Jewelry By Sue

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the definitions of class difficulty in your kits and classes?

These are the definitions for beginning, intermediate and advanced level work on this website and in my classes. These definitions may not match others. A beginning level class is just that. A beginner has not taken any chainmaille classes before. An intermediate level class is one in which the student needs to have done at least one beginning chainmaille class befor attempting this one. An advanced level class is one in which the student should have taken several intermediate classes of varying weaves before attempting an advanced weave. I hope this helps.

What is jewelry tumbling?

As a child, most of us played with rocks and would often buy a "tumbler" in which we would place the rocks and run it for several hours after which the rocks would come out polished and cleaned. Jewelry tumbling utilizes the same concept for shining and cleaning jump rings, and even finished chainmaille jewelry pieces made from sterling silver and gold filled jump rings. Click on Tumbling to learn more about the tumbling process.

What does 14/20 gold filled mean?

The number 14/20 means that at least 5% of the wire is made of 14 karat gold. With gold filled wire, the portion that is 14 karat gold is fashioned into a hollow tube and then the tube is filled with a metal alloy. This is much different than plated or gold vermeil. I have found this not to wear off and it gives you years of beauty.

What is Argentium Silver?

Argentium Silver is a metal alloy containing 92.5% fine silver. One of the components of the metal alloy comprising Argentium Silver is germanium. Germanium is not found in Sterling Silver. Peter Johns develop Argentium Silver and patented it as a registered alloy. It is tarnish resistant and stronger than Sterling Silver. Jewely made of Argentium jump rings requires no maintenance in its care. Many people are beginning to utilize Argentium jump rings instead of Sterling Silver in their construction of chainmaille jewelry due to its anti-tarnish properties.

What is the aspect ratio of a jump ring?

The aspect ratio is the number that represent the relationship between the wire gauge (or thickness) and the inner diameter of a particular sized jump ring. If one knows the gauge and ID (inner diameter) of a ring that works well in the weave of a pattern, one can utilize the aspect ratio calculation to change to another size ring that will also work well in the weave. This assists one in making larger and smaller versions of jewelry in the same weave. Click on Aspect Ratio to learn the calculation.

What is the inner diameter and the outer diameter of a jump ring? Why is it important? How do I convert between them?

The inner diameter (ID) of a jump ring is one of two measurements generally utilized for jump rings when making chainmaille jewelry. One will have the gauge (thickness of the wire) for the jump ring and also the inner diameter (size of the open circle on the inside of the ring). Some vendors sell their jump rings and quote the outer diameter (OD) of the ring. This is the diameter measurement around the outside of the ring, thus it is larger than the ID. An example is, an 18 gauge - 6.0mm ID ring is not the same size as an 18 gauge - 6.0 OD ring, so one needs to know the conversion between the two in order to accurately buy rings that will work with the chainmaille patterns. I have linked a conversion chart for the commonly utilized gauges of 18 gauge and 16 gauge rings. I hope this helps as you are buying rings for your jewelry.

How does one open and close jump rings in chainmaille jewelry?

Opening and closing jump rings is one of the most basic techniques utilized in all of chainmaille jewelry construction. I recommend the use of a pair of chain nose pliers and a pair of flat nose pliers for most jewelry pieces. If one is utilizing very large gauge rings (ie. 12 gauge and even 14 gauge) one might want to utilize two flat nose pliers for leverage. Conversely, if one is utilizing small gauge rings with small inner diameters (ie. 21 gauge - 2.5mm inner diameter), then one may want to utilize two chain nose pliers. I recommend utilzing the tools that are comfortable for you to use. Please link on Opening and Closing Rings for Chainmaille Jewelry for a suggested way to perform this technique.

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