.  The 2nd press sets the stones and helps remove any l  lifting that may happen when removing the sticky transfer tape. This will ensure your Be Createful rhinestones will adhere to your product for years to come.






Crystal Flatbacks Flatback Rhinestones - requires an adhesive, like Triple  Threat, E6000 or GemTec to adhere to your finished product. Quality flatback rhinestones have a thin silver backing that needs adhesive to connect the rhinestones to your finished product. There are different coatings that can be found on flatback rhinestones. When looking for quality flatbacks, purchase rhinestones with a brushed silver backing over ones with a shiny silver backing. The brushed backing has a small amount of texture allowing the glue to adhere better. Rhinestones with a mirror-like or shiny silver foil backing tend to peel, and due to a lack of texture, tend to fall off much easier.

Pink Octagons/Rhinestuds Matte Grey Half Rounds/Nail Heads Rhinestuds and Half Rounds-  Rhinestuds, also known as  Octagons, and Half Rounds are a  great low-cost alternative to rhinestones. Unlike rhinestones,  which are made of glass and reflect light, they are made from a solid lightweight thin metal with a metallic-like finish. Both are hotfix (meaning they have a glue backing that can be applied with heat) and can be purchased in high gloss or matte finish.





BEST: Swarovski Rhinestones: 14 Facet cuts for most sizes. Most expensive. True Swarovski Rhinestones cost approximately 10 times more than a good quality Korean rhinestone.

 NEXT: LUXE (12-16 facet) or Preciosa (12-14 facets): Both are a high facet rhinestone and much cheaper than Swarovski Rhinestones. Known for their brilliant sparkle these rhinestones are often mistaken for Swarovski Rhinestones. *****NOTE - China is now manufacturing Swarovski and Preciosa imitation stones. Unfortunately, some retailers are selling the impostors as true Swarovski or Preciosa rhinestones.

 NEXT: DMC (Diamante Machine Cut) Rhinestones: Korean machine cut. 12 Facets and 1/10 the price of Swarovski.  These stones are double machine cut stones and slightly larger than lower quality rhinestones.  Suggested template size is .132

 NEXT: MC (Machine Cut) Rhinestones: China MC stone or imitation DMC. 12 Facets, but the quality of facets and glue are not as good as real DMC.

 NEXT: Korean Rhinestones: Very popular due to the quality and price. They are very stable with regard to size and shape. About a 1% defect rate in 1440 stones. Korean rhinestones undergo a more rigorous inspection and quality control to ensure it matches the higher standard. Suggested template size is .130

 NEXT: China Rhinestones: Overall, quality is less although higher grade Chinese rhinestones can be compared or mistaken for Korean. 


  • There are different grades of Rhinestones (example AAAA, A, B).
  • Just because it says Korean does not mean that it is equal to or the same quality as another company's Korean rhinestones.
  • The grading system is not regulated or tested for quality control. The rating is left up to the manufacturer.
  • Korean and DMC are the only rhinestones that can pass the low lead test. **********
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