Rhinestones vs Crystals
In the beginning...
The original rhinestones were small, sparkling Quartz stones found in the Rhine River, Austria, in the 13th century.
What are hot fix crystals...
It's like decorating in warp speed. These embellishments have a glue (fix) on the flat backside that melts when heat (hot) is applied. "Hot Fix" - maybe they put the hot before the fix because they are in Europe, but you get the idea.
Hot fix can be applied in seconds and the finished product can be worn or used immediately. Swarovski's hot fix glue is 8 times stronger than any other hot fix glue. It is patented and copyrighted so you will never find the same quality on any other products.
What is the difference between rhinestones and Swarovski crystals?
The original rhinestones were Quartz stones so, as the supply dwindled, someone decided to make rhinestones out of paste. Go figure. We recently received samples of (cheap) Czech rhinestones which turned out to be made of paste. They turned into a white powder when applied with the BeJeweler. Rhinestones like this are mass produced out of a variety of products including plastic. The cost is low but so is the quality.
The first crystals were invented in 1895, by Daniel Swarovski. His newly invented machine for cutting and faceting crystal jewelry stones revolutionized the jewelry business. To ward off imitators, Swarovski moved his company to the small, remote village of Wattens in Austria. Swarovski is still a family owned company. Swarovski crystals are recognized as the highest quality man made crystals in the world, today it is estimated more than 85 percent of U.S. jewelry companies use Swarovski stones.
What is the difference between flat back "hot fix" crystals and "non hot fix" flat back rhinestones?
Non hot fix Swarovski crystals have a silver "foil" backing. On hot fix crystals, that silver backing is coated with Swarovski's patented hot fix glue. Only the Swarovski transparent crystals do not have silver foil backings. This crystal is available n Transmission - an iridescent, "clear" AB crystal that is incredibly brilliant. BTW, an excellent choice.
If you prefer to use external glue, Swarovski hot fix crystals will actually hold better since the textured glue backing gives topical glue a surface to "grab." The hot fix glue also provides a protective barrier between the foil and the external glue. This prevents a chemical reaction which can cause the stone to fall off and the silver "foil" to stay on the fabric. We have all seen items on "clearance" with silver spots where this has happened. We specialize in and sell only Swarovski hot fix crystals.