By The ARTnews Recommends Editors
For some, rhinestones may evoke images of retro eyewear or ’90s body art, but these imitation diamonds shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly as kitschy relics. Many products available today are made from glass instead of plastic, which makes them look sophisticated rather than cheap. And the application possibilities are endless: You can use them to decorate almost anything, including clothing, shoes, cards, and fingernails. When selecting your rhinestones, it’s always a good idea to check the method of application, as some require that you adhere them with heat. Review our picks of the best rhinestone products, below. Rhinestone Appliques
Featuring rhinestones in an assortment of colors and sizes, this set is a great option whether you need them for a specific project or simply want to keep a bunch on hand. You get a total of 6,000 high-quality pieces, each one made of glass with well-defined facets. In addition to rhinestones in 12 colors, you receive hundreds of clear stones as well as crystal AB pieces—the latter named for the aurora borealis because of how their surfaces change color as it they catch the light. Each has a heat-activated sticker on its base, which you can warm with a special heat tool or a regular iron. They all come neatly sorted by color in a plastic container, and you can use the included wax pen or tweezers to pick up and place individual rhinestones with ease.
If you’re searching for rhinestones of one color, we recommend this product. Each plastic container houses 2,000 rhinestones organized by size—there are six, from 1.5 to 6 mm—and you can choose from 16 colorways that include black, rose gold, and royal blue. Like Nibiru’s product, this set comes with a wax pick-up pencil and a tweezer with fine, curved tips, but you apply the rhinestones with glue rather than heat. The rhinestones are made of high-quality glass and reflect light beautifully. For the best bonds, we recommend using a glue specially formulated for rhinestones.
Crystal AB rhinestones may be the most popular choice to glam up any item, with each stone possessing a mesmerizing iridescence. We like this product as the rhinestones are consistent in their shape and produce a beautiful glistening effect that recalls the luster of diamonds in the sun. This set equips you with 5,040 rhinestones in six sizes (2 to 6.5 millimeters), tweezers, two pick-up pens, and a container with dividers to keep them organized.
The standard rhinestone is round, but there are lots of other options too. This packet from Massive Beads features good-quality crystal AB rhinestones in an assortment of 24 shapes, from conventional geometries like a rhombus and an oval to representational designs like a skull and a butterfly. You get 240 flatback pieces, each one fixed with a gold foil backing that requires glue. These rhinestones are sold in baggies that divide them by shape; you might want to purchase a divided container to keep them organized.
Considered the gold standard of rhinestones, these jewels from the famed Austrian manufacturer are made of highly polished lead crystals. Each produces an unmissable twinkle, and the effect is breathtaking when multiple crystals are placed on the same surface. These stones are just over 3 millimeters in diameter and feature a silver foil backing that has to be glued down. While they’re more expensive than our other picks, the quality of Swarovski rhinestones is truly unmatched.
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