Jewelry Findings: Choosing Jump Rings Split Rings

by lakeerieartists

Jump rings are a basic building block of many types of jewelry, and are the main component when you make chain maille, a very popular style of jewelry right now.

It is almost impossible to make any piece of jewelry without at least one jump ring. Jump rings are a basic building block of many types of jewelry, and are the main component when you make chain maille, a very popular style of jewelry right now.

Jump rings come in three main styles--soldered jump rings, open jump rings, and split rings.

Jump rings are made of metal wire that is made into a circle or a spring shape, then cut into a circle. Both ends should meet perfectly end to end or a jump ring is not made correctly.

An open jump ring has the cut place in the circle left open. A soldered jump ring is soldered shut at the open spot. A split ring is what you find on many key rings, a ring that is split in a tight spiral horizontally so that you can slide other rings on and off.

Jump Rings are a Basic Jewelry Design Item

Most jewelry designs call for open rings, because a jeweler can fuse or solder the ends together themselves.  Jump rings can also be other shapes, but are most commonly used in a circular shape.

Copper Jump Rings

Beadaholique 50-Piece Genuine Open Jump Rings, 5mm, 20-Gauge, Copper

These gleaming 5mm jump rings are a great all-purpose size. Our wire gauge puts them at 20 gauge, or .032 Inch thick. Quantity: 50 5mm outside diameter 20 Gauge jump rings.

$4.49  $1.54
Beadaholique 25-Piece Genuine Open Jump Rings, 6mm, 19-Gauge, Copper

These gleaming 6mm jump rings are a great all-purpose size. Our wire gauge puts them at 19 gauge, or .036 Inch thick. Quantity: 25 6mm outside diameter 19 Gauge jump rings.

$3.99  $1.40

Sterling Silver Jump Rings

Beadaholique 20-Piece Sterling Jump Lock Rings, 4mm, 20-Gauge, Silver

A new 'locking' jump ring, that won't come open accidentally. The perfect compromise between the versatility of open jump rings and the security of closed jump rings. You will r...

$6.99  $2.74
Beadaholique 10-Piece Sterling Open Jump Rings, 5mm, 18-Gauge, Silver

These 5mm sterling silver jump rings are open. The 18 gauge rings are nice and heavy, strong enough to stay closed once you have finished your project. Although not as secure as...

$6.49  $3.30

Any Type of Metal Wire Can Be Made into Jump Rings

Sterling silver jump ringsJump rings are jump rings no matter which metal that they come in.

The most common jewelry metal is sterling silver, but jump rings are made in every type of gold, silver, copper, brass, and other base metals as well as annodized aluminum which has a color coating on it.

The jump rings pictured here are sterling silver.

How Do You Decide Which Size Jump Ring to Buy?

Jump rings are sized in two ways. First you need to know what gauge wire you want. Wire gauge is measured in numbers, the lower the number, the wider the diameter of the wire. Thicker wire is sturdier, but also harder to maneuver and not as delicate looking.

The other size is the diameter of the jump ring itself. This is usually measured in millimeters. This size is determined by the size hole the jump ring is going through, and how large a space you need to connect to the next jewelry element.

Most jewelers use more than one type and size of jump ring depending on the design, the look they want, and the weight of the item that the jump ring is connecting to.

Split Rings

Beadaholique 100-Piece Split Rings, 6mm, Silver Plated

A handy, all-purpose-size split ring, electroplated in real silver. use for the female half of clasps, hooks and other fasteners and to fasten large hooks onto the ends of chain...

$6.72  $2.46
Cousin Jewelry Basics 6/8mm Split Ring, Silver, 300-Piece

COUSIN-Jewelry Basics Collection. A collection of beautiful jewelry elements perfect for all your projects. This package contains 300 silver split rings in two sizes: 6mm and 8m...

$3.01  $2.67

Vintaj Brass Jump Rings

Vintaj Natural Brass Snake Edge Open Jump Rings Heavy 12mm 13 Gauge (2)

This nickel and lead-free item is made of a lovely antique style brass. Open jump rings for links, connectors, etc. A twist design is etched around each jump ring. Very sturdy y...

Only $2.59
Vintaj Natural Brass Jump Rings 10mm Open 16 Gauge (10)

This nickel and lead-free item is made of a lovely antique style brass. Jump rings for links, connectors, etc. Very sturdy yet easy to work with. Quantity: 10 Jump Rings. Measur...

Only $2.99

Using Split Rings

Split rings are a kind of jump ring that is split horizontally just like the rings on many key rings.  You can slide another jump ring along the split until the two rings are hooked together.

Split rings are best used when you are hanging several items from one ring, just like on a key chain, and do not hold together well if you are taking the items on and off a lot.  In most cases, regular jump rings are a better choice.

Whether you are a jewelry designer, or just a person looking for the right chain to hang a favored pendant, choosing the right chain can make your necklace stunning, or just so-so.
As a jewelry artist, I can tell you that having the right pliers when designing and creating jewelry is crucial.
Pearls have a timeless, classic quality, and beauty that cannot be matched by any other jewelry component, stone, glass, or metal.
Updated: 10/07/2014, lakeerieartists
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PeggyHazelwood on 10/30/2011

I like oval jump rings because the opening is on the side and keeps things more secure. Good information!

Guest on 10/27/2011

In my jewelry making days I never used jump rings. This sounds so much easier than what I used. If I ever get back to making jewelry again I will try this method for sure.

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