by Frankie
(Orange, Tx)

I am new to making jewelry and using a wire jig looks like something I am going to enjoy, but I was wondering what you would recommend as the best overall gauge of wire to start out with.

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What Gauge of Wire to Start Out With
by: Christine

Using a wire jig is fun. To start out, I would try 18 gauge wire because it holds it’s shape easily without being too thick.

That said, it really depends on a lot of other factors. What type of wire? Sterling silver? Copper? These are the most common wire used by jewelry hobbyists and each has different properties and come in different hardnesses.

Copper is relatively soft.

Sterling silver jewelry makers typically choose dead soft (very soft) and half hard hardnesses.

The dead soft silver wire, as well as your copper wire, should be work hardened before wearing. This happens just through the action of forming the wire, but usually the wire is also hardened into shape by whacking it with a rubber mallet. You do the whacking after shaping the wire into its finished shape.

If you are making earring wires (the part that goes through your ears) you should use 20 ga or 18 ga for regular sized earring holes.

I hope these suggestions help!


About the Author

Christine Gierer

I'm Christine Gierer and I'm obsessed with making jewelry and teaching others how to do it too. I've been a creative person all my life, and I've done all kinds of things like art, sociology, and counseling. But nothing makes me happier than playing with beads, wires, and tools and sharing my tips and tricks with you. I have two awesome websites where you can find tons of tutorials, courses, and workshops on how to make jewelry and how to sell it online.

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