Daily Wire Tip Mar. 16: Making Wire Jewelry for Men

By on March 16, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
March 16, 2011


Hi Dale, I am having a hard time making men’s jewelry look like men’s jewelry. Do you have any advice on making men’s jewelry?

-Judy in Danielsville, Georgia


Hi Judy! Here are the most simple ways I know to make wire jewelry look more masculine:

  • Use a heavier gauge wire
  • Leave off the frills.
  • Use larger, more "earthy" stones

For example, a nice idea for a man’s cabochon pendant would be to make a 25 x 30mm (hematite, black onyx, lapis, tiger-eye, picture jasper, etc) cabochon with a 21-gauge wire frame, and a plain bail. To finish the extra wires at the top, you could either just cut them all a bit longer than the wrapping under them, give each end a slight curve toward the wrap and use flat-nose pliers to press them against the wrap. Or, you could trim all of the wires to about 1/4" long and use chain-nose pliers to give each a slight curve at their ends and then flat nose pliers to spin them toward the wraps, forming a "coronet" topping.

Coronet Cabochon Bail Rope Cabochon Bail
Coronet Cabochon Bail Topping Rope Cabochon Bail Topping

Men’s bracelets are pretty easy to make. I like to use a 20-gauge wire, with either a herringbone, or a single twisted wire on each edge, with a 16-gauge hook and eye clasp. The "Classic Cabochon" or "Pharaoh’s Ring" is a man’s design to begin with (we women have just taken it over). This ring looks awesome when made with 21-gauge or even 20-gauge wire and a simple, classic stone such as black onyx, tigereye, or a sapphire cabochon.

Classic Cabochon Pharaoh's Ring is great for Men and Women!

In my opinion, "old school" men are the most difficult to please with our wire designs. Just keep it very simple, earthy and bold!

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    March 16, 2011 at 11:39 am

    i struggled with this for a while, too, Judy. i would make pieces intended for men, then a man would be looking over my display and say ‘nothing for men?’ :(

    i find that men love my “Pharaoh’s Rings” done with 20 gauge silver (very few have wanted gold) and their favorite stones tend to be Black Onyx, Hematite and stabilized turquoise. For pendants, these stones are also the most popular, but a nice Tiger’s Eye or Snowflake Obsidian are frequent choices as well.

    In pendants and bracelets i try to use ‘sharp’ corners rather than rounded ones because men tend to prefer more angular designs over ‘curvy’ ones, and I’ve also noticed that what Dale suggests works for me as well: keep it simple and more bulky than your women’s designs and your customers will find it more ‘manly’. Remember to keep your bails large as many men who wear necklaces have a favorite chain that can tend to be quite bulky.

    As a finishing touch, display your pendants on a black leather cord rather than a chain. Sometimes this was all I had to do to change a man’s mind about a piece!

    When all else fails, do what I did and ask the men visiting your display to tell you what they are looking for. Often, they are more than willing to let you know because people love giving their opinion and it’s a simple way to do market research! This could also generate some custom orders for you!!

  2. avatar


    March 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    You could go to jewelry stores or department stores that sell jewelry and see what they have for ideas and inspiration.

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