Are you confused about the difference between jump rings and split rings? If you are a jewelry enthusiast, you’ve probably encountered these two components. Let’s see how you can use these versatile elements in jewelry design today.
Difference Between Jump Rings and Split Rings
What is a Jump Ring?
A jump ring is a versatile element used in designing jewelry. It comes in multiple sizes and designs, and from various materials, too.
There is a jump ring for every type of jewelry design project, so don’t rush while shopping and get into the subtle differences of each type of jump ring. Obtaining the right jump ring will enable you to complete projects properly, without any missing elements.
Read more: Guide for Beginners: How To Use Jump Rings?
What is a Jump Ring Used For?
Jump rings are used mainly for attaching two ends of jewelry. There are just two ends for many people – the one that we see when the design is complete.
However, during the fabrication process, a bracelet or charm can have multiple ends that need to be attached durably so the piece of jewelry will hold. Jump rings can be used for a variety of jewelry types, from charms to pendants to bracelets. The sky truly is the limit for jewelry design when you have the right connectors.
Which Jewelries/Accessories Can You Apply Jump Rings?
You can use jump rings on virtually any type of accessory or jewelry. And it doesn’t always have to be conventional jewelry.
Let’s say you were designing a suit for a comic-con. Jump rings can be used to attach a variety of accessories to the suit you will be wearing. Jump rings are hard and durable, so you can create truly complex designs without worrying that elements will eventually fall off.
How to Use Jump Rings?
The biggest mistake when using jump rings is how they are opened before being linked to a piece of jewelry. Normally, people take two pliers and use them to ply away both ends from each other. This can weaken the jump ring and, consequently, mangle it. When your jump ring is not durable, it can suddenly give way. Slippery links can cause jewelry to disintegrate easily. We recommend that you hold the jump ring with a pair of pliers and use a long-nose jeweler’s pliers to bend only one end of the jump ring. Bend it away or towards you; the direction of the bending doesn’t matter.
What is more important is the rest of the jump ring remains static.
Alternatively, you can use a jump ring tool so you won’t have to use another pair of pliers. The jump ring slips into the tool securely, and you can use just one pair of pliers to move one end away to create enough opening.
What is a Split Ring?
A split ring can be defined as a helix of metal with both ends exposed. After two complete turns, the ring is compressed to itself.
Split rings are used not just in jewelry but also for various purposes, including attaching lures to fishing lines. One can argue that split rings are more durable than jump rings because they are comprised of metal with two full turns. However, they have some downsides to them as well.
The first downside is they have exposed ends. Exposed ends can cause some abrading, especially if the split ring is worn very close to the skin, as in chokers and bracelets. The second downside is snagging. The two ends of a split ring can easily snag individual fibers of the fabric, causing damage.
There have also been some situations where people break apart their jewelry because of accidentally snagging on their bag or clothes. And finally, there’s the issue of spreading.
Despite the added durability because of the helix formation, one or both ends of a split ring can spread and allow a link to slide off without you knowing. If you are engaged primarily with making jewelry, this can be worrisome.
What is a Split Ring Used For?
A split ring can be used for crafts, jewelry design, and fishing and tackle. However, note that the split rings used for jewelry are finer than general utility split rings. Jewelry split rings are also made from gold, silver, and other common metals and alloys for jewelry. While you can make impromptu repairs with smaller split rings, it’s best to purchase split rings for jewelry if you are engaged in jewelry design.
Which Jewelries/Accessories Can You Apply Split Rings?
Split rings can be used on any jewelry that requires connectors. Jewelry that requires jump rings can also be remedied with split rings.
How to Use Split Rings?
If you don’t have a split ring tool at home, you can use any fine-ended long-nosed pliers. Gently lift one end of the split ring and slip in the chain link. Let go of the end and slide the chain link until it reached the opposite end of the compressed helix. You know you did it right when the chain-link locks within the structure and doesn’t slip out.
How to Tell the Difference in Appearance Between a Jump Ring and a Split Ring?
The easiest way to tell the difference between jump rings and split rings is by looking at the ends.
Jump rings have concealed ends. The two ends face each other when the jump ring is tightened or crimped.
If you are using a split ring, the two ends will be exposed, with one end on each side of the split ring. If the ring snags, it’s likely a split ring. Abrading is also a sign that your jewelry has split rings and not jump rings. There’s a reason why split rings are used sparingly in jewelry, or they are only used when necessary because of their design limitations.
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