The world of jewellery can be confusing and we often have to rely on other people’s expertise to know if we are getting a bargain or not. Now, not everyone has to take a degree in mineralogy and geommology to be certain of not paying over the odds for their sparkly adornments: here are some facts about common crystals and stones, which will enable you to make the best decisions to achieve your requirements.
There are times when using precious stones would be foolhardy. For example, having a handbag, hair accessories or even clothing encrusted with real gems could put you at risk of being robbed by unscrupulous people or at risk of loss, should the stones fall off as you go about your day. Using rhinestones and crystals instead – see below to find out more about the difference between the two types of stone – is a sensible precaution: giving you the party jewelleries look that you love without risking the cost of genuine precious stones.
Swarovski crystals are famed for the beautiful glittery shine which is their claim to fame. This is achieved not through the make-up of the glass (although, that must, of course, be correct) but instead through careful cutting that shapes the glass into a multi-faceted thing of beauty. Their unique glass cutting machine was designed and patented in 1892, by Daniel Swarovski, having learned the art of glass making and cutting at his father’s small factory.
The main visual difference between the two crystals are that Swarovski crystals tend to come to a perfect single point, while rhinestones will have uneven facets or perhaps multiple points. Swarovski crystals tend to have greater appeal being beautifully shaped and that wonderful glittery sparkle that one imagines a diamond having.
Speaking of diamonds: cubic zirconia are widely known as ‘poor man’s diamonds’ because they are very similar to the precious stone in mineral content, appearance and sparkle, but cost something like one to two hundred times more for identically sized stones. A useful way to tell if you have a diamond or a cubic zirconia is to weigh them: a cubic zirconia is denser – and therefore heavier – than a diamond by a ratio of 1.7 to 1.
A final choice for wearable jewelleries is that of birthstones. Each month has a birthstone, and incorporating a birthstone into a custom piece is a great way to make the item even more unique for the recipient.
Once you have chosen your preferred type of crystal, make sure the stones are fixed firmly into the garment or item they are ornamenting. Aim to have the decorations only on the areas of the item, such as a handbag or scarf, that are visible and that do not rub up against anything – this will ensure that they remain in good condition without becoming loose or falling off.