How to Tell The Difference Between Real Gemstones and Rhinestone Costume Jewelry

We’ve seen it all. We’ve seen the real thing – real gemstones, diamonds, and sapphires that sparkle to the point of being awe-inspiring. And rhinestone costume jewelry, a beautiful facsimile of real gemstones, with a remarkable likeness to real gemstones but at a fraction of the cost. 

But when it comes to real gemstones and rhinestone costume jewelry, how do you tell them apart? Here we’ll look at the differences between real gemstones and rhinestone costume jewelry to help identify which is which.

What Are Real Gemstones?

Real gemstone jewelry refers to any piece of jewelry crafted using real and natural stones. This includes precious gems like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, as well as semi-precious gems like citrines, topaz, and opals.

Real gemstones are mined from the earth – usually in the form of rough stones – which then need to be cut and polished before being set into jewelry pieces. The result is a real gemstone that has its own character, color, and natural luster.

What Is Rhinestone Costume Jewelry 

Rhinestone costume jewelry is a false replica of real gemstones. It is made from glass that has been cut into the shape of real gemstones and then coated with a thin layer of metallic foil to give it a real gemstone-like appearance.

How to Tell the Difference Between Real Gemstones and Glass Jewelry

As mentioned above, Rhinestone costume jewelry is usually crafted from inexpensive materials like glass or plastic that are cut and polished to give the look of genuine diamonds or other precious stones. It’s a popular substitution for real gemstones since it’s more economical and can be produced in mass quantities. Often, it also has a real luster and shine that makes it hard to distinguish from real gemstones.

On the other hand, real gemstones are natural minerals that are mined from the earth and then cut and polished to create beautiful, unique pieces of jewelry. Gemstones come in a wide variety of colors and can range from very rare and valuable stones, such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, to more common stones, such as amethyst, garnet, and topaz. Gemstones are highly prized for their beauty and rarity, and their value can vary greatly depending on their quality, size, and rarity.

Identifying Gemstones

When it comes to identifying rhinestone costume jewelry vs real gemstones, there are a few telltale signs you can look out for:

  • First of all, real gemstones have an inner sparkle and brilliance to them. That’s not to say that rhinestones don’t often have a real sparkle and brilliance too, but real gemstones typically have a more natural and intense luster. Due to the light-catching properties of rhinestones, you may notice that some rhinestones may even shine brighter and have a multi-dimensional sparkle that gemstones may not have. 


  • Secondly, real gems often show more variation in their colors than rhinestones, which tend to be more uniform in color. Real gems may exhibit a variety of shades and tones, which can be unique and distinct, while rhinestones often look identical and lack the natural variation found in genuine gemstones.


  • Thirdly, real gemstones are cold to the touch, while rhinestones are not. This is because real gemstones can absorb and retain heat differently than rhinestones.


  • Lastly, real gemstones are heavier than their glass rhinestone counterparts. This is because real gemstones are made of natural materials such as minerals, while rhinestones are usually made of glass or acrylic. Gemstones have a higher density compared to these synthetic materials, which makes them heavier for their size. However, it’s important to note that there can be variations in weight between different types of gemstones and rhinestones, as well as variations in size and quality that can also affect their weight.

In terms of value, real gemstones are generally much more expensive than rhinestone costume jewelry. However, it is not uncommon for rhinestone jewelry to sell for more than real gemstones, especially if the piece has historical significance or is considered a rare or highly sought-after vintage item. This was the case for the Crown Trifari poinsettia sold at auction in 2019 for over $9000.

Despite being made of costume jewelry materials, this particular piece was highly valued due to its age and unique design. It was produced in 1945, which adds to its historical significance, and the intricate poinsettia design likely contributed to its high price.

If you’re not sure if a piece of jewelry is real or not, it’s always best to use a presidium gem tester for accurate identification. This tool can help determine the authenticity of real and imitation gemstones quickly and easily, depending on the type of stone being tested.

A Word of Wisdom

When it comes to real gemstones, quality is key. If you’re unsure of the authenticity or origin of a gemstone, be sure to do your research and shop from reputable sources for the best results. On the other hand, if rhinestone costume jewelry is what you’re after, there are plenty of options out there – just remember to shop carefully and look for signs of quality craftsmanship, like that at Grandma’s Jewelry. 

Our unique pieces like the Vintage Sal Swarovski High End Clip On Earrings, or Antique Gold Jewelry Cameo Edwardian Era C Clasp will add real value to your jewelry collection, and are perfect for making a real statement.

Shop Grandma’s Jewelry for Real Gemstones and Rhinestone Costume Jewelry

For real, authentic gemstones that are certified and verified, look no further than Grandma’s Jewelry. With our extensive selection of real gems and experience in the jewelry business, we can provide you with the best quality real gemstones to add to your collection.

We also stock a large range of costume jewelry, including rhinestones and simulated gems. Whether you’re looking for real gemstones or rhinestone costume jewelry, Grandma’s Jewelry has something for everyone – take a look around our eBay store and start shopping today! 

14k Gold 60s jewelry 70's jewelry trends 925 1620 1920s jewelry 1925 gold cufflinks 1930s 1950jewelry styles 1950s baby blue earrings 1950s charm bracelets 1950s jewelry 1950s jewelry designers 1950s sterling silver 1960s jewelry 1970's Jewelry accessory amethyst Amethyst gemstone Amethyst gemstone benefits Amethyst jewelry Amethyst jewelry on ebay Amethyst Semi Precious Jewelry Amethyst stone meaning antique antique Indian Antique Jewelry antisemitism Aquamarine Gemstone Aquamarine Gemstone benefits aquamarine stone Art Deco Jewelry art glass assimiliation Avon baseball birthdays birthstone birthstones and birthdays black onyx black onyx necklace boho hippie jewelry bracelet bridal brooches buy Aquamarine Gemstone buying vintage jewelry cartier cartier love bracelets c clasp change chariote chariot necklace classic jewelry classic jewelry ebay classic jewelry online cleaning cleaning antique jewelry clean vintage jewelry coral Coro Jewelry costume jewelry costume jewelry designer costume jewelry designers costume jewelry manufacturers Courage covid crazy lace agate Depression era jewelry diamonds Difference Between Vintage Jewelry and Antique Jewelry disco jewelry Dynasty earrings emotions estate estate sale esteem federal marijuana laws Financial Courage fine jewelry flower jewelry four leaf clover frogs gemstones gemstones for birthdays gemstones for birth months glass gemstones glitter God God Bless America gold gold jewelry good fortune grandmasjewelery123 grandmasjewelry grandmas jewelry grandmasjewelry123 Grandmas Jewelry 123 grandmasjewelry123com grandmas jewelry on ebay green turquoise hand blown glass hank greenberg Hanukah historical methods history of amethyst gemstones history of providence Rhode Island jewelry manufacturing hobe' how to how to buy rhinestone jewelry how to buy vintage jewelry how to buy vintage jewelry online how to clean jewelry hypnosis hypnotherapy identification Indian pin irving berlin Italy jewelrey Jewelry jewelry district Jewelry markings jewelry quote Jewelry quotes kofax Lapis lapis lazuli lessons light love Luck Manhattan marcasite marijuana legalization Mayflower metaphysical healing micro mosaic micro mosaic bracelet micro mosaic bracelet made in Italy micro mosaic jewelry midcentury jewelry middle class Miller Miriam Haskell monet Monet Jewelry Moral Courage mourners jewelry murano musical note Native American necklace necklaces Nolan NY Yankees obstacles to legalization Patriotic song pendant pilgrim Pink Chariote Necklace plymouth rock poem on jewelry politics power of word precious stones Presidential quotes providence Rhode Island costume jewelry purple jewelry reducing stress responding to the suicide attempter rhinestone Rhinestone Costume Jewelry Rhinestone Jewelry rhinestone jewelry store rhinestones rhodochrosite Rosa Parks russia sandy sapphire Sara Coventry scrimshaw pin self actualization self hyposis shopping tips shopping tips for jewelry signed Miriam haskell silver silver providence Silversmithing Social Courage Sparkle state marijuana laws sterling sterling silver jewelry sterling silver taxco Steve Jobs stress reduction suicide hotline in connecit suicide prevention symbols of luck Taxco Coral Necklace taxco history of silver Taxco Silver taxco silver buy Taxco Silver Jewelry Thanksgiving history the difference between real gemstones and rhinestones tigers eye tigerseye tigers eye gemstone tigers eye stone tigers eye stone ebay tubular clasp turkey turquoise gemstone usa vermeil vermeil Jewelry vintage Vintage Art Deco Jewelry vintage collectible jewelry Vintage jewelry Vintage Jewelry markings vintage jewelry store vintage jewelry vs antique jewelry vintage mourners jewelry Vintage Rhinestone Jewelry vintage rhinestone jewelry value vintage wedding earrings walking Winston Churchill woodie guthrie
Product tags