When it comes to jewelry, you have an endless list of options in terms of the materials that you can work with. You can choose from base metal wires to precious metal wires. Other options that you have include anodized wire, enamel coated wire or plated wire.
Given all these options, it’s important to know for what you can use the unique type of wire. This will help you choose the ideal wire for the right task.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the tasks for which different wires are suitable for:
Solid Precious Metal Wire
This is one of the best options you have when creating craft designs or for high-end jewelry. There are other options that you can use, including .925 sterling silver and .999 fine silver. You should be looking for something that can resist tarnish so that the end user doesn’t have to spend a lot of time polishing the jewelry.
Solid Base Metal Wire
If you’re ever planning on making finished artisan jewelry, this is the ideal wire to use. It’s also often recommended for practice tasks, and building prototypes for metal designs. Copper is in fact an ideal alternative for this. Other metals that would be suitable include nickel silver, stainless steel, bronze wire and brass.
The choice of base metal here will depend on the color you expect the design to be. It will, therefore, be useful for you to learn more about the properties of different metals so that you can decide which one is more suitable for you.
Gold Fill and Silver Fill Wire
These are also referred to as overlay. Their production process involves the use of pressure and heat to create a thick precious metal layer on a base metal that’s relatively cheaper. These are perfect in case you’re building a high-end design for a project, but you’re looking for an economical way to do it.
Gold Plate and Silver Plate
In this case, you will get a color match that’s suitable to the metallic components without necessarily having to spend on the average cost of silver and gold. Perhaps the only challenge that you will experience here is the fact that when the plated wire is overly manipulated, there’s a risk of the plating cracking or chipping, which will reveal the base metal.
Enamel-coated wires are excellent since they offer a blend of permanent colors which don’t crack or chip. The coating is made by covering copper wire with a colored enamel coating that’s permanent.
The silver-plated colors give a pure silver layer between the final product and the layer of permanent enamel. This is what gives the final product the brilliant, high shine that it’s associated with.
While the final product might not crack or chip, you must still be careful not to scrap the colored layer when you’re wiping or polishing the product.