What are rhinestones?

February 11, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Jewelry

Rhinestones are artificial colorless gems of high luster and cut to imitate diamonds. Their chief use is in the manufacture of cheap jewelry and accordingly false jewelry itself is sometimes referred to as rhineĀ­stone. Rhinestones were so named because they were first made along the Rhine River of a composition known as strass, which was a vitreous or glasslike paste invented by and named after Joseph Strasser, a German jeweler. The original rhinestones consisted of a silicate of potassium and lead, combined with borax, alumina and white arsenic. A greenish film forms on true rhinestones when they come into contact with copper or brass. This covering can be removed with a weak solution of muratic acid, which will not affect the rhinestone but may cause any metal around it to loosen.

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