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In the world of jewellery the phrase diamante generally refers to glittering stones that resemble diamonds. Originally these gems were made from rock crystal however since the 19th century these gems were usually made from crystal or glass..The word diamante is also used to describe rhinestone or sequin embellishments added to accessories and clothing.
Although diamante jewellery is not made with genuine gemstones, the term diamante does not indicate cheap or poorly made costume jewellery. Generally the stones are fabricated with high-quality glass and are often prong set just like diamonds. Cheap costume jewellery is often made with stones made of plastic or acrylic that are glued into place.
Examples of diamante crystal jewellery including rhinestone crystal necklaces and diamante crystal earrings can be seen below.
Above: Examples of diamante crystal jewellery including at the right hand side , diamante crystal vintage earrings
Diamante Jewellery History
Diamante jewellery has been in existence for hundreds of years. In fact, early diamante stones were brought to the market in the early 18th century. Today, these stones are often referred to as rhinestones, but in the Georgian era, diamante stones were also referred to as paste. The term paste jewellery is still used today in vintage jewellery descriptions
Paste jewellery from the Georgian Era can generally command prices higher than other natural gemstones and can even rival some diamond jewellery prices. Later throughout the Victorian Era, paste stones continued to have a presence in the jewellery market. Although paste jewellery from the Georgian Era is rare, similar jewellery from the Victorian era is easyto find and is often set in precious silver or gold.
However there is a slight difference between paste stones and rhinestones. Rhinestones were fabricated in the 1920's during the era of Art Deco These rhinestones were made out of higher quality materials, often in Austria and Czechoslovakia both countries known for their impeccable glass production.