Rhinestones 101


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

Crystal         Crystal AB
  CRYSTAL               vs.      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





Hotfix Rhinestones - are ideally used for garments. They have a glue disk on the back of the rhinestone that when heat is applied the glue melts into the fibers of garments. We suggest applying your rhinestones at 325 for 15 seconds, cool peel and press again for 5-10 seconds.  The 2nd press sets the stones and helps remove any 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.





Flatback Rhinestones - are used for handplacing projects like tumblers, costumers, shoes and other items. Flatback rhinestones require an adhesive, like SuperTite, Liquid Fusion, or GemTec be applied so the stones will adhere to your finished product. Quality flatback rhinestones have a thin silver backing with the exception of transparent stones.  Transparent stones do not have a backing so the color below the stone can be seen. 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.


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-faceted 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.  Suggested Template Size is .130

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

 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. 


  • 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. **********