Jump Rings Buying Guide

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Jump Rings Buying Guide

A jump ring is a wire ring that is commonly used in the making of jewellery items and other small items such as key chains. A jump ring is a small ring that has been made by bringing its two ends together without welding or soldering, meaning that the ends are brought together without applying heat. In jewellery making, jump rings are small pieces that are attached to a necklace or bracelet. A charm or other jewellery item is attached to the jump ring through its suspension bale. The jump rings is twisted open to allow for attachment of the charm, and then closed together again afterwards. Jump rings are available in high street craft shops, but they can also be conveniently purchased from the comfort of one's home, using an online auction site such as eBay. When buying jump rings, there are several things to consider, including the shape, material, quality, and size of the jump rings.

Jump Ring Shapes

Most commonly, jump rings are round, and this shape is great for many applications. However, more intricate designs are also used, and in this case, jump rings take on a greater role as design elements. Oval is the simplest shape variation of a jump ring that is perfect for attaching a charm to a chain. Square, triangular, and heart-shaped jump rings are also produced. If the jump rings have an interesting shape and are relatively big, they can be easily used as decorative elements in addition to performing their usual functional tasks.

Jump Ring Materials

The material of the jump ring influences its price as well as its suitability for people who suffer from allergies. People with sensitive skin should avoid metal jump rings that contain a silver-white metal called nickel. Other commonly used materials for jump rings include silver, gold, copper, bronze, and aluminium. Most jump rings are made of metal alloys, and so even silver and gold jump rings may not be 100 per cent pure. They may, instead, be only gold-plated or silver-plated.

Silver Jump Rings

This shiny, grey-white precious metal is a desirable material for jump rings because it helps to create elegant jewellery. Silver is stable in water and air, although it may tarnish when it reacts with sulphides. Making jump rings from silver is relatively easy because silver is quite malleable. For this reason, however, it is also alloyed with a bit of copper to give the resulting material some hardness The silver used for jump rings is usually sterling silver that is 92.5 percent pure silver. However, silver may also be used as a plating, while the inner part of the jump ring may be made of brass.

Gold Jump Rings

The yellow precious metal, gold, is a material used for elegant jewellery and speaks of luxury. Gold resists corrosion and is considered to be a durable material. Because gold is a soft metal, it is often mixed with other metal to give the gold its hardness. The purity of gold is measured in carats, with pure gold being 24 carats. When buying jump rings, it is worth checking their carat weight, to make sure that this is in accordance with the other parts of the jewellery for which the jump rings are intended. Jewellers may prefer to make their jewellery from pieces of gold that have the same carat weight, so a whole piece may be labelled as a "14 carat bracelet", for instance.

Copper Jump Rings

Copper is a red-brown metal known for its malleability. Copper has a bright glow and it is cheaper than precious metals. Jewellers opt for copper jump rings if all the other components of the design are also made of copper and they wish to convey a professional look.

Bronze Jump Rings

Bronze is an alloy of copper, and up to one third of it may consist of tin. As it is an alloy, it is yellowish-brown rather than red like copper. Bronze jump rings are great for retro jewellery. Gunmetal jump rings are a subtype of bronze jump rings. Gunmetal contains zinc, in addition to bronze, and it is grey, also unlike bronze.

Aluminium Jump Rings

Aluminium is a light metal that has a silvery look. The earth's crust contains aluminium in abundance and therefore this metal is not very expensive. Aluminium is valued for its strength as well as for its resistance to corrosion. Aluminium jump rings are often anodised, meaning that they are coated with a protective oxide layer. This coating is often colourful, and therefore anodised aluminium jump rings are available in an array of colours including pink, green, red, blue, and yellow.

Steel Jump Rings

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon and it has a strong grey or bluish-grey colour. Known for its hardness and strength, steel is perfect for making durable jump rings that resemble silver in appearance.

Jump Ring Sizes

The size of a jump ring is determined by two numbers: the diameter of the jump ring in millimetres and the gauge. The gauge describes the thickness of wire that is used in order to make the jump ring. The gauge is presented in numbers from 16 to 22. The following chart lists the gauge types and the corresponding measurements.

Gauge Number

Wire Thickness (mm)

16

1.2

17

1.1

18

1.0

19

0.9

20

0.8

21

0.7

22

0.6

The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the wire. This inverse relationship of the numbers may be confusing at first, and the gauge numbers should therefore be studied carefully. The jump ring size should match the size of the suspension bale of the charm, to ensure that they suit each other in combination.

Assessing the Quality of Jump Rings

Jump rings that do not stay closed can be a headache, because they can cause a charm to fall off or a bracelet to break. By design and definition, jump rings have a small gap between their ends, but this gap is only necessary during the jewellery-making process. Once the jewellery is ready, the gap should remain closed. The quality of a jump ring is a matter of how well it stays closed. With this in mind, the jump ring should be made of a work-hardened wire and cut with precision.

Work-Hardened Wire on Jump Rings

Jump rings are made of wire, and for the best quality, this wire should be work-hardened, meaning that it should be toughened by cold-working. Work-hardening can be done at home with a hammer. Work-hardening is especially important for jump rings that have a thinner gauge.

Precision Cutting for Jump rings

If a jump ring is cut very precisely and properly, its sides meet without any gap, or with only a little gap, between them. The jump ring can thus be closed securely. Neither of the sides or ends of a jump ring should be pointed, but should be flat instead.

Buying Jump Rings on eBay

When looking for jump rings on eBay, you can start off by simply searching for "jump rings" or specify your needs more specifically in the first search. For instance, you can enter the colour, material, size, or shape of the jump rings you require. If you do not find what you are looking for in the first place, try clicking on the related searches that are offered to you once you receive the initial search results. In order to further narrow down the results, try sorting the results by auction time or price.

When it comes to comparing the prices of jump rings, always note how many jump rings are included in one package. Jump rings are generally sold in sets rather than as single pieces. If you have any questions about the quantity, material, and size of the jump rings, feel free to contact the seller. You may also ask the seller how long the delivery is likely to take, or how the jump rings are packed.

Conclusion

Jump rings are wire rings that have a small opening. This allows them to be used as intermediate pieces when creating jewellery. For instance, jump rings are commonly used in order to join a charm with a bracelet or a necklace chain. Commonly, jump rings are round or oval, and these are the types that are generally preferred as linking pieces. On the other hand, square, triangular, and heart-shaped jump rings are sometimes used for decorative purposes.

Jump rings can be made of a variety of different materials. The material of a jump ring determines its characteristics, as some materials are harder and more durable than others. Precious metals, such as silver and gold, are used in elegant jewellery. Copper, bronze, aluminium, and steel are cheaper metals, and each one of them has a different colour. Anodised aluminium jump rings are the most colourful ones because they can come in any tone and are therefore perfect for use in creating unique designs.

When looking for the right jump ring, its size should also be noted. Jump ring sizes are determined by two measurements: the diameter and the gauge, which relates to the wire thickness. The gauge of a wire is measured in terms of a gauge number in the range of 16-22, with the larger numbers representing a thinner wire.

Good jump rings are made of work-hardened wire that has been toughened without applying heat. The ends of a jump ring should be precision cut, so that the jump ring can be closed securely.

 
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