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Jewelry Wire Metals: What Are They?

 by Tammy Powley

As a jewelry medium, wire is one of the most versatile materials you’ll ever use. It is both functional and fashionable. Because of its practical nature, it provides the jewelry maker with all kinds of methods for constructing and connecting jewelry components, from a simple jump ring to a more elaborate wrapped loop. However, wire is aesthetically pleasing as well, adding line, form, and even color to jewelry designs.

Before jumping into the world of wire jewelry making, it is a good idea to get to know this material. This way, you are more knowledgeable when it’s time to purchase wire, and you will also have a better understanding of its use when you design your jewelry pieces. At the top of the “get to know wire” list is the metal: What is jewelry wire made of?

These days you can find wire made of all kinds of metal-related materials from inexpensive copper to high-end platinum. There is even colored wire available; however, most jewelry makers prefer to use either sterling silver wire or gold-filled wire. Below is a list of some of the more common types of wire currently available to the wire jewelry artist:

The wire materials listed above are only a list of the more popular types of wire used for wire jewelry making. Obviously, once you get confident with your techniques, you could branch out into real gold wire or even platinum. Obviously, though, the price of these more high-end wire materials is prohibitive to most jewelry makers, which is why most find that sterling silver and gold-filled meet the majority of their needs and that they can create wonderful wire designs with these metals without requiring a large out-of-pocket expense.