This article was sponsored by Halstead. Sponsored posts allow me to continue to create tons of free educational content so a huge thank you to them!
Sometimes ordering chain, jump rings and clasps for jewelry making can be confusing when ordering online and not seeing them in person. I think many of us have ordered something and it ends up being the wrong size sometimes even comically so! For today’s post brought to you by @halsteadjewelrysupplies I am going to highlight the info to look for to make sure you order the right stuff for your next project!
First let’s take a look at chain, I’ll use this Sterling Silver 4.7mm Heavy Cable Chain (item 21712) as an example. The 4.7mm refers to the link width diameter, for a long time I had assumed it was the link length! What I love about Halstead is they also provide the thickness of the link in MM and in gauge AND they include a note about the size jump rings that will fit inside this particular chain (a feature they have on their best sellers) so going back to this example they include a note that the inner diameter will accommodate 17 gauge jump rings or smaller. LOVE THIS.
Here is a comparison of some of the different size chains available at Halstead. TIP: When you do order chain, order a little extra and save a sample on an index card along with the stock # and size so you have a visual reference when you need to reorder.
ORDERING JUMP RINGS
Next let’s take a look at jump rings, there are two main considerations when ordering: the outside diameter and the gauge of the jump ring. The gauge is important especially if you plan to thread the jump ring onto a chain, you want to make sure it will fit!
Another consideration is some jump rings come in various hardnesses also known as temper. This matters if you plan to close the jump ring but not solder it. If I was going to close a jump ring and not solder I’d want a hard jump ring for added strength. However if you are soldering it, it will become dead-soft again anyhow once you heat it.
Halstead has this awesome chart you can refer to when selecting the temper of your jump rings!
Lastly when you’re looking at clasps, like these awesome lobster claws, what I like to do is take out my brass calipers and open them to the length of the clasp so I can envision if it’s an appropriate size.
I hope some of these tips about chain and finding are helpful and if you do have any follow questions don't hesitate to reach out!
Huge thank you to Halstead for sponsoring today's post, they are not only an awesome, family owned small business but they care about education and community. Our favorite things around here! They are a great place to find a wide variety of chains and other findings! There is a $50 minimum for orders to the US + CA and they also ship internationally with a $250 minimum.