colorless imitation stone of paste or leaded glass, 1879, a loan-translation of French caillou du Rhin "Rhine pebble," so called because they were made near Strasburg, on the River Rhine, and invented there 1680s. Extensively worn later 18c. and popular thereafter.
Rhinestone jewelry, a reproduction of the ornaments of the Louis XV. period, is all the rage in Paris. The Rhinestones are as brilliant as diamonds, and being set in silver, will stand any amount of wear or of cleaning. [The American Stationer, March 20, 1879]
updated on August 10, 2021