Topics: Earrings, Hoop, Wire

What kind of wire do you use to make a hoop earring?
- Katherine
For the wire to pass through the ear lobe easily, 22-gauge wire is often best. 20-gauge wire will create a stronger hoop and should also work when passing through the ear lobe. Sterling silver, gold-filled and niobium wires are good choices for earrings since they are least likely to cause skin irritations.

A hoop earring is usually formed around a hoop form or dowel just once for each earring. Full-hard will work well for this and will not require any additional hardening once formed. Dead-soft or half-hard tempers will form easily around the form. You may need to hammer lightly on an anvil or bench block to set the shape.

Sterling silver and gold-filled wire come in three tempers: dead-soft, half-hard and full-hard and will not lose their color when hammered.

- Sandra Lupo, Metalsmith, Jewelry Artist and Instructor

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