Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Open Jump rings are a staple in jewelry making. Though they are one of the most commonly used components, many beaders still find it challenging to select the right size for their needs. Today, we are going to briefly discuss how to select the right jump ring to use in a charm bracelet.

I recommend just three simple guidelines to keep in mind:

First, know your charm’s measurements. For any jump ring to work it requires enough room to move freely within the charm’s loop. Make sure to note the inner diameter /hole size of a charm’s loop so you will know exactly how much clearance you have to work with. You can find this information under Hole Size in the product details section. Simply select the charm’s color and/or size you will see its measurements appear. You can see an example below on the Pewter Spiral Butterfly Charm by TierraCast®.

Secondly, consider what wire gauge will work best. Charm bracelets take a lot of abuse during wear. It is important to select strong jump rings so your charms won’t accidentally fall off the chain. For most projects an 18 gauge or 20 gauge jump ring will work fine. An 18 gauge wire measures 1mm and a 20 gauge wire measures 0.8mm so select whatever one will fit best in the charm’s loop. Remember, your jump rings need to move without restriction so select a jump ring that will fit with room to spare.

Lastly, think about scale. Select a jump ring that will look size-appropriate with your charms. To achieve a nice visual balance you will want a jump ring that is not too over powering, nor too delicate to coordinate with your charms. A 5mm or 6mm jump ring is a good average size to use. A great illustration of scale put to use can be seen in our Lucky Charm bracelet below.

The well-matched jump rings look visually in tune with the rest of the piece but they are also strong enough to do their job effectively.

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca


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