Overview on where SS size and PP size
You will invariably come across rhinestone size and sizes of flatback crystals, and stones denoted in "SS" and "PP". Even though these size indications apply to more than just rhinestones, we will refer to them as rhinestone sizes for ease of writing.
"SS" (stone size) and "PP" (pearl plate) are the 2 most common gauges for rhinestones.
"PP" was the original rhinestone size tehrminology. This originated from the technique of pearl sizing. In days gone by, pearls were placed vertically stacked plates with a series of punched graduated holes. As the pearls fell through the holes, the were sized and priced according to the plate they landed on. Hence the term 'pearl plate' (PP) came about.
Later jewelers developed their own sizing formula called 'stone size' (SS). This achieved the same goal (of sizing and pricing) but used a different scale.
Both conventions are still in use today though there is no general, universal standard.
Of the two, the 'pp size' is more popular in jewellery making (where smaller stones from 1.8 to 3.1mm are used) and the 'ss size' is more relevant to clothing industry where larger stones are employed (up to 11mm).
There is no consistent, fixed standard because the SS size and the PP size are used to indicate a range rather than a specific size. However modern stone manufacturers, like Swarovski, manufacture their stone with high precision and the SS and PP sizing are very specific and accurate. Therefore to be very clear, you would need to refer to the SS size and the PP size of each manufacturer.
See also Swarovski's SS size & PP size
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