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How to Replace Costume Jewelry Rhinestones

Written by Annabelle
April 13, 2020

Costume jewelry stone replacement can be quite difficult, especially if the item is vintage and the stones are not genuine gemstones. Fortunately, it’s doable and you can still get your favorite pieces restored properly. Here’s what you need to know about how to replace costume jewelry rhinestones.

What Are Rhinestones?

A rhinestone is a faux gemstone made from glass or acrylic. Because of the material they’re made from, they can be easily produced in various forms, shapes, colors, and cuts. 

Swarovski is a large producer of standard rhinestones used nowadays, but vintage costume jewelry rhinestones can be difficult to replace as they were often specially made for that particular design or manufacturer. 

4 Things to Consider When Replacing Costume Jewelry Rhinestones

  1. Designer: Is your item a piece of designer costume jewelry? If so, any unique rhinestones may be limited to this particular design and cannot be readily replaced by a regular jewelry.

    designer-jewelry-chanel

    A costume earring from Chanel.

  2. Size: How big is the rhinestone? The larger the piece, the more expensive and difficult it is to have it replaced. You can get a measurement in millimeters and use that for price comparison.

    This crown is set with different sized rhinestones.

  3. Cut: Swarovski rhinestones come in different cuts that are named, such as Xirius and Xilion. Much like diamond cuts, these cuttings affect the sparkle of the rhinestone. There are several charts available online that can be used to identify the cut of the stones in your item.

    costume-jewelry-stone-replacement

    Differently cut rhinestones are set in this bracelet.

  4. Backing: Rhinestones can be flatbacked, which means that they have a flat backing, or diamond-cut with a pointy end. This affects the setting, as you cannot put a diamond-shaped rhinestone into an item that was designed for glue-set stones.

    Swarovski flatbacks, front and back.

Once you’ve gathered as much information as possible, reach out to jewelers who can source a stone replacement for you. Depending on the price of the replacement and the setting work required, a new rhinestone can range from as little as $15 to $40. If you provide the stone for setting work, the price will be comparatively lower.

Replacing Unique Rhinestones

While it’s hard to give up on restoring an item back to its original condition because the components are no longer in production, that doesn’t mean that you should toss away the piece of jewelry. In the event that you can’t source a unique rhinestone, consider replacing it with a synthetic gem. This is an excellent option for replacing uniquely cut rhinestones, as synthetic gems are readily available, cheap, and easily recut into various shapes.

synthetic-gemstones-ruby

These synthetic rubies have a bright and vivid color that would be expensive to purchase if natural.

Now you’re ready to replace costume jewelry rhinestones! If there’s a particular item you’d like to restore, let us know in the comments below and we can help you get started on the process.

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Debbie Rhodes

I’m wondering if this can be fixed and if so how much it would cost.

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Catherine

Hi Debbie, we’ll reach out via email with further details!

Mike jodrey

I need to find the right cabochon for this? My email is [email protected]

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Catherine

Hi Mike, We’ll reach out via email with further details.