We specialize in precious metal jump rings at Spiderchain, but it can be nice to have a lower cost material for testing out design ideas. These jewelry brass jump rings are a fantastic size match for testing the corresponding sterling silver sizes. Your sterling silver design will have the same flexibility and weave density as your jewelry brass test piece. We make our jewelry brass rings to the same quality standards as our precious metal chainmaille rings: clean saw cuts, consistent sizing, and no partial or mangled rings.
18ga Jump Rings – inch
|Inner Diameter||Rings per Troy Ounce|
Please note that the inner diameter listed is the size of the steel rod that we use to wind that ring size. The finished size will be a tiny bit larger (especially for big/thin rings) because the wire springs back a bit after being wrapped around the rod. And if you want rings with even larger inner diameters than are listed here, please visit the Large Aspect Ratio section of the site.
The rings/ozt numbers in this chart will be closest for sterling silver jump rings. The other metals that we use are slightly less dense than sterling silver. If you’re buying gold filled, brass or copper rings you will get a few more rings in an ounce than you see in the chart.
General Info About Jewelry Brass
Jewelry Brass is an alloy of brass that was created for its beauty. It’s made from 85% copper and 15% zinc. This is a higher copper content than yellow brass which sometimes has as little as 60% copper. The higher copper content of jewelry brass makes it unsuitable for nuts and bolts, but does make it prettier! Freshly polished jewelry brass is very close to the color of 18K gold. I collaborated with a wire mill to produce a custom hardness for the wire we use to make our jewelry brass jump rings. The springback of this custom wire is an extremely close match for the springback of half-hard sterling silver, so you’ll find very good size matching between jewelry brass and sterling silver rings – it’s a great prototype material for sterling silver designs.
Jewelry brass is known by many names: NuGold, rich low brass, Merlin’s gold, tombac, jeweler’s brass, red brass, and probably more that I’ve never heard of. If you know of yet another name for this great alloy, please email me! People have been creating copper alloys (including brasses) for a long time, and I found a fascinatingly long list of different alloys for different uses.
Jewelry brass tarnishes quickly to form a soft patina that many find appealing. To keep the surface gleaming, tumble with stainless shot for 10 minutes in water that contains a few squirts of distilled vinegar. Remove from the tumbler, rinse, and then air dry.
Working with 18 Gauge Jump Rings
For the beginning chainmailler, 18 gauge is the Goldilocks of ring sizes. The rings are large enough to manipulate into place, yet thin enough to bend without too much struggle. The resulting jewelry is also a nice medium size: big enough to be substantial, yet small enough to look “intricate” rather than “bulky.” The student kits that accompany my first and second DVDs are based around 18 ga rings for just this reason. Once you get comfortable with chainmaille techniques, you may find that you prefer smaller or larger gauges, but this is a great place to start!
I am most comfortable using mismatched pliers for 18 gauge: flat-nose in my dominant hand and chain-nose in my off hand. Your technique may vary!