I am a newbie to beading. I'm anxious to start a simple necklace or bracelet. The problem I have is that I am not sure what size wire I should be using with 3-5mm beads or, with my personal favorite, natural stones. I want to practice on something that will hold the weight of the stones.
Given the size beads you are referencing, and the type of material you prefer to work in, I'd recommend 0.014 size, 49 strand Accu-Flex® beading wire paired with 1x1mm or 2x2mm crimp tubes/beads.
If you increase the overall size of the beads, you'll need to consider using 0.019, 49 strand Accu-Flex to help hold the weight of the larger beads. The concern here would then be the bead hole sizes which vary for all beads. Having both the 0.014 and 0.019 sizes on hand means you’ll be covered either way.