Rhinestones - Machine Cut vs Table Cut/Polished vs Fire Polished

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

07 August 2013

One of the most common questions people have about rhinestones is what the difference is between machine cut, table cut or table polished and fire polished. A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why I'm putting in pictures, but here are the basic differences. The photos are a mix of Swarovski (Austrian) and Czech rhinestones.

  • 1st Photo - Machine Cut (MC) - These have nice sharp facets like what you would see on a gemstone. They are the most expensive too! In about 2005-ish, Swarovski made major changes in their business structure. At that time the prices became substantially more for the "fancy" shaped machine cut stones - like 3 times as much by the time the European VAT taxes were added in. The round stones...

Jewelry Ring Album for Rhinestone Workshop

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

08 June 2013

I did a rhinestone workshop in the fall of 2012 for an awesome educational jewelry group I'm with - Jewelry Ring. Here is the link to the album with some of the same pictures for cuts and colors all in one place. imageevent.com/thejewelryring/jrworkshoprhinstones.

If you want to check out the Jewelry Ring Yahoo group, here is the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jewelry_Ring/

Foiled vs Unfoiled Rhinestones

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

07 June 2013

I get emails all of the time from customers asking me if I have an unfoiled rhinestone that they are looking for. I don't have much in the way of unfoiled rhinestones because it is much easier to get the foil off of a stone than put it on! So if you need an unfoiled stone, try looking for the same one that is foiled. It's very simple to get the foil off of a stone. Just make a 50/50 mix of vinegar (white or cider) and regular table salt. Soak your stone(s) in there for a day or two and the foil will come right off!

Tip - When you replace rhinestones, the old ones usually come out with part of the foil off of them. These are basically useless to use in the condition they are in but you can soak them in the salt and vinegar mix and...

www.jewelrypatents.com site is searching and paged like it is supposed to!

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

07 June 2013

We took over www.jewelrypatents.com about a year ago and did a complete redesign. It's had some quirks which has made it only partially usable. Some fixes have been made and it's running much more smoothly now!

What to do about a vintage costume jewelry piece that has graying or spotting stones

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

19 May 2013

So what do you do when you have a vintage jewelry piece that has graying or spotting stones? There isn't one answer. It depends on the piece itself. You have to take into account several things:

  1. How easy would it be to replace the bad stones? Are the stones glued in or are they set with prongs?  Prongs - especially the ones in chain - can be very difficult to change out because the stones were (and still are) set by machine. And prongs like to break. I'm not saying not to replace them, just something to keep in mind. Glue in stones are usually (but not always) easier to replace.
  2.  How many stones need to be replaced? Do you have just a few bad stones? If you would have a lot to do, is it feasible to...

Why do some stones gray and get spotty and some do not?

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

18 May 2013

Why do some stones get spotty and/or gray and others do not? For a long time the commonly accepted answer was that water had gotten under the stones. Not always so said Frank Delizza several years ago. He told us that many times it was actually the from how well the plating process had been done.

Foiled rhinestones have a reflective coating on them. When that foil starts to separate from the stone in some areas it will look spotty. If the foil is separating from the stone overall, it will cause the stone to look gray. Once the foil comes off of a stone there is no easy way to replace it. 

According to Mr. Delizza, the raw metal setting were set with the stones and all necessary pieces were soldered together. Only...

Brand new blog for vintage jewelry, rhinestones, repairs and the like

Posted by: Stefanie Brawner, Pretty Snazzy Vintage Jewelry & Supplies

14 April 2013

Welcome to the blog for Pretty Snazzy! This is where you will find all kinds of information about vintage jewelry (including patents), rhinestones (including Swarovski, Czech, French etc), jewelry supplies, repairs and more! 

Here is a little bit about my background. I've been doing vintage jewelry since 1999. The Trifari bracelet pictured was the very first piece I ever sold. In about 2000, I noticed how many pieces I had that were missing a stone or two (or more!). I started accumulating stones. One day I told my husband that I was going to sell rhinestones. He told me, "They'll never sell." I told him "Yes they will. Just wait and see.". They did sell! Everything I made on them went right back into buying more. I was very...