Daily Wire Tip Aug. 28: Gauge and Temper for Ear Wires

By on August 27, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 28, 2010


What gauge of 14kt gold filled and Sterling Silver wire will I need to make ear wires for earrings and what hardness? Thanks.

-Gary in Moss Point, Mississippi


The gauge of wire you decide to use for making ear wires really depends on the people you are making them for. I have had gifts of ear wires made with an 18-gauge round, that were way too large for the holes in my lobes!

All of the ear wires I make to sell, as well as the designs I teach, are from 21-gauge round wire, either half hard, full hard or spring hard.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    August 28, 2010 at 9:21 am

    20 gauge half hard round wire is what I use in all of the ear wires I make. I have to custom make my own, because I don’t like the standard pre-made ones. For standard size ear wires you will need 1 1/2″ pieces of wire, but I like to use 2″ pieces of wire for my ears. Don’t forget to use a burr to round off the edges of wire that will go into the ear so you have nothing sharp to scratch the ear.

  2. avatar

    Eleanor Denton

    August 28, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Hello Dale,
    How do you determine what hardness to use when making earwires?

    • avatar


      August 30, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Eleanor, as ear wires are subject to a lot of abuse, I recomend using either a half-hard or full hard wire to make them. Most of mine are created using half-hard.

  3. avatar

    Kathleen Bianchi

    August 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I use 22 and 24G and it works just fine.

  4. avatar


    August 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I have run into a few cases where I had to use a larger gauge of wire for earrings, such as Dale has mentioned. This, unfortunately, was due to the lady having worn extremely heavy earrings in younger years and the piercing holes had actually stretched. She actually needed the larger gauge to make the earring hang correctly when she wore them. So, in her case, I had to customize just for her.
    As Dale has stated, the gause she recommends works for well for everyone else who may encounter.