River Rhine

Sunset on the river Rhine

Do you remember playing games when you were a kid that revolved around finding buried treasure and magic stones? If you ever spent time at the waters edge of a river or lake, perhaps you were enchanted by the gem-like quality of wet pebbles and shiny rocks.

My imagination used to run wild whenever I found small rocks in shades of green, red or blue. To me, they were Emeralds, Rubies and Sapphires.

Sadly, as soon as they dried off, the luster and magic were gone. They were, after all, just pebbles that looked pretty when wet. However, the discovery of one particular river rock created a whole new world of diamond alternative options.

The History Of  The Rhinestone

So many people think that Rhinestones are polished glass. They were indeed a natural substance created by nature just like any other gemstone. They were rock crystals that were discovered on the Rhine River, hence the name; Rhinestones. In researching the origin and history of the Rhinestone, I discovered this highly informative blog post by Rhinestones Unlimited for anyone who wants to learn more about them:

What Is A Rhinestone? A True Fairy Tale.

Although it is a bit sad that our natural supplies were depleted, we can be thankful that today’s technology allows the brilliance and beauty to be recreated so people can still experience the luster of wearing Rhinestone jewelry.

Modern Rhinestone Quality Has Come A Long Way

Pointed Crystals

© Rhinestones Unlimited-by permission

When I was young, I remember digging through my Grandmother’s costume jewelry box and playing with all her beads, bangles and rings.  There were plenty of “pretend” diamonds in that box. Over the years, some of them would get cloudy and scratched from wear and tear.  At that time, the stones were softer and would, indeed, end up looking like dry sea glass.

If you visit sites like Etsy.com or Pinterest.com and search Vintage Rhinestone Rings, you may notice that the stones are nowhere as brilliant as what we can get today.

Today, Rhinestone creation continues to advance in quality and strength. Look at how pretty the stones are pictured here. Are you surprised?

Many of us picture Rhinestones as those flat-backed crystals that only work as glue-on embellishments for garments. These are perfect for mounting onto ring settings.

There Is A Still A Market For The Rhinestone Ring

Rhinestone engagement ringIf you want to see how pretty a Rhinestone ring can be, take a look at this design on the right. Although the stones are purple, the band setting and the stone placements make it look just like a traditional engagement ring.

Here is an interesting scenario I found from several customer reviews on Amazon.com for Rhinestone wedding bands:

  • Wife loses her wedding band ( oh dear!) and is very upset.
  • Husband wants wife to be happy again, so buys a temporary Rhinestone replacement ring for her.
  • Husband leaves feedback stating that wife is thrilled with her Rhinestone ring.

This is so symbolic of what bridal rings really represent; diamonds or not. They are tokens of love and commitment whatever they are made from.

A Brilliant Loose Rhinestone Is A Wonderful Fake Diamond Option

Considering the advanced techniques that are used to make Rhinestones as brilliant and durable as possible, there is no reason why they wouldn’t make beautiful engagement rings. If you want to see a wide range of options and learn all about these interesting stones, I highly recommend visiting Rhinestones Unlimited.

This company does a great job explaining the Rhinestone-Swarovski-Crystal relationship so people can make an educated buying decision.

However, if you want to go straight to the gorgeous goodies that would make a fabulous custom ring, the loose gems on their Fancy Stones page are incredibly stunning.

 

 

 

Image Credits: Sunset on the River Rhine By Jens Wahnes (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, Loose Rhinestones by Rhinestones Unlimited-by permission, Purple Rhinestone Ring by Yazilind, Amazon.com