Whether you call them flat back crystals, rhinestones, nail gems or simply bling, there are many small details that categorise a crystal to suit any given desired effect. When browsing on websites dedicated to providing as many options as possible it can be daunting trying to figure out what you want when you’re not sure what the different descriptions mean.
Preciosa Crystals have been creating crystals and fine jewellery stones for the past five centuries in the Crystal Valley of Bohemia. Their crystals are the product of a cut glass manufacturing process and therefore should not be referred to as diamonds, which is a common mistake, as diamonds are an organic precious mineral, whereas cut glass crystals are made from sand. Many crystals are coloured to mimic organic gemstones, which is why you will find sapphire coloured crystals, but no Sapphires and yellow crystals named “Citrine” that are in no way related to alternative medicine.
The next stage is to know whatpurpose you want for your laser cut glass crystals. Let’s start with the classic flatback crystal which is often also called a rhinestone; this style of crystal has one side that is completely flat, designed for sticking to a smooth surface. You find these on drinks tumblers, bedazzled handbags and in ultra fabulous circumstances, covering the surface of a Lamborghini Sports Car.
The flat back crystal is usually glued onto its intended surface, however you can get sew-on stones that also have a flat back but have holes in them. It’s worth paying attention to how many holes there are in the stone, on a wholesale pack it is usually referred to as ‘1H’ meaning one hole and ‘2H’ meaning two holes. If a crystal is called ‘Lochrose’ this means the hole is cut directly through the center giving it an appearance similar to a sequin. Other sew-on crystals have holes on the edge of the crystal, giving a slightly different look to the Lochrose.
There are of course many types of cut-glass crystal that do not have a flat back. Popular examples are Pendants, which are typically doubled sided with a hole at the top to accommodate a bail, which would then attach it to a necklace. Another is Beads, which have a thread hole running from the top to the bottom of the cut glass bead making this type of crystal perfect for embellishing clothing or creating jewellery, especially as their faceted surface works wonders on reflecting the light. You can even purchase crystal pearls, known as Nacre Pearls, made from glass and coated to give that wonderful pearl affect.
There is also the pointed back ‘chaton’, also know as a ‘round stone’, from the front these look like normal flatback crystals because the top side is indeed cut the same way, however the back comes to a central point making it resemble the Superman logo. These are used in Jewellery making and are set into metal casings.
Beyond that you have the world of fancy stones that come in a near endless variety of shapes and the backs are also faceted and these different cuts all have names, for example there is an Emerald Cut fancy stone which can also come in the colour emerald. See our YouTube Channel to view these crystals up close, including the Preciosa Pear Fancy Stone in Crystal AB: