Daily Wire Tip Aug. 3: Wrapping Small Gemstones

By on August 3, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 3, 2010


What would be the smallest size gem stone that I could use to wire wrap?

-Karen in Dallas, Georgia


The smallest size gemstone to set with wire will depend on personal skills. If one is proficient in creating wire settings, then anything from an 8x10mm and larger should not present a challenge. I usually teach on a larger stone so folks can actually see what they are doing, and give “homework” on a smaller stone. As with anything worth doing right, practice, practice, practice!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    August 3, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I have actually wrapped some stones as small as 8mm x 6mm. I have a small ruby I wrapped in argentium and was very very happy with it. I think it turned out better than imagined. I have also done many others, again, down to about 8mm x 6mm.

  2. avatar

    Casey Willson

    August 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Just playing I actually wrapped a 4mm heart-caged, of course and it sold almost immediately! It wasn’t easy…

  3. avatar


    August 3, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I am rather new to wrapping with sterling silver 92.5 and I would like to know if I should be doing anything with my wire before I start wrapping with it, like warming or stretching or whatever?

    • avatar


      August 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

      Hi Joan, in my opinion all you need to do to prepare your wire is to straighten it! Wire wrapping is not hard, keep it simple and have fun : )

  4. avatar

    Sandra Howard

    August 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    24 guage wire and higher works best . Also soft wire is easier to wind aroud small stones. I like to encase the stone with a design in the front like a swirl or a heart and wrap it around the back to prevent the stone from falling through. I try not to wrap it the same as large stones because in some cases you can’t. Wire can be shaped around the stone creatively to form a bezel and bail with just a few turns.

  5. avatar


    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    The smallest stone I have wrapped was a 6mm Ruby in Argentium…The customer wanted a simple wrap for the stone that had been her Great Grandmother’s…I used a 22 gauge wire and did an open cage wrap…I prefer larger stones unless they are precious stones and then cabs at that…As long as the design is simplistic, it will turn out beautifully…Too much wire would distract from the natural charm of the stone…

    Keep in mind though, regardless of the stone size when wire wrapping, some stones kinda “let” you know how they want to be wrapped once you get started…Many times I have had a design in mind for freestyle wrapping, and the stone’s shape wouldn’t take my imagined design…The end results were always unique and a surprise…The hardest stone I have worked with has been a round Hematite…They are very slippery and smaller sized Hematite stones are next to impossible to wrap…Many a frustrated attempt before a finished wrap…

  6. avatar


    August 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for the information. I would love to see an example of stones already wrapped. Could you make a video that you could share online?

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