Wire is available in many types of metal including gold-filled, sterling silver and copper tempers. There are also many gauges ranging from 30-gauge (finest) to 12-gauge in tempers from dead-soft to full-hard. You can also select square, half-round and twisted which are decorative but can also be functional. The type of metal you choose is typically a personal choice and usually dictated by the type of metal in your design or the color and quality of the beads or other materials in your design. The size, or gauge wire is usually based on selecting the heaviest gauge suitable for the bead-hole size or the strength needed for the findings you are making. When making a clasp, 14-guage is usually a good place to start and for earwires 22- or 20-gauge are best so they fit through the pierced ear. The temper you choose is based on the type of finding you are making. The ''Thread, Cord, and Wire Information'' chart outlines when to choose which one.
- Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator
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.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA
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