Add a Touch of Gold
by Judy Larson
One thing can make all the difference in a design, especially when that one thing is gold. The use of even a small amount of real gold in a jewelry item can kick the desirability as well as the perceived value of the item up a notch.
Instructions
Gold will pop off the background metal no matter how it is used. I made a ton of silver and gold earrings to give away for the Christmas season in my local community and still see them worn ALL THE TIME around town seven months later. I believe that is because of how confident and special that little bit of gold makes us feel when we are wearing it.
Remember, the term gold-filled describes jewelry with a thicker solid layer of gold, up to 100% thicker than gold-filled or vermeil with a minimum of 5% gold weight, bonded with heat, not electroplated, to a base of a different metal, usually jewelers' brass. Gold-filled jewelry is considered a lifetime jewelry. In other words, if worn and cared for responsibly like any other high quality jewelry piece, a gold-filled piece should last a lifetime.
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold
The Rule of Odds states that odd numbers of objects are more visually pleasing than even so consider using an odd number of gold beads in a design. In this photo, several different shapes of gold-filled stardust beads were paired with iridescent cream-colored mother of pearl beads. One bead may seem to be visually lost so consider using three round beads or a round bead flanked by rondelles for more impact.
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold
Sometimes, just one bead can make a difference but it might get "lost" because of the type of bead it is being combined with. One solution would be to flank it with complimentary beads. Voila, instant upgrade! A gold-filled stardust bead, flanked by black onyx beads, was paired with dalmation jasper.
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold
There is already a lot of sparkle when using faceted beads, as with the dumortierite and pink and purple crazy lace rondelles in the first photo. Adding that little touch of gold in the form of a corrugated rondelle, a twisted corrugated round, or plain corrugated round may be just what is needed to finish a piece. Try pairing a gold-filled twisted garlic bead with turquoise round beads for an instant WOW factor.
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold
Audition gold beads against the beads you want to add them to. Here you see a variety of shapes and finishes of 6mm gold beads with 8" strands of 6mm rondelle and round jade beads.
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold
Stringing the gold accent beads with the gemstone beads being used may be the best way to see how the gold beads interact with the gemstone beads. It will also make it easier to choose which one to use in your design. The 6mm gold filled beads shown in the photo are paired with 6mm round jade beads.
From left to right, the beads used: gold filled round stardust bead; gold filled stardust roundel; gold filled round corrugated bead; gold filled round twist bead; gold filled twisted roundel; gold filled saucer bead corrugated; gold filled round bright bead; gold filled bright roundel; gold filled bright saucer.

Using one or a few gold beads in designs is sure to elevate your creations to pieces that will be worn for a lifetime.
Judy Larson's Add a Touch of Gold - , Wire Jewelry Design, Design, add a touch of gold

Materials

Gold Filled Bright Beads 4mm - Pack of 10
J9-324
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.92
  • Gold Club Price: $2.94
Out of Stock
Gold Filled Saucer Beads 7mm - Pack of 1
J9-360
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.34
  • Gold Club Price: $1.76
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Gold Filled Saucer Beads Corrugated 8mm - Pack of 1
J9-368
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.16
  • Gold Club Price: $2.37
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Gold Filled Stardust Beads 10mm - Pack of 1
J9-373
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $6.07
  • Gold Club Price: $4.55
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Rose Gold Filled Stardust Beads 6mm - Pack of 2
L9-26
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $4.60
  • Gold Club Price: $3.45
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22 Gauge Half Hard Double Clad Gold Filled Sheet - 4 Inches
H4-22DCS4
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $66.11
  • Gold Club Price: $49.59
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18 Gauge Round Half Hard 14/20 Gold Filled Wire
H4-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $9.45
  • Gold Club Price: $7.09
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Design