You Asked!

You Asked!

Posted by Rhinestones Unlimited on Nov 1st 2023

Questions You've Asked on Google

With so much confusion after the sudden withdrawl of Swarovski from the crystal components (beads and rhinestones) business, we thought that sharing our knowledge on commonly asked questions would be helpful.  So, here is our first issue of You Asked!

How many rhinestones is 100 gross?

100 gross is 14,400.  One gross is 144 pieces or a dozen dozen, 12x12=144.

How much is 50 gross of rhinestones?

50 gross is 7200.  Half a gross is 72 pieces or 6 dozen, 5 gross (half a 10 gross package of rhinestones) is 720 pieces, and so 720 pieces x10 is 50 gross.

Are Swarovski crystals better than rhinestones?

This is a trick question.  Rhinestones is a catch all term for sparkling flatback or pointed back adornments either made of crystal, glass, acrylic or cheap plastic.  Rhinestones is a term that came from little sparkling rock crystals found in the Rhine river that were polished by the water flow.  Rhinestones is a catch all term for the most beautiful Swarovski or Preciosa crystals, to the cheap plastic craft variety.

The problem is that Swarovski rhinestones are no longer available, so the very best crystals worldwide come from the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, from a company who has been cutting glass and crystal since 1548!  Preciosa Crystal rhinestones are by far the best available worldwide.  

What rhinestones shine the best?

Without question the rhinestones that shine the best are MAXIMA Crystals by Preciosa rhinestones.  These crystals are made in the Czech Republic with superior proven glass cutting techniques and are made of the finest materials.  The facets are machine cut and polished and the faceting is superior to other rhinestones you will find on the market.  

Are rhinestones worth money?

Well, this is a tough question.  They are definately worth money, especially the high quality vintage Swarovski crystals (made before Swarovski exited the market) and current MAXIMA Crystals by Preciosa.  However, I think this question was asked in terms of a real high value expectation for someone who recently acquired a vintage piece of rhinestone jewelry.  In this case, I believe the value is in the sentimental value or what an antique store is willing to buy the vintage jewelry piece for. 

Are rhinestones worth more than diamonds?

Rhinestones are used to make inexpensive or luxury branded costume jewelry.  Their worth is not even close to that of diamonds.  Daniel Swarovski was quoted as saying that his crystals were "a diamond for every woman".  Everyone deserves sparkle in their life, whether you can afford diamonds or not. :)

What is better diamonds or cubic zirconia?

Diamonds are the best in the monetary and longevity comparison but cubic zirconia are inexpensive, durable, and have a very close likeness to a diamond.  So, if you are looking for sparkle and durability without the high price tag, then cubic zirconia are better for you!

What is the most popular size rhinestone?

The most popular size rhinestone really depends on the project.  For dance and skating costumes, the most popular sizes are 20ss (5mm) and 30ss (6.5mm).  For irish dance costumes, we notice the bigger the jewels the better- 18mm plus!  For western "rhinestone cowgirls", we notice 40ss (8.5mm) as being popular.  For nail art designs, the most popular is size 5ss (1.7mm), 9ss (2.5mm) and 12ss (3mm).  For apparel design, 16ss (4mm) and 20ss (5mmn) are the most popular.  Our overall best selling size is 20ss because it is right in the middle and used by many different industries. 

Do rhinestones sparkle like diamonds?

Yes, they do!  Sometimes the rhinestones may even have more flash because of the reflective coating used on the backside of flat back and hotfix rhinestones.  Diamonds however, are more durable- especially when used in highly worn jewelry items such as an engagement ring. 

Why did Swarovski stop selling crystals?

In our opinion, Swarovski did not navigate the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021 well.  Some family issues, government shut downs of their factory, and management issues, caused their withdrawl.  The CEO chose to focus on more profitable luxury goods instead of their loose crystal market.  You can read more in our article Swarovski Corporate Restructuring, and what it means for you.  

What can I buy instead of Swarovski?

By far the most superior crystal on the market is MAXIMA Crystals by Preciosa.  There is no other brand even close in comparison.  Preciosa has been making crystals in the heart of Europe, the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, since 1548.  Daniel Swarovski even started his glass cutting career in this region before moving his operation to Austria to get away from his competitors- the group of glass cutters that would eventually become Preciosa.  

Which is better cubic zirconia or Swarovski?

We believe this question refers to jewelry made with cubic zirconia or jewelry made with Swarovski crystals.  Both cut crystal and cubic zirconia, as well as even diamonds, have a large range of quality based on cut, clarity, raw materials, etc.  Swarovski is a brand with very high standards of excellence.  If the cubic zirconia is made by a manufacturer with the same quality standards as Swarovski, then that cubic zirconia is probably more durable and will sparkle the same as the Swarovski crystal.  With jewelry, of course, you also need to know that the metal, design, and durability of the other components of the jewelry piece are well made.  Swarovski still makes high end jewelry and it is of superior quality, and at a luxury price.  You will make an investment and you will own something beautiful.