The Clothing, Lingerie and Apparel Dictionary

Clothing: a covering designed to be worn on a person's body

Lingerie: women's underwear, nightclothes, and intimate apparel

Apparel: Clothing, especially outer garments or attire

Look For:

Apparel A
Apparel B
Apparel C
Apparel D
Apparel E
Apparel F
Apparel G
Apparel H
Apparel I
Apparel J
Apparel K
Apparel L
Apparel M
Apparel N
Apparel O
Apparel P
Apparel Q
Apparel R
Apparel S
Apparel T
Apparel U
Apparel V
Apparel W
Apparel X
Apparel Y
Apparel Z
This Project
Apparel Links

How to Care For and Clean Rhinestone Jewelry

Rhinestone jewelry is costume jewelry made of base metal, a simple alloy. Most costume jewelry does not contain nickel. Better quality rhinestone costume jewelry uses brass as a base metal. The coatings used vary, but seldom contain real silver or gold. Unlike real silver and gold jewelry, the silver-tone or gold-tone finish will oxidize and wear off over time.

Rhinestones can be set into jewelry in two ways:


A mold is made of base metal and rhinestones are glued into place. This is the least expensive method of producing rhinestone jewelry, and usually uses the lowest quality products.

Prong Settings

Rhinestones are set in individual cups. point side down, and secured with 4 prongs, one in each corner. Each cup is connected to the next by a double "T" connector forming a chain. The quality of this product is dependant upon the quality of the metal used. The "softer" the metal, the weaker the setting and the more likely the stone will fall out. This chain is formed into the desired design and soldered into place. The smoothness of the soldering is also an indication of the quality of the product.

How to Clean Rhinestone Jewelry

A soft cloth with alcohol is the best way to gently clean rhinestone jewelry. Since the sparkle of rhinestones is the reflection of the foil backing on each stone, it is important: Do Not use any solvent that can destroy or affect this backing. Water and other liquids can cause the foil to separate or tarnish, ruining the rhinestone.

Rhinestone jewelry is officially listed internationally as "imitation jewelry." As such, the metals used are of low quality, meaning that you will rarely, if ever, find rhinestone jewelry which actually uses gold, silver, or other precious metal. The plating will fade over time as a result of exposure to air and body oils. When this happens, there is no way to reverse this. Rhinestone jewelry has a lifespan, and will deteriorate over time, unlike jewelry made of gold or silver. This is a compromise for price. A simple pair of rhinestone stud earrings may cost $2, whereas a pair of CZ stud earrings set in 10K gold would cost $40-$50, and the same size diamond stud earrings, even with low quality diamonds, may cost $150. Unlike diamonds, rhinestones do not last forever.

Storing Rhinestone Jewelry

Rhinestone jewelry should be stored in an air tight zip lock bag. This will reduce the effect air has on the finish.


Rhinestone Jewelry FAQs

How Durable is Stretch Rhinestone Jewelry?

Rhinestone jewelry, or any quality jewelry, was never meant to stretch.  ALL STRETCH RHINESTONE JEWELRY IS GUARANTEED TO FAIL OVER TIME. What allows rhinestone jewelry to stretch is an elastic set under the stones running through each cup. As with any elastic, it will break or disintegrate over time. When this happens, the jewelry will lose elasticity and shape. Also, the forced pressure created by the stretching movement has a tendency to loosen the stones from their setting and fall out.

What Should I Look for When Buying Rhinestone Jewelry?

When looking at rhinestone jewelry it is important to examine the way the products made. First look at the setting, how are the stones held in place. If they are glued, it is a low quality product. if they are set, look at the prongs and how they hold the stones in place. How secure are the stones? How smooth is the surface? Do they catch on clothing easily? Second, look at the reverse side to se how well the product is soldered. It should be smooth without noticeable welds. Third, look at the ease with which the links move together. There should be no kinks or stiffness in this movement. Finally, look at the overall color of the stones to see their clearness and brilliance. Even a rhinestone should have some "fire".

How Do You Reset a Rhinestone?

If the stone is set in casting, it must be glued back into place. Never use a glue gun, hot glue, crazy glue, or super glue. these products will cloud the stone, or turn it black. The best glues to use are Gem Tac or Aleen's Glass and Mirror Glue. For a repair requiring extra strength, use E6000. These glues can be found in most craft stores. Be careful using E6000, this product sets quickly and removing a mis-set rhinestone with the backing intact is very difficult or even impossible.

How Do You Repair a Broken Rhinestone Chain?

Once a chain, or line, of rhinestones has been broken there are two ways to repair it. The break  often occurs when the double "T" connector fails. This is usually the result of the chain being pulled on too tightly, or bent with too much pressure. To be repaired, the damaged "T" and the cup holding it must be removed. Gently straighten the  four prongs and remove the stone. With the tip of a pair of needle nose pliers, gently spread the cup open and remove the damaged "T". Perform the same procedure on the next cup and remove the stone. Then gently spread the cup open and insert the two exposed "T's" into the cup to repair the chain. Once this is done, gently squeeze the cup closed to secure the "T's" in place and reset the stones, carefully bending the prongs to secure the stones. The chain is now repaired.

An alternative method of repair is to wire the broken segments to together using a thin wire, such as that found in a twist tie. To repair, wrap the wire around the space before the broken link. Holding the broken segments together, continue to wrap the wire around the space following the break. this should secure the chain so that it is usable. If done correctly, the connection should not be too noticeable.

NOTE: SOLDERING WITH A HOME MODEL SOLDERING GUN WILL NOT HOLD. Also, the heat generated will cause the metal to turn black, and the foil behind the stone will turn dark, making the stone appear black.

Why Can't I Find Rhinestone Bras in XL Sizes?

As with any chain, it is only as strong as the weakest link. In the case of rhinestone chain, it is held together by the double "T" connectors. The support needed for a full size bra will cause the "T" to break. It is unreasonable to think a full figure bust can be supported by a strand of rhinestones. Although this is a fact, "DD" rhinestone bras are available, but you should be aware of their fragility.

Can I Dance While Wearing A Rhinestone Outfit?

Rhinestone jewelry, like any jewelry, is designed to be a body accent. Under normal circumstances, it will last a long time. However, if undo pressure is placed on the links that hold it together rhinestone jewelry will break. It was never meant to be used as a costume where extreme pressure is applied. Sitting on, throwing, or mishandling rhinestone jewelry will cause damage. It is designed to be a glamour accessory, worn with care.

How Long Can I Expect Rhinestone Jewelry To Last?

Like a pair of shoes, a new dress, or hosiery, rhinestone costume jewelry looks best when new, but does have a lifespan. How long it lasts depends on the care with which it is used. Unlike diamond that last a lifetime, rhinestone jewelry must be replaced over time, just as those shoes or dress will not last forever. When you purchase fine rhinestone jewelry you must consider the cost as a purchase of a new accessory, not a lifetime investment.

If you are looking for quality rhinestone accessories such as rhinestone belts, rhinestone earrings, rhinestone necklaces and chokers, rhinestone skirts, rhinestone thongs, rhinestone halter tops, rhinestone bra tops, and rhinestone fetish wear accessories, visit Wild Child Clothing for all of your fine rhinestone jewelry and rhinestone accessory needs.


Contact us at: Please let us know of any lingerie or clothing names, terms, and phrases that we have missed.  We also want any special laundry hints and your tricks for dealing with difficult stains.  We are trying to make this Lingerie Dictionary a complete as possible and your suggestions are always welcome.