I am a chain mail artist considering making my own sterling silver jump rings. Is the cost saving to buy sterling wire and make the rings myself worth the effort? My preferences for wire are 16 and 18 gauge half-hard wire.
With the great number of jumprings you need for various chainmaille patterns, you'll find buying formed jumprings in volume or buying sterling silver wire in volume to shape and cut jumprings with a motorized tool will be your cost-savings options. Which option is best will depend on your ability to make the investment in purchasing and learning to efficiently use a jumpring cutting system.
If you prefer sterling silver wire in 16- and 18-gauge, in the same temper, you can buy wire in bulk and maximize your savings. Sterling silver-filled wire, findings and jumprings are also great economical substitutes for sterling silver.
- Sandra Lupo, Metalsmith, Jewelry Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador