Just how could plastic water tanks possibly have anything to do with one of the most powerful weapons platform on land for the past seventy-odd years and counting? However it is true, and it all involves keeping secrets from your enemies.

The British were working on armored vehicles during The Great War and decided to give their project the code name of tanks, as in water tanks. On official reports these machines were in fact listed as “tanks” with the idea that any enemy spies who might discover such documents would be misled into thinking of them as nothing but water tanks. Of course, they have turned out to be nothing like plastic water tanks in any way!

However the earliest designs did in fact vaguely resemble simple water tanks, generally rectangular box-like structures of an enormous size made out of metal. It may be hard to imagine this today given modern models, but the first ones did appear to be nothing more than gigantic cargo containers of some kind. Not exactly plastic water tanks, granted, but close enough!

As it turned out, World War I was over before the military tank was able to meet its devastating potential, but in the almost a hundred years since that time the tank has dominated the battlefield, forming the core of any land-based strategy. The development of attack helicopters and special low-flying aircraft specifically designed for a “tank-busting” role, not to mention unmounted guided missle systems that could be served by a single soldier, has greatly diminished the tank’s supremacy but it has not wholly undermined it. Even the asymmetrical warfare presented by jihadis has not rendered the tank obselete; NATO fields a small number of them in Afghanistan, and an M1A2 Abrams platoon of the United States Marine Corps is on its way to join the war.

Rhinestones are sometimes thought of as being cheap since they’re imitation diamonds, however the finest specimens can cost almost as much sometimes, like the world-famous Swarovski Rhinestones from Wattens, Austria. The Swarovski company has a long history of producing fine luxury goods such as precision-cut crystal miniatures. They’ve long been noted for fine glass products, and such expertise provides them with an edge when it comes to making diamond stimulants. Swarovski Rhinestones can produce the same glistening effects of real diamonds under the sun.

While Swarovski Rhinestones are named after the company founded by Daniel Swarovski, who in 1892 patented an electric cutting machine which made lead crystal glass jewelry easier to produce, the name “rhinestones” refer to the fact that the original rock crystals came from the river Rhine. Since such beginnings rhinestones have started to be associated with the most flamboyent of musical celebrities in American culture, from Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson to Elvis Presley and Liberace. The material is frequently used instead of sequin, disk-shaped beads that also reflect light in an eye-catching manner. Sequin look like very shiny scales, and are available in an array of colors and shapes.

But it’s the rhinestone that truly dazzles, and it is the high cost of gem-grade diamonds that have made them so popular. Yet while their diamond-like characteristics in many cases are quite faithful, one significant aspect where they differ markedly from the real thing is their hardness. In truth, it is more appropriate to speak of the rhinestone’s softness, a result of the lead in its composition, such that edges and even faces can easily become rounded or be fairly easily scratched. Other tell-tale features require but a modest amount of magnification to identify. And since contemporary production methods involve molding as opposed to traditional cutting, seams may be rather easily seen.