Everybody in the arts, craft and creative industry has heard of Swarovski Crystals, but not everybody are as familiar with rival crystal manufacturer, Preciosa. There a lot of questions around Preciosa crystals that we get asked on a daily basis, particularly when it comes to rhinestones for DIY and craft. Well look no further, we’re here to answer all your questions about the lesser known crystal company.
In this article we will be discussing our most frequently asked questions including how and where to purchase Preciosa crystals, how to apply crystals to different surfaces, and what are the different types of Preciosa crystals, plus many more topics too.
What are Preciosa Crystals?
Preciosa crystals, also known as Preciosa rhinestones, are highly polished, machine cut glass stones used in the DIY sector for embellishment, jewellery making, fashion, costume design, nail art, beauty and are prevalent in the creative and performing arts industries. The company Preciosa was officially formed in 1948 when 25 glassmaking factories merged into one, eventually become the powerhouse of glass and crystal production it is today.
What are the different types of crystal for DIY and craft?
Preciosa produce an array of crystal products, such as jewellery, chandeliers, glass lighting, figurines, decorative ornaments, accessories and fashion wear. And like Swarovski, they also cater for the DIY sector, which includes crafters, blingers, jewellery makers, costumiers, dressmakers, milliners and many more. In this area, Preciosa produce a number of individual components for DIY use, including flatback rhinestones, (also known as diamantes or gems), beads, pearls, chatons, pendants, sew on crystals, chatons and fancy stones.
Are Preciosa rhinestones made from real crystal?
Although the exact manufacturing process is not known, Preciosa crystals are made using cut glass, which has been made from melted sand found in the Crystal Valley of Bohemia. The glass is highly polished and shaped into the desired components such as tiny Cubic Zirconia, beads or flatback rhinestones. They must not be confused with diamonds, which are a natural material that can be mined. Preciosa crystals are man-made.
Where can I order Preciosa crystals from?
Preciosa crystals can be purchased in bulk from Preciosa, if you are a business and are able to meet their requirements. There are several retailers in the UK who supply Preciosa crystals. Here at Crystal Parade, we can supply the entire Preciosa range and don’t require a minimum order or spend.
Can I buy Preciosa crystals in wholesale packs?
Almost all online retailers offer Preciosa crystals in wholesale quantities. If you’re a business or creator who relies on consistently using large amounts of Preciosa crystals, then purchasing wholesale packs would be valuable to your business. Smaller retail quantities are useful for one off projects or if you like to experiment with lots of different products, such as in nail art or craft.
How can I tell the difference between a genuine Preciosa crystal and another brand?
Genuine Preciosa crystals will always have their logo and holographic seal on the wholesale packaging, however, to recognize them when they have been removed from their original packaging there are some tips and tricks the expert eye can see:
- Check the foil backing – Preciosa’s backing is smooth and matte silver in colour. Swarovski’s non hotfix backing has a slight gold tinge to it, and Zodiac’s backing is also more gold in colour. Other cheaper rhinestone brands tend to have a shiny and thin looking backing.
- Check the front of the stone – Preciosa Maxima crystals have 15 facets, the pattern of the facets alternates between thin triangle and fat triangle. Swarovski have a recognizable star shape cut into the facets of the stone. When you compare a 2088 Xirius stone to a Preciosa for example, you can clearly see the star pattern. Zodiac also has a similar star shape. Cheaper brands that are made from acrylic, plastic or resin tend to be less sparkly.
- Another good tip for spotting Preciosa among the crowd is to check for scratches, chips or any irregularity. Preciosa crystals will not have any – unless they have been dropped or extremely roughly handled.
- Have a good look at the holes cut into the sew on stones, Preciosa’s have a really neat, smooth finish with no chipping to the crystal itself, unlike some of the cheaper brands.
Are Preciosa crystals good for nail art?
Using Preciosa crystals for nail art has become so much more popular in the last few years. Swarovski are constantly increasing their prices, so for a nail technician, salon owner or nail art enthusiast, working with Preciosa is a much more cost effective option – and the quality is just as good! Preciosa offer a huge colour range and their nail art products are comparable with Swarovski, particularly the Crystal Faerie which is a fantastic alternative to Swarovski’s Crystal Pixie for nails.
How do I know I’m using the correct Preciosa crystal?
If you’re not sure you are ordering the correct colour, size or brand of crystal, we are happy to help. You can send us a photo of a crystal you already and we can identify it for you. Or, if you have a piece of clothing or other item you would like to add crystals to, we can advise the best products to use and suggest colours to compliment. Alternatively, you could purchase a crystal colour chart which contains a sample of every colour, shape and size. For more help on choosing the right crystal for your project, check out our Ultimate Guides.
What is the difference between Viva 12 and Maxima?
What does SS mean?
SS refers to 'Stone Size' and is followed by a number, as well as the size in millimetres, for example SS16 (4mm). In general, SS2 - SS10 are the small sizes used for nail art, beauty, fine jewellery and tooth gems. SS12 - SS20 are often used in dance, costume, craft, cardmaking and textiles. SS30 - SS48 are more commonly used for Irish dance, theatrical costumes and costume jewellery. For more information on rhinestone sizes, see our Ultimate Guide here.
How do I apply Preciosa crystals to fabric?
There are a number of ways to attach Preciosa crystals to fabric: Heat fixing, glue on method, sew on or riveting. Heat fixing is ideal for applying a large number of stones in a quick and mess-free way, it requires a hotfix applicator tool or household iron. The glue on, also known as non-hotfix method, is a simpler and cheaper way to apply crystals, although you will need to purchase glue as well. For larger crystals including sew on stones, buttons, beads and pearls, the sew on method is a long lasting and neat application method. For detailed information on the different application methods, read our Ultimate Guide to attaching rhinestones to fabric.
What is a Preciosa Chaton?
A Preciosa chaton is a pointed back crystal used to set into a metal casings or settings for jewellery making. The top part of the chaton is the sparkly, faceted stone, and the bottom part is foiled (or it can be unfoiled for a completely transparent effect). The foiled part is glued into the setting or casing to form a jewellery component. Chatons can also be referred to as pointy back crystals or 3D crystals and are sometimes used to push into clay for crafting or glued onto fingernails as part of a nail art design.
What does ‘facets’ mean?
The term ‘facets’ refers to the name of the cut given to a rhinestone. A facet is the flat surface area cut into the glass which refracts light inwards and reflects light outwards to create a sparkle. The more facets to a stone, the more light reflected, therefore the more sparkle. Preciosa Maxima flatback crystals have 15 facets, which means there are 15 surfaces all at a slightly different angle reflecting the light.
What is a Preciosa transfer?
A Preciosa transfer is a crystal design that is applied to fabric, in one go, using heat. Transfers can be either pre-made by Preciosa or you can create your own using hotfix transfer film. Preciosa transfers can include any design from animals, flowers, popular shapes, logos, letters and numbers. It is easy to iron on a hotfix transfer at home, all you need is your design, a piece of clothing or fabric and an iron.
How do I safely store Preciosa crystals?
It’s important to take good care of your Preciosa crystals, even if you’re not using them. If you have crystals in your craft kit that you’ve not yet used, keep them tightly wrapped in their packaging or in storage pots. This will stop any scratches or chips. Storage pots are also a great way of separating colours, sizes and shapes etc, especially if you work with lots of different crystals like nail artists or crafters. For larger crystals such as fancy stones, buttons or sew on shapes, it is a good idea to keep these separated by keeping them in their original packaging, or wrapping them tightly in tissue paper.
What is a good alternative to Preciosa crystals?
The Zodiac brand of crystals is a fantastic alternative to Preciosa, they are a great quality Swarovski similar brand at a fraction of the cost. Find out more about how Zodiac compares to Swarovski and Preciosa in our Ultimate Guide: Are Zodiac as good as Swarovski?