Rhinestones are very popular crystals mainly because they provide just the right embellishment to many products at very low costs. Anyone can buy these glittery diamond simulants and use them to enhance and decorate a number of items, including clothing, fashion accessories, and even home decors. The low cost of rhinestones are the result of the commonly available materials used in making them, as well as their easy manufacturing process.
Rhinestones were first manufactured in Austria, using crystals from the Rhine River. The jeweler George Frederic Stras added lead to the river cystals to bring out their brilliance. Mass production soon came after with the development of new techniques, spurred by Daniel Swarovski’s invention. Swarovski created a machine that facilitated the cutting of the crystals while still retaining their shine and luster.
Since then, the production of rhinestones have become even easier, and had spread to many other countries around the world. As a result of Swarovski’s contribution to their popularity, rhinestones are now also called Swarovski crystals, referring to the manufacturing process and not necessarily the brand.
The invention and mass production of rhinestones are now benefitting several industries that use these crystals in decorating and embellishing other products. Though they are not necessarily considered as precious stones, the clarity and sparkle of rhinestones are still valuable enough to enhance the worth of many other products.