Rhinestone is a manmade artificial gemstone mimicking diamond in nature cut from rock crystal or various kinds of brilliant glass or paste, a small stone cut to appear as diamond used in jewelry and other forms of decoration ranging from earrings, rhinestone beads, clothing. It is a stone of high luster.
History Of The Rhinestone
Rhinestones otherwise known as cutout stone from rock crystal originates from rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine, hence the name, although some were also found in areas like the Alps far while others believed it to date back as the thirteenth century where they were first made from Czechoslovakian or Bohemian hand blown glass.
Rhinestone came as a result of rock crystals discovered in and around the shores of the river Rhine in Austria. These rock crystals were cut and molded to produce beautiful imitation diamonds, nowadays these are what rhinestones basics on and look just like,the rock crystals do not require any method or technique to produce the sparkle designed for. The rock crystals have tiny imperfections within which they depend on any amount of light to create their dazzling effect. Because of the abundance of these natural resources crystals it soon became scarce so jewelers sought out other techniques to mimic the rhinestone that was led into in the later half of the 18th century French Jeweler Georg Friedrich Strass discovering the coating of glass crystals with metal to produce an effect much like rock crystals or diamonds.
Experiment 1: glass crystals had a metal foil glued to the backs of them,
Experiment 2: This was later substituted with a metal coating which gave a mirror like effect.
The mirror backing forced a reflection back through the crystal and gave a dazzling sparkle like a diamond when in contact with light. These imitation gemstones became extremely popular which is why even today many people throughout Europe still refer to rhinestones as Strass.
The next step in the evolution of rhinestones came in the 19th century when Daniel Swarovski developed and patented a technique for precision glass cutting and polishing. With this new technology Swarovski were able to mass produce extremely high quality crystal glass rhinestones that have a much higher lead content than other rhinestones. This addition of lead increases the crystals refraction index which in turn enhances the crystals sparkle much more than conventional glass rhinestones. Swarovski also patented their Xilion Rose 2028 Cut in 2004 which comprises of a 14 facet design that was later revised in the beginning of 2011. Swarovski modified the 2028 in favor of the new 2058 which has a smaller table and higher profile which once again improved the sparkle of their product. Today Swarovski rhinestones are regarded as the finest in the world and as such are used by many of the world’s top fashion designers for accessorizing their clothing lines.