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What Are the Different Types of Rhinestones?

Whether you are in the market for hundreds of rhinestones transfers for your new clothing line or just one custom rhinestone shirt, you can ensure you will choose just the right one if you know a little about the different types of rhinestones.  A little education on this subject can go a long way toward receiving beautiful stones or shirts that you will remain happy with for years to come.

There are four basic types of rhinestones you will find when ordering your new shirt or transfer online.  These are Chinese, Korean, Preciosa and Swarovski.  It is important that you choose just the right one that suits your desire for sparkle and your budget. 

Chinese rhinestones are the least expensive of them all.  In the past, most designers would stay away from these as they were poorly made and the glue would not hold on to apparel.  Rhinestones would fall off of clothing after just one wash.  In recent years, the quality has improved greatly.  Although, they are still a lower-quality stone that the others.  Unless you need to wear your shirt just one or two times, I would stay away from these.  They are not much cheaper than something much better, Korean rhinestones.  They are also the least sparkly of all of the types of stones.

Good-quality Korean rhinestones are the most commonly used by apparel decorators and transfer suppliers.  They are made using a good glue and they do sparkle when hit by light.  The colors are more consistent than with Chinese stones, in my experience.  If you want a shirt or transfer at the lowest cost while maintaining quality, Korean rhinestones are the best way to go.  You can get these at affordable prices.

A slight step up in sparkle factor are Czech Preciosa rhinestones. They have a glue about equal in quality to Korean rhinestones (although some would argue it is a bit better).  They do sparkle very well.  If you want a richer look at the best price, this would be a good choice.

The creme of the crop are Swarovski rhinestones.  If you are going to produce high-end apparel or need the best rhinestone transfers possible, these are the way to go.  But this quality comes at a price.  You will pay a lot more for this type of stone.  They are made using genuine crystal and they are very dazzling. If budget is not an issue, these create the most beautiful bling designs possible.  They are also made with a special glue that will usually hold on to your clothing for the life of the shirt.

With this information in hand, you should be able to make an informed decision about your next decorated apparel or rhinestone design purchase.

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