Friday, October 26, 2012

Explaining different types of rhinestones: flat back, hotfix, pointed back

We often hear about different types of rhinestones, flat back, hotfix, non-hotfix, iron-on, glue-on, pointed back, etc. Do you really know the differences and applications for them?

We will explain the different types of rhinestones in this post.

(1) Flat Back Rhinestones
Flat back rhinestones are rhinestones with a flat back on the stones. The back is usually matt silver foiled.
Some cheaper flat back rhinestones comes with gold matt foiled back, and some even with white paper back. They do not carry any glue on the back and requires additional adhesives in order to stick it on a surface. They are ideal for phone case bling decorations. Sometimes, it's called the Non-hotfix rhinestones.

(2) Hotfix Rhinestones
Hotfix Rhinestones are also a flat back rhinestone, but with a glue on the back and adhere to cloth when heat is applied. The back of a hotfix rhinestone usually comes in dark grey. With a special hotfix rhinestones applicator, they can be stick securely on cloth. Iron can also be used to press the rhinestones onto the cloth, that's why some people also call these as Iron-On rhinestones.

(3) Pointed Back Rhinestones
By what's in its name, these rhinestones are pointed back, they are mostly used for jewelry making where they can be embossed. Due to the more facets they have, they are very sparkly. In recent year, pointed back rhinestones are extensively used in Crystal Clay jewelry.

Crystal Clay Jewelry made with pointed back rhinestones

What's the difference between Swarovski rhinestones and Asian rhinestones sold in Qrhinestones's Store

I believe this is the most frequently asked question which I received every day.
There is no doubt that Swarovski has been the best crystal rhinestones for the Century, but why you still want to considering buying rhinestones other than Swarovski?

There are few reasons or differences you may want to consider about:

(1) Price: Swarovski is by far the most expensive rhinestones in the market. You will need to spend around $50 to get 10 gross of Swarovski rhinestones. For Asian rhinestones, which we are selling majorly, they are $8.9 for 10 gross. If you are looking for an economic way for some artwork or crafts, Asian rhinestones will be a very good choice to you.

(2) Quality: No doubt that Swarovski has been the best in all kinds of rhinestones. They are 14-facet cut, and made with very high quality crystal materials, which makes reflections and refraction very good. For Asian rhinestones in our store, they are 12-facet, but this does not meant they are not sparkly. A 12 facet rhinestones is good enough for reflections and refractions. And for the crystal materials, they are also made with very high quality crystal materials for the best reflection effects.

This photo is showing Asian crystal rhinestones in Jounqil color

To conclude,  Asian rhinestones is only 12 facets while Swarovski is 14 facets, but Asian rhinestones are only 20% of the cost you will need to pay for Swarovski. The ROI of Asian rhinestones is very high and thus is a very economical yet high quality alternative to Swarovski.

We offer a sample pack of mixed sized crystal rhinestones at our store with only $5.9:
Try and see the quality yourself!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Distinguishing Resin Rhinestones with Crystal Rhinestones by observation

In earlier blog posts, I have mentioned how to distinguish resin rhinestones with crystal rhinestones by heating it with a lighter. Today, I'll talk about another way to distinguish them by naked eye observation.

There are two major ways to distinguish them:

(1) Observing the foiled back of the rhinestones
Swarovski, Czech, and Asian crystal rhinestones all comes with a silvery frosted foiled back. Picture shown as below:

While a plastic, or resin rhinestones, comes with a glossy silver back, as below:

(2) Reflections

For crystal rhinestones, the light reflections from the rhinestones are beams of "rainbow color" light rays. While in resin rhinestones, the light reflected are mono-toned, not as colorful as the light reflected from crystal rhinestones. Reflections are difficult to captured with Camera, especially without any professional cameras like me, so I cannot show photos to illustrate this. But I'm sure you can easily observe the difference when you have the two kind of rhinestones on hands.

It is really important to know how to distinguish the two kind of rhinestones before you buy it. Resin rhinestones are much cheaper in price, but it can be easily scratched and lost its luminosity because of the relatively softer material (Resin) used when producing the stones.

Crystal rhinestones are more expensive, but it's more durable and has a longer lasting luminosity.

Make sure you know which rhinestones you're buying before you pays for it, some Sellers sell resin rhinestones as expensive as crystal ones to make big profits.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Choosing the right rhinestones stone size for your project

Swarovski rhinestones and all other rhinestones comes in a variety of stone size, from ss3 - ss48. So, you may ask, which size of rhinestones should I get for my project?

Using smaller rhinestones
- You will need more pieces of rhinestones to finish your work, so with the more rhinestones you're using, the number of facets altogether on the surface will be more, reflecting more light, and resulting a more sparkling item.
- If you're working on a pattern with the rhinestones, the smaller stone size will result in a finer and more detailed pattern.

- Number of rhinestones needed will be more, and increase your cost.
- More time consuming to set the rhinestones

Using larger rhinestones
- Less pieces are needed to complete the project, quicker to finish
- Larger rhinestones have a very clear facet, and show a very luminous cup, the sparkled light is larger and thus looking very sparkling
- Can offer a very good texture of stones

- Easier to be ripped off when handled without care
- Spacies in between rhinestones will be larger

 There a lot of Pros and Cons for using smaller or larger rhinestones. Choosing the right size of rhinestones for your project is totally of your own preference. But for me, I'll usually choose smaller rhinestones for smaller objects and larger rhinestones for larger objects, keeping a balance between them.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How many rhinestones will I need? Method#2: Calculating the surface area of each rhinestones

In the previous post, I've talked about how to determine the number of rhinestones needed by knowing the number of rhinestones to cover one square inch. Today, I'll show another method to estimate the number of rhinestones needed for a project.

Last passage, I've talked about the Stone Size, let's recap as follows:
ss5 (1.70-1.90mm)
ss6 (1.90-2.10mm)
ss8 (2.30-2.50mm)
ss10 (2.70-2.90mm)
ss12 (3.00-3.20mm)
ss16 (3.80-4.00mm)
ss20 (4.60-4.80mm)
ss30 (6.32-6.50mm)
ss34 (7.07-7.27mm)


To estimate the number of crystals needed, we will need to know the Surface Area of the stones, I'll take SS12 rhinestones as an example:

Formula to calculate a surface area of a circle: 3.14 X (Diameter/2) Square
Surface Area of ss12:  3.14 X 1.5 X 1.5 = 7.07 mm sq.

For example, if we are going to cover a iphone case by rhinestones ss12,
the iPhone surface area will be: 58.6 mm X 118.2 mm = 6750 mm sq.

Then, number of stones needed = 6750 / 7.07 = 954 rhinestones.

This method can be useful if you want to know a very accurate number of rhinestones needed for your project. By using this formula, you're assuming your item are 100% covered by the rhinestones, not like the #1 method we talked yesterday.

However, it's unlikely to the item 100% covered without any spaces in between the stones, So, the actual number of rhinestones needed maybe slighlty less than the number you got from the calculation.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How many rhinestones will I need? Method#1: Calculating the Rhinestones per inch

Many customers asked about how many rhinestones they will need for their project. It totally depends on the area which they would like to cover with rhinestones.

For all rhinestones, its size is measured by diameter in millimeter, they call it SS (stone size).

The standardised Rhinestones Stone Size Chart is:

ss5 (1.70-1.90mm)
ss6 (1.90-2.10mm)
ss8 (2.30-2.50mm)
ss10 (2.70-2.90mm)
ss12 (3.00-3.20mm)
ss16 (3.80-4.00mm)
ss20 (4.60-4.80mm)
ss30 (6.32-6.50mm)
ss34 (7.07-7.27mm)

By knowing the diameter of each rhinestones, we will then be able to know the number of rhinestones needed to fill up one inch in length:

Stone Size                      # of Rhinestones per inch
ss5 (1.70-1.90mm)         14
ss12 (3.00-3.20mm)         8
ss16 (3.80-4.00mm)         7
ss20 (4.60-4.80mm)         5
ss30 (6.32-6.50mm)         4

Then, we will be able to know, how many rhinestones are needed to cover 1 sq. inch.

Stone Size                     # of Rhinestones per inch
ss5 (1.70-1.90mm)               196
ss12 (3.00-3.20mm)               64
ss16 (3.80-4.00mm)               49
ss20 (4.60-4.80mm)               25
ss30 (6.32-6.50mm)              16

In this method, we assume that the rhinestones are tidily applied one by one, in a very orderly manner shown below. There will be quite a lot of spaces in between the rhinestones.

So, if you choose to interleave your rows of rhinestones offset every other row for a very tight setting, then you will need more rhinestones, up to one-third more.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How many are a gross?

We used "gross" as the unit for counting rhinestones or beads. A gross is equal to 144 pieces (12 dozen). 

When the manufacture do packing of the rhinestones, the rhinestones are usually weighed, not counted, so the numbers in each pack are approximate; but they are generally within a couple of pieces plus or minus.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to distinguish Resin Rhinestones vs Crystal Rhinestones

This has been a frequently asked questions, how to distinguish the Resin Rhinestones (or Acrylic Rhinestones) with Crystal Rhinestones. With the advancement in technology, resin rhinestones have been looking much closer to crystal rhinestones. Especially if you only use your naked eyes without touching it, it might be hard to tell which are resin rhinestones and which are crystal rhinestones.

Here we introduce a method to distinguish it with a Lighter.

First, we are going to use a forcep to hold the rhinestones and heat it by a Lighter for 5 mins, or as long as you see a black film appear. Then, let the rhinestone cools and wash it under water. If the rhinestones are made of crystal, it will return glossy after washing.

However, if the rhinestones are made by Acrylic or Resin, it will be melted by heat when burning it with the Lighter.

This is the ultimate way to distinguish whether the rhinestones is crystal or not.

In upcoming posts, I'll talk about other ways to judge the materials of the rhinestones. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tips to glue rhinestones

Here I would like to share some tips on gluing flatback non-hotfix rhinestones on a surface.

When you apply the glue, just add a little drop of the glue will be more than enough. The reason is if too much glue is applied, it will spilt off like the image shown in the left. The "overflow" glue will flood the rhinestones and makes it less sparkle.

 This is especially important when you are trying the glue individual rhinestones with a pattern. Any extra glue on the edge of the rhinestones will make your masterpieces look unpleasant.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Size Chart - Flatback Crystal Rhinestones

Our rhinestones are available in the following sizes:

ss5 (1.70-1.90mm)
ss6 (1.90-2.10mm)
ss8 (2.30-2.50mm)
ss10 (2.70-2.90mm)
ss12 (3.00-3.20mm)
ss16 (3.80-4.00mm)
ss20 (4.60-4.80mm)
ss30 (6.32-6.50mm)
ss34 (7.07-7.27mm)

ss6 to ss16 are commonly stocked size, while ss20-ss34 may require a back order.

Color Chart - Flat Back Crystal Rhinestones

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What kind of glue to use on flatback Rhinestones

Many customers asked about this questions, what kind of glue to use on flat back rhinestones?

There are many acceptable ways to attach flatback rhinestones on a surface, but in my business, I only recommend two ways to attach it which is considered to hold the rhinestones stronger and make them harder to fall off.

The two recommendations from me are:

(1) Two-Part Epoxy Adhesive
 The Two-Part Eopxy Adhesive provides a very rigid and durable bond for a wide range of surfaces like  ceramic, leather, wood, metal, and many more materials. It is water resistant so it can be painted on top.  It turns completely transparent after it is set,  so it's suitable to use on Glasswares or transparent surface as well.

This kind of adhesive comes in a package with 2 tubes (A and B), also with a choice of "Quick setting" or "Slow setting". For rhinestones application, always choose the "Slow setting" ones. The extra long time on setting allows us to move the rhinestones to the right place before it's set.

Mixing: Please follow the instruction on the package for the mixing portion of tube A and tube B. Usually, the A and B should be mixed in 1:1 proportion.

Some brand which provides Two-Part Epoxy Adhesive:

(2) E-6000 adhesive

E-6000 is another adhesive which is commonly used for rhinestones application. It also provides a strong adhesion strength and versatility. The benefit of using E-6000 is no mixing is required, it can be used directly from the tube.  The E-6000 sets quicker than the Two-part epoxy adhesive, it sets in 15 mins, then bond sets in 2 to 6 hours, and attain full strength after 24 hours.
However, the E-6000 adhesive is not recommended on some types of acrylic rhinestones, in which a clouding effect on the stones are reported.

For rhinestones adhesive supplies, please visit my Online Store at: 

If you have any question, please leave me a message. 

Here it comes my first post

After I long thought, I finally decided to open a blog and talk more about the rhinestones business I'm having now. I'd like to share more information on bling decorations, rhinestones supplies, techniques, and share nice bling decorated pieces.

Before I go into these topics, I think I should have introduced more about myself.

The Rhinestones business is a new adventure for me, though by profession I am a IT Marketing Specialist. The rhinestones business which I'm now running has turned a new leaf for me, I truly have found something that I am passionate about!

This adventure started not ago when I changed my cell phone from a 2G phone to Smartphones (which smartphone has a larger surface for bling decoration). I was surprised to see how expensive were those ready made bling case for smartphones, and I thus decided to make one for myself and save some money.

My first cell phone case took me many hours to complete, but I were so happy with how it came out.
After much practise, I have managed to do this quicker and nicer. I also started sourcing for better yet cheaper rhinestones for my products, to maximise the cost-to-performance ratio, without trading off its glamour.

Now, I have got the best rhinestones supplies for that range of price, and more techniques to share.
I hope you all will enjoy reading my blog, and hope it's not too late to start.