Why Do Rhinestones Turn Black?

Strass coated the lead glass crystals with metallic colors to replicated the sparkle found in the original rhinestone. Very soon, many jewelry companies created their rhinestones and named them differently, which was then trademarked. The most well-known brand is

Swarovski Crystals.

Rhinestone turns black because of poor maintenance, damaged coating, wrong repairing process and time. If you rough use the rhinestone and somehow the coating gets damaged then it will turn black. Along with that overtime it naturally loses it luster and turns black. 

Rhinestones get referred with ‘ss,’ and its size is written next to it, for measurement of the crystals. They have broad application across the fashion industry. Various types, sizes, and colors get used in the dresses, a huge fashion industry.

Apparel Industry

The hot-fix rhinestones get used in the fabric industry. These crystals have glue coated on the flat, underside, which gets heat pressed on to the dresses. The quality of the glasses and the glue coating will differ, depending on your clothing and the brand. You need to take care of such garments, so that moisture does not get between the crystals and the fabric.

If the glue used for fixing the stones to your dress is not of good quality, the crystals will turn black over time. Hence, it is advisable to source your fabrics from reliable sources. If you do not follow instructions properly while cleaning your outfit, liquid might seep into the gummed surface. The reaction of this glue with the solution might make the crystals appear dark in color.

Jewelry Application

Rhinestone jewelry usually set on metal alloys, which is strong enough to hold on to the crystals. Gold and silver get hardly used for this type of jewelry. The gold and silver plating loses their shine over a while. Good quality rhinestone jewelry uses brass, and its alloys, as their base metal.

The glass crystals get replaced with diamonds, rubies, and other gems in this jewelry. They get set in two ways:

  1. The stones get fixed with adhesive on the grooves provided on the base metal bed.

  2. There are four prongs or appendages from the base metal design, which hold the rhinestones together.

Both these formats of stone settings work for rhinestone, since their base get coated with metal paints or foils. If any of the stones get found missing, close replacements get added, to keep the jewelry intact.

Manicure Or Nail Art

This is another application of rhinestone in the fashion industry today. Since these crystals give the appearance of gemstones, they get widely used in nail art. Different sizes, colors, shapes, and brilliance get used in this bling fashion. Through a process of nail polish, gels, and UV rays curing, these crystals get fixed on the surface of the nail. Such designs remain intact, depending upon the care provided by you.


Rhinestones have got their applications to glass frames and shades, giving them a sophisticated bling look. Depending upon the quality of the frames, various types of crystals get used. Specialty glue gets used in fixing these stones to the frames. The shape, size, and color of the crystals vary, depending upon the final fashion quotient expected from the piece.

Since rhinestones get damaged with moisture, you need to be careful while using such frames and shades. Though the manufacturer indicates that the glue and the product finish are water-resistant, there is always wear and tear, leading to seepage and damage to the coating below the stone.

Other Accessories

Rhinestone Chain In Necklace and shoes

Caring For Your Rhinestone Jewelry

Rhinestones have a coating of metal paint or have foil glued to its bottom. This provides the brilliance and glitter to the crystals. If this coating gets damaged in any way, the stone will look dull and dark.

Hence, the most crucial aspect of keeping your rhinestone jewelry shining and bright is that you need to take extra care for them.

The following has to get adhered to while cleaning your crystal jewelry:

  1. Place soft tissues on your workstation.

  2. Lay your rhinestone jewelry on this material.

  3. Use a handheld air pump to blow out any dust and dirt along the crevices.

  4. If there are stubborn deposits, try to pry them loose with a wooden toothpick or fine blunt needle.

  5. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol gets used to clean this type of jewelry since the solution dries quickly. If any moisture gets between the foil coating and stone, discoloration occurs and makes your crystals redundant.

  6. Use a cotton swab, and moisten with the rubbing alcohol. Remove excess liquid by soaking the tip on the soft tissue below. Do not allow a blob of alcohol to drop on your stones.

  7. Now start cleaning each of your rhinestones with the wet end of the swab. Remove excess fluid once the cleaning gets done with the other dry purpose. Repeat this process until all the stones get cleaned.

  8. Turn the jewelry upside down on the soft cloth, and use the wet swab to clean the entire surface. Change the cotton swab, if the earlier one gets dirty.

  9. If your jewelry settings have prongs, openings at the bottom of your casings, then create mini swabs. These swabs get designed with a thin layer of cotton rolled on a toothpick. You can reach small spaces in the housing with this.

  10. Ensure that excessive alcohol does not get used during this scrubbing.

  11. Wipe the jewelry with the soft tissue, to re-discover the sparkle of your rhinestone once again.

Storage Of Rhinestone Jewelry

Rhinestones are a poor substitute for diamonds and other precious gems. Its life cycle is also limited. Good quality, a branded rhinestone will last a bit longer.

You have to protect them from moisture and atmospheric humidity. Store this type of jewelry wrapped in soft tissue, in air-tight containers. After every use, wipe dry sweat and moisture with soft cotton and store back in these zip-lock bags.

Stretch Rhinestone Jewelry

In these types of jewelry, the rhinestones get set on a stretchable surface. Over time, the elasticity of the material loses its properties. The settings of the stones get lose, and the crystals drop off.

Resetting A Rhinestone

If your rhinestone has come out of your jewelry casing, you can glue back the stone, using the proper adhesive, like the mirror glue or those which do not react with foil or metal paints.

Some glues harden too quickly, leaving you no time to set your stone back correctly. Be careful with these pitfalls. Avoid all those solutions, which would damage your foil cover and make your rhinestones useless.

Repairing Your Rhinestone Chain

Do not use any heat while repairing your chain or necklace, set with rhinestones. The heat from the soldering gun is sure to damage the foil or metal paint at the bottom of the crystals and appear black.

Longevity Of Rhinestones

Pieces of jewelry made of rhinestone also get known as costume jewelry. They need to get replaced over time, just like your dress and shoes. They perform very well when they are new. Over time, they would start losing their luster. The secret behind getting the best out of your investment is how you care and store your jewelry. The more you care, your rhinestone will live longer.

Gem-Tac Glue

This glue is rhinestone friendly and can always get depended upon. If you wish to refix your rhinestone back on your dress or jewelry, use the gem-tac glue to hold the crystal back from where it fell off. However, if some adhesive got coated on the surface of the stone, you can remove the same with acetone.

Moisten a swab of cotton with this solvent and slowly apply the damp cloth on the dried glue surface. Let there be no excess moisture on these swabs.

The acetone will quickly dissolve the glue, which then can get slowly removed with the damp swab. Be careful to limit acetone usage on the stone since using this over metal casing in jewelry or fabrics in dresses can have a detrimental effect on the item.


Rhinestones, over the years, have been a great contributor to the fashion industry. Many artificial methods get implemented in creating these sparkling beauties due to the vast requirement for these stones. The glue also gets manufactured, keeping in mind the application of these stones.

Any type of moisture, including atmospheric humidity, is detrimental to the metal paint and foil covering the bottom of these rhinestones. If these seep between the surface and the covering, the glitter of the stones vanishes, and they would appear black. These stones need to get removed and replaced with fresh ones.

Depending upon the quality and brand of the rhinestone fashion item, the brilliance of the stone, the glue used and, the finish rests. When you need to refix the crystal back on the dress, jewelry, or the belt, you need to decide on the right type of glue. Any mistake in this selection would lead to damage to the stones and thereby rendering the fashion item useless.

You are required to manage your rhinestone jewelry, dress, and accessories with care. They need to wipe clean after every use, stored in moist-free compartments, and cleaned with utmost caution. Any slight deviation from routine would cause heart-break by rendering your most precious piece of bracelet defunct.

The most challenging decision is to clean your rhinestone garment, in case they get soiled. Seek expert advice during such crucial decision making. You have to use a petroleum product to wipe clean the fabric without damaging the rhinestone settings.

The crystals have to get cleaned using a quick-drying solvent like the acetone, which would not permeate between the underside of crystals with the coatings. Hence to avoid the blackening of these rhinestones, you need to take extra precautions during storage, maintenance, and repair.

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