RhinestoneHome ➤ Encyclopedia of gems ➤ Rhinestone
Rhinestones are imitations of gemstones, which are most often made of lead glass with high refractive index of light.
Glass imitations of gemstones have been known for a long time, but they became particularly popular after the Alsace jeweler Georg Strass in the 18th century received potassium glass with a high content of lead and used it in the manufacture of diamond imitation jewelry. This glass was a "lead crystal" and had characteristics similar to those of cut diamonds - strong luster, high refraction index, beautiful play of color in stones.
The most popular were transparent colorless imitations of a diamond, although colored rhinestones are also made.
Sometimes rhinestones are called other imitations of gemstones, not just products made of lead glass. For example, rhinestones can be made from crystals of rock crystal (amethyst). Or create imitations of two parts: the top is a real gemstone, and the bottom is made of glass.