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Wire - Attributes

 

22G Buy the Dozen-Silverplate

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TYPES OF JEWELRY WIRE

Wire/Attribute Advantages Disadvantages

 
Soft Jewelry Wire

  • Soft jewelry wire can be used to make spirals and other rounded shapes.
  • Soft wire can be used for any application.  Some it will do well some less well. 
  • Soft Wire isn't easy to use when wrapping wire around other wire.
  • Soft Wire doesn't make sharp bends easily.
  • Soft wire generally requires hardening of the finished piece. 

 

1/2 Hard
Jewelry Wire

  • 1/2 hard wire wraps tightly around itself or other wire.
  • 1/2 hard wire makes sharp bends.
  • 1/2 hard wire requires less hardening of the finished piece. 
  • 1/2 hard wire can not be used for making spirals
  • 1/2 hard wire requires that you push the wire beyond where you want it to end up, then remove your hands and test to see where the wire ends up once it has relaxed. 


Hard Jewelry Wire

  • Finished Pieces made in hard wire require no hardening.
  • Hard wire is very difficult to work with.
  • Hard wire can not be used for making spirals or other rounded shapes.



Sterling Silver
Jewelry Wire

More Info
  • Jewelry made in sterling silver is perceived to have value
  • Sterling silver can be purchased in soft or 1/2 hard
  • Sterling Silver Tarnishes easily in the presence of sulfur compounds like those found in air pollution. 
  • Sterling Silver is expensive.
  • It is harder to take pictures of sterling silver jewelry.



Gold
Jewelry Wire

More Info
  • Jewelry made in solid gold has very high perceived value.
  • Gold can be purchased in soft or 1/2 hard.
  • Gold is naturally tarnish resistant.
  • Solid gold is very, very expensive.  It is considerably more expensive than sterling silver.




Anti-Tarnish Sterling Silver
(Argentium)
Jewelry Wire
  • Jewelry made in sterling silver is perceived to have value
  • Sterling silver can be purchased in soft or 1/2 hard
  • Argentium sterling silver has a natural tarnish resistance.
  • Argentium sterling silver when tarnished, the tarnish is a light yellow color and can be washed off with soap and water.
  • Argentium Sterling Silver is more expensive than ordinary sterling silver but is far less expensive than solid gold. 
  • It is harder to take pictures of sterling silver jewelry.
  • Argentium Sterling Silver comes from the manufacturer with a light coating of tarnish.  It is recommended that you wash this wire with soap and water before you use it to make jewelry components.








Gold-Filled
Jewelry Wire

More Info
  • Gold-filled wire appears and wears exactly like solid gold.
  • Gold-filled wire is slightly stronger than solid gold.
  • Gold-filled wire can be purchased in soft or 1/2 hard.
  • Gold-filled wire has the same natural tarnish resistance as solid gold.
  • Gold-filled wire has 5% gold alloy squeezed around a gold colored metal core.  For this reason the gold on the wire can not be scratched off by normal wear and tear.
  • Gold-filled wire costs more than sterling silver, but much, much less than solid gold.







Silver-Filled
Jewelry Wire
  • Silver-filled wire appears and wears exactly like solid silver. 
  • Many times silver-filled wire will be made with fine silver and will therefore have tarnish resistance not found in sterling silver..
  • Silver-filled wire is slightly stronger than solid sterling silver.
  • Silver-filled wire can be purchased in soft or 1/2 hard.
  • Silver-filled wire has 5% silver alloy squeezed around a silver colored metal core.  For this reason the silver on the wire can not be scratched off by normal wear and tear.
  • Silver-filled wire costs less than sterling silver.




Silver-Plated
Jewelry Wire
  • Silver-plated wire is inexpensive.
  • Silver-plated wire appears like sterling silver for jewelry items that receive limited abrasion like earrings. 
  • Some silver plated wire has an anti-tarnish enamel coating.
  • The silver plating is 1-2 molecules of silver thick and can be scratched off by normal wear and tear.
  • Silver-plated wire can tarnish.
  • Silver-plated wire is only available as soft wire.
  • Most silver-plated wire contains traces of nickel.




Gold-Plated
Jewelry Wire


More Info
  • Gold-plated wire is inexpensive.
  • Gold-plated wire appears like 24 kt gold and is suitable for jewelry items that receive limited abrasion like earrings.
  • Gold-plated wire appears like 24 kt gold and can be hard to match to jewelry components made of other gold alloys.
  • The gold plating is 1-2 molecules of gold thick and can be scratched off by normal wear and tear.
  • Most gold-plated wire contains traces of nickel.


Copper
Jewelry Wire
  • Copper wire is relatively inexpensive and for this reason is frequently used for practice wire
  • Most inexpensive copper wire is not sold with a defined hardness. 
  • Copper will tranish over time.



Brass
Jewelry Wire
  • Brass wire is relatively inexpensive and for this reason is often used as practice wire. 
  • Brass wire often is sold with a defined hardness. 
  • Brass wire will tarnish over time. 





Craft Wire
  • Craft wire comes in many style.  One style is plastic coated wire.  Another style is enamel coated wire.  Both the plastic coating and the enamel coating minimize tarnish on the wire.
  • Craft wire is inexpensive.
  • Craft wire normally is sold without a defined hardness.  The hardness is often soft, but can be any hardness since it is not defined.
  • The plastic or enamel coating on craft wire can be scratched off by contact with sharp metal objects.
  • The enamel and plastic coatings are soft and not as durable as bear metal. 
  • The enamel and plastic coatings can change color due to exposure to ultraviolet light.






Artistic Wire
  • Artistic Wire is one brand of craft wire and the advantates and disadvantges of craft wire apply.
  • Artistic Wire has a third type of wire called silver-plated, enamel coated.  Silver is plated on the wire, then dyed to color and the dyed silver-plated wire is then enamel coated to preserve the silver plating.  This wire tends to have more vibrant colors. 
  • Artistic Wire is one brand of craft wire and all the disadvantages of craft wire apply to all three types of Artistic Wire. 
 



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