|Rhinestone Definition - Definitions & Terms of Clothing Industry Trimming|
A rhinestone is an imitation diamond made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic. Originally, rhinestones were rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine, but their availability was greatly increased when the Alsatian jeweller George Frederic Strass had the idea to coat the lower side of glass with metal powder around 1775, imitating diamonds. Hence, rhinestones are called Strass in the German language.
In 1955, the Aurora Borealis, a coating applied to crystal stones to produce a rainbow of colors effect was introduced. Today, crystal rhinestones are primarily used on costumes, apparel and jewelry. They are produced mainly in Austria and the Czech Republic, while acrylic rhinestones are manufactured in several countries.
Heavy use of rhinestones is often associated with country music singers, as well as with Elvis Presley and Liberace. The rhinestone-studded Nudie suit was invented by Nudie Cohn in the 1940s, an Americanization of the matador's "suit of lights". See "Rhinestone Cowboy".
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