Foolproof Jump Ring Closures

by Dale Armstrong

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


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  • Category: General Education
  • Technique(s): Making Jump Rings