Difference Between Crystal and Rhinestone

Jewellery collection requires a lot of thought and action. Not only in identifying the right gems and stones but also in finding them at an affordable price.


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Crystal vs Rhinestone

The difference between Crystal and Rhinestone is in the formation of the stone. Crystals are formed naturally and available on earth, while Rhinestones are artificially made from crystals. As such, Crystals are always expensive than rhinestones, and it is also called a poor woman’s crystal.

Crystal vs Rhinestone

A crystal is a solid structure that is naturally formed on earth. It is a pure substance that has atoms and molecules arranged in a structured fashion.

On the other hand, rhinestones are made out of crystals. They are considered artificial. However, they might glitter a lot and can be compared to diamonds for their beauty.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCrystalRhinestone
Glitter EffectCrystals glitter naturallyRhinestone glitters as it is backed by foil or metal that is injected while it is made.
ShapeCrystal comes in different shapes.Rhinestones are constrained to two different shapes.
Colour ReflectionMajorly depends on the absorption of light and also the refraction of the light.Depends on the make, it comes in 4 different colours, and it also depends on the metal backing of the stone.
DurabilityMore Durable than the rhinestonesLess Durable
PriceExpensiveLess Expensive compared to the Crystals

What is Crystal?

A crystal is a solid structure that is formed naturally on earth by a process called Crystallization. The structure consists of molecules and atoms that are arranged occasionally.

While crystals are solids, not all solids are crystals. The liquid, when freezes, become solid. However, they form a polycrystalline structure which is not a crystal as such.

Few examples of Crystals are

  1. Diamond
  2. Snowflakes
  3. Table salt
  4. Sugar

Crystal gives out natural light, and it primarily depends on the refraction of the light. The shape of the crystal and the internal molecular angle also determines the reflection of the light.

Crystals are considered to be durable. Crystals normally emerge with special properties. These properties include optical, mechanical as well as electrical properties.


What is Rhinestone?

Rhinestone is an artificially made gemstone that shall easily pass off as an original gemstone. It is a cheap gemstone that is made out of crystals.

These days Rhinestones are made from lead glass which facilitates a high level of refraction of light. It makes the stone glitter but not as sparkling as the crystals.

Rhinestones are not durable and are prone to break. The refraction of the light is artificial. This is done by backing the stone with foil or metal.

Unlike crystals, rhinestones come in two shapes.

  1. Cabochon
  2. Faceted

The colour that reflects from the rhinestone also is categorized. As it is artificial, the rhinestone reflects 4 different colours.

  1. Transparent
  2. Emerald
  3. Aurora Borealis
  4. Fake diamond colour

Though Rhinestone was gathered in the banks of the river Rhine, the stones that came aftermath are all man-made. Rhinestones are usually used in apparels than jewellery.


Main Differences Between Crystal and Rhinestone

  1. Crystal stones used in jewellery are usually strong, and in general, the crystals are durable when compared to rhinestones.
  2. The sparkling effect is natural is better in Crystals than the rhinestones.
Difference Between Crystal and Rhinestone


  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0953-8984/14/25/318/meta
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anthony-Kampf/publication/273260246_CSI_Mineralogy_Fakes_Frauds_and_Shoddy_Science/links/54ff24550cf2672e2242d01b/CSI-Mineralogy-Fakes-Frauds-and-Shoddy-Science.pdf
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