Traditionally a Rhinestone needed to contain lead to give it its’ superior shine. Lead increases the Rhinestones refractive qualities, softens the glass making it easier to cut. It was thought the higher the lead content the greater the sparkle. The Swarovski company’s stones having up to 30% lead gave it a reputation of having the most prestigious Rhinestone.
However times and texchnology has changed. Due to the health risks well documented from the ingestion of lead, especially amongst children, Rhinestone manufacturing has had to change.
It was in 2011 that the US CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement) made it an essential that all products are tested and certificated as safe for children 12 and under, and that meant no lead content.
So we now have a CPSC approved Rhinestones from Swarovski containing 0.009% lead or less. Preciosa also have a stunning lead free range of Rhinestones.
Outside of these two companies there are other Rhinestone producers and so it is neccessary to check their credentials and certification as to the lead content in their stones.