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spool of gold wire Wire plays an important role in the jewelry-making process. Some pieces of jewelry comprise predominantly wire, while others feature it as part of the design. Wire can be used to hold beads, it can be artistically wrapped around other features to create a dramatic design, or it can be used to make tiny decorative balls around stones.

Wire Material

Wire is available in many different materials, with the most popular being forms of gold, silver, and copper. Gold and silver wire is available in just about any thickness, from 30-gauge to 2-gauge. The most popular sizes of silver and gold wire are 20-gauge, 18-gauge, and 14-gauge.

wire jewelry

Wire Shapes

Wire also comes in many shapes, including round, square, oval, half-round, and rectangular. The manufacturer makes the shapes by drawing the wire through industrial rollers. However, experienced jewelers may want to shape their own wire using a draw plate and a vise. A draw plate is a long, narrow steel plate featuring a series of decreasing holes, including round holes, half-round holes, square holes, and rectangular holes. Shapes are made by drawing the wires through the openings until they are the desired size.

spools of colored wire

Other Types of Wire

Other types of wire used by jewelers include copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and niobium. Niobium, copper and aluminum wire can come in their original hues, but also come in many colors including red, magenta, orange, purple, green, and blue. Novelty wires such as seed bead wire, fabric-coated wire, and knitted wire are also available.
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Jewelry Wire - Jewelry Wire Materials - Jewelry Wire Shapes