If you’re a lover of glitzy and shimmery jewellery, then you most likely have come across a few Swarovski crystals, as well as rhinestones. When it comes to brilliance, clarity and quality, nothing comes close to Swarovski crystals and rhinestones.
If you’d like to know which of these is better, this article compares both products.
What Are Swarovski Crystals?
Swarovski crystals are precision-cut, dazzling and high-quality crystals produced by the Swarovski brand. These crystals are popular for their intricate and complex looks that set them apart from other crystals.
While Swarovski crystals used to be made with about 30% of lead to make for a more reflective shine, the brand stopped using lead in their crystals. These crystals are great for use in a wide number of applications, including decoration for clothing items, home decor, and jewellery.
If you are a fan of the Swarovski brand, then you might want to check out these high-quality Swarovski crystals for nails.
What Are Rhinestones?
Rhinestones were small pieces of quartz found in the Rhine River in Austria, hence the name. These stones were typically very small and sparkling and were only available in limited amounts. Due to this, everyone wanted a piece of them, and they became very expensive. Eventually, the supply of these stones dwindled, so jewellers began to devise methods of replicating these stones using glass and metal powder.
Fast forward a few centuries, and today, rhinestones are still growing in popularity and are now made out of several materials, including plastic, acrylic, glass and crystals. The implication is that the market is filled with cheap and low-quality rhinestones. Therefore when purchasing rhinestones, it’s highly important for you to opt for those produced only by reputable brands, such as Swarovski and Preciosa.
Differences Between Swarovski Crystals and Rhinestones
Here are some of the things to look out for to help you differentiate between Swarovski crystals and rhinestones:
The manufacturing process used to produce Swarovski crystals is one notable thing that sets them apart from rhinestones. Swarovski crystals are manufactured using superior materials and a specialised technique guaranteeing the highest quality.
Also, Swarovski crystals are famous for their precision cutting, making their crystal facets meet at a single point, giving them higher refraction and sparkle. However, most cheap plastic, acrylic and even some crystal rhinestones are irregularly cut and come in uneven sizes and shapes.
Needless to say, Swarovski crystals are way more durable than non-authentic rhinestones. The former are usually well-coated with scratch-resistant materials, making them the best option for decorating long-term pieces.
While some rhinestone brands may produce durable rhinestones, they still cannot be compared to the sparkle, colour consistency and overall quality that Swarovski rhinestones possess.
Since they are made with heavier materials, such as minerals and quartz, Swarovski crystals are usually weightier than rhinestones, especially those made with acrylic and plastic. This is undoubtedly a testament to the quality of Swarovski crystals and is an easy way to differentiate between them and cheaply made rhinestones.
Most plastic or acrylic rhinestones usually have a less clear appearance than Swarovski crystals. These rhinestones are likely to feature bubbles at the surface, scratches or swirl marks that will interfere with their clarity. However, Swarovski crystals are usually flawless in their appearance, featuring a dazzling clarity and brilliance that sets them apart.
Method of Application
The method of application is another major difference between Swarovski crystals and rhinestones. Typically, Swarovski flatback crystals come in two types -hotfix and non-hotfix. The hotfix crystals usually come with a highly-adhesive, heat-sensitive glue on their underside. This way, when they are glued to clothing or jewellery, they can remain in place for years.
However, non-authentic rhinestones usually come with no glue or with weaker glue. Due to this, when they are attached to items, they are more likely to fall off in no time.
Which Is Better?
In our opinion, Swarovski crystals are better than rhinestones. This is because most acrylic/plastic-made rhinestones tend to be made with low-quality materials and an inferior manufacturing process. However, this is not to say that all rhinestones are inferior.
If you want to purchase either of these products, your best bet is only to patronise reputable distributors to ensure you get crystals or rhinestones of the highest quality.
Swarovski crystals and rhinestones are both great options for any decoration project. When purchasing rhinestones, ensure you confirm the stature of the brand manufacturing them to ensure you get quality products.