Rhinestones have been around for centuries being cut and finished by hand which was a very timely process.
The name rhinestone orignated from pieces of crystal (glass) found in Austria's Rhine River.
Around 1730, George Frederic Stras, a parisian jeweler in France became well know for his technique of applying lead to the back of glass that enhanced the brilliance and sparkle. Stras became so well known that he was appointed a prominent jeweler position for the King of France in 1734.
In 1891 Daniel Swarovski revolutionized the jewelry, high fashion designing and dressmaking industry, by creating a glass cutting machine which cut faceted glass that had such dazzle & brilliance far superior to anything on the market. Thus, the creation of "Swarovski Rhinestones". Swarovski's invention allowed for a speedy production while still producing a magnificent finished stone.
Today this process is still being used world wide with such similarities and little differences that the modern day machines have virtually mimiked the technique to a 'T'.
Rhinestones are meticulously cut glass, also know as crystal, which sometimes have a foiled and flat backing with lead content which enhances the sparkle and brilliance. There is a wide spread of misconception regarding if such rhinestones being sold are genuine Swarovski Crystal Rhinestones. Remember Swarovski is the line, or shall we say name brand, as well as the refining process or cut which allows the brilliance. If you are unsure if a rhinestone is a Swarovski cut, ask your seller to send you a sample. If they are reputable they will do so. Different types are: Swarovski, Korean, Czech, Acrylic, Plastic.
There are several different shapes, sizes and colors. Before buying make sure you educate yourself on what your application needs are for your design. There are Hot Fix (Iron On) rhinestones which have a greyish-green glue backing applied over the foil which allow you to iron them on your product. You can use an actual heat press (which is more for the professional use), a wand (which is great for applying rhinestones to items that are not able to be laid flat for ironing), Bedazzler (rhinestone applicator), glue, or a household iron (not impossible to apply, but takes some patience).
Rhinestones are also referred to as couture, diamante, paste, crystals, stone and strass in other parts of the world.
Lastly, make sure that the rhinestones being ironed on are not plastic. They may possibly melt.
2mm is equivalent to 6ss, 3mm is equivalent to 10ss, 4mm is equivalent to 16ss
5mm is equivalent to 20ss, 6mm is equivalent to 30ss