Jump Rings…Which Ones to Use When…

Ah yes, you do need this little darlings to cap off just about every piece of jewelry. From necklaces to anklets, and everything in between, jump rings help to finish that clasp, add another strand, and, in some cases, dazzle us with what they look like when you make chainmaille.

The question is:

Which ones do I use when?

To every new jewelry maker, this is the question, among others that you ask yourself.  The first thing that needs to be considered is the gauge of the wire.

The free online dictionary defines gauge:

Thickness or diameter, as of sheet metal or wire.

Gauge is very important when making jewelry out of wire, or just placing a jump ring at the end of a piece. Take a look at this example:
028This is an anklet that I made last year.  If you click on the picture for a closer look, you will see the jump rings on either end of the piece.  This is the most popular way to finish a piece of jewelry.

The information that must be kept in mind when purchasing wire either in jump ring form or to craft using wire is that the larger the gauge number, the thinner the wire.  This can cause problems when you are making jewelry durable.  I will illustrate using a close up picture of a bracelet that I already have listed through etsy.
027As you can see, all the rings in this piece were made using 18 gauge silver colored tin wire.  it is easy to see the thickness of the rings and how they are woven.  Crafters, like myself, use either 14, 16, or 18 gauge wire or a combination of any of the three.  Using larger gauges allows us to make pieces that can stand the test of time.

Jump rings come in many diameters.  This is so you can fit them into pieces that you make without them standing out like a sore thumb.anklet close up This illustration to the right shows how I used jump rings to connect bead units to clovers to assemble a rather simple yet elegant (if I do say so myself) anklet.  I didn’t want the jump rings to be bigger than the rest of the pieces so I made a few that would complement the piece as well as tie the segments together.  As you can see, jump rings are a very essential tool in the jewelry maker’s arsenal.  Without them, how would you do any of the above?  I hope this article has helped you.  Until next time, keep beading!!!


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