By Kate Nyx 

Re-posted with permission from Ecdysiast Costumer Facebook Group

Swarovski: The best of the best. Dita Von Teese’s go-to brand for sparkle. Also the priciest, Swarovski is cut crystal [glass with a high lead content], and is the premiere brand of sparkly things you glue on stripper droppings. They also have the most in-depth color chart, with several different tones and finishes. A gross [144] will run you anywhere from $6-$20 dollars, and a 10 gross [1440] pack [or factory pack as some distributors call them] can run you anywhere from $35-$150. They also have a good selection of larger specialty shapes.

Preciosa: From what I’ve found, Preciosa is the best competition for Swarovski as far as color choice and finishes. The pricing is fairly close to Swarovski as well, with some being more or less expensive depending on the retailer. Preciosa is also cut crystal. I know some people who swear by Preciosa, but I have never used them myself.

Value Bright: A budget brand of cut crystal from rhinestonebiz.com. The color chart is smaller, and their prices are about a third/half of what you’d pay for Swarovski. A gross can run you from $3-10, and a 10 gross pack can run you $20-$60. Some specialty shapes are available.

DMC: “Diamanté Machine Cut” crystal, sometimes referred to as “imitation Swarovksi” or “imitation Preciosa.” Similar to Value Bright in color chart and available finishes. From what I have found, no specialty shapes are commonly available through the lines that claim this manufacturing. You can get these from Devin MasoKiss, and she has exact pricing from her supplier, which ends up being about half of what you’d pay for Value Bright in my experience, or sometimes even less when purchasing through her. Pricing and quality can vary.

Resin: Resin stones are made from hot resin poured into molds. You can find them on Ebay for basically nothing, in various shapes, sizes, colours, and finishes. From my experience, the jelly AB stones are decently sparkly, but the plain colored stones tend to read the same as acrylic [aka not very sparkly] These are the cheapest option, I recommend Blinggasm if you’re looking to get a bunch in the same color/size.

Acrylic: These are the plastic rhinestones you get at the craft store, like what you’d see at AC Moore or Hobby Lobby. Some dark colors provide decent sparkle, but a very limited array of finishes and colors. They’re not even always the cheapest alternative! They are, however, the easiest to find locally more often than not.

Adhesives:
http://www.crystalandglassbeads.com/blog/2012/the-ultimate-adhesive-guide-for-swarovski-flat-backs-and-fabric.html

Sizing:
https://www.firemountaingems.com/resources/encyclobeadia/charts/8248

Stones Sourcing
Rhinestone Guy
Rhinestones U (if you are a biz)
Dreamtime Creations
Kandicorp.com
Novarhinestone.com
Beadandtrim.com
Dupreesrhinestones.com
http://www.ebaystores.com/Chic-and-Trendy-Accessories

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