Beading Resources > Ask the Experts

Topics: Wire, Steel

I was surfing through a tool catalog and saw some rust- and corrosion-resistant 20 gauge x 25 foot mechanics wire with a 40 lb. maximum load capacity. It is Zinc-plated steel wire. I suppose the best question it usable for jewelry and, if so, what about allergies. Thanks so much for your help.
- Cindy
Generally, steel wire is coated/plated with zinc to improve corrosion resistance, and is not recommended for use in jewelry-making. Allergies to zinc are rare, however it may be coated with oils and other unknown substances for packaging, shipping and storage purposes that could cause skin reactions. Also, zinc surfaces oxidize when exposed to the elements. As an alternative Fire Mountain Gems and Beads offers a wide variety of wire products to safely meet your jewelry-making needs.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert


Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

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