Daniel Swarovski was the first producer of rhinestones that we use today. Rhinestones look like diamonds but they are actually glass coated with metal powder. The foil backing used on the back of rhinestones gives them a high sparkle that almost makes them look like real diamonds. In 1895, Swarovski moved the business to Austria near the Rhine River where they still manufacture Swarovski crystals today.
Rhinestones can comes in a variety of colors that imitate precious gems. Rhinestones are produced in different parts of the world. Most rhinestones comes from Austria, Egypt, or China. Because of the low cost to produce rhinestones, jewelers use them to produce dazzling rhinestone jewelry that is affordable to average consumers.
Rhinestone Jewelry became very popular during the 1920s. Coco Chanel and other designers such Eisenberg, Trifari, and Hobe made rhinestone costume jewelry chic and trendy. In America, Hollywood eventually used rhinestone jewelry on stars like Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford.
Today rhinestones are used to adorn many things such as shoes, clothing, handbags, furniture, pillows, boxes, phones, and basically anything you want to sparkle.