Stoning Tips Part 6 - What size diamantes should I use and what does the "SS" mean?

A variety of different diamante sizes are available and for the beginner it can be difficult to decide which size to buy.  Here's a guide to diamante sizes and what they are most suitable for.

However before we start talking sizes, what does the "SS" stand for?

The SS size terminology is a historical term that is still used by most industry leaders today. "SS" stands for "Stone Size".  Jewellers developed the SS system for sizing stones and it's similar to the "PP" or "Pearl Plate" system developed to regulate pearl sizing a very very long time ago. The PP and SS sizing conventions continue to be the preferred terminology in both the Jewellery and Clothing Industries.  Here is a Sizing Chart often used for reference.

SS12 (3.0 - 3.2mm) and smaller... these stones are tiny and I would not advise you use them on your costume.  They are often used commercially by manufacturers as they have the technology to handle these fine crystals. SS10 and SS12 diamantes are suitable for making your own earrings or fine jewellery pieces.  Anything smaller is often used for fingernails.

SS16 (3.8 - 4.0mm)... a great size for dotting or fine pattern work and available in many colours and effects.  They are still a little on the small side so I wouldn't recommend using them if you are a beginner.  Practice on the larger stones first.

SS20 (4.6 -4.8mm)... the most popular size stone used for decorating dance costumes.  It's relatively easy to handle and can be used for dotting, out lining, filling and fine pattern work. Manufacturers also tend to produce SS20's in every colour they have available which is very handy.

SS30 (6.3 -6.5mm)... one of the larger diamante sizes which can be handled very easily, even beginners.  This size is great for out lining, highlighting and filling work but can look a little large and clumsy if not used correctly for dotting and pattern work.  The colour range of SS30's tends to be more limited and are often only manufactured in the most popular colours.


SS40 (8.35 - 8.65mm) and larger... these diamantes look more like jewel stones and should be used as a feature within a pattern or specialised design.  The larger sizes are more easily handled by hand and an industrial strength glue such as E6000 is recommended for bonding to fabric or jewellery.  These diamantes are often only manufactured in basic colours such as Crystal and Crystal AB.

Jewel stones... these large embellishments are especially great for adding texture and lots of sparkle to your costume. They are best utilized as features within patterns or specialized designs and also look beautiful on jewellery, belts and hair pieces. The only down side is the larger the stone the bigger the price tag. They come in many shapes, colours and sizes from 10mm to 30mm although you can get larger sizes in acrylic or plastic shapes. Jewel stones are now available through Jewelstones

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