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I get lots of enquiries asking about what size jump ring is best for attaching charms to bracelets so I thought a short article on jump rings and wire gauges might be useful.

First an explanation of a couple of terms used in the charm world. 


The loop showing in the picture above is the suspension bale (sometimes spelt bail). It is the loop that is actually part of the charm.

These pictured above are jump rings. I know for lots of you this is common knowledge but it is amazing how many people get suspension bales and jump rings mixed up

Jump rings come with two sizes quoted. The first is the diameter of the actual ring (quite straight forward) but the second is the gauge. The gauge is the thickness of the wire used to make the jump ring. Some dealers will list what the gauge actually is in measurements but just so you know what they are I have listed them below.

16 gauge - 1.2mm
17 gauge - 1.1mm
18 gauge - 1.0mm
19 gauge - 0.9mm
20 gauge - 0.8mm
21 gauge - 0.7mm
22 gauge - 0.6mm

If you want a jump ring that won’t require soldering then you need to be looking at 17 gauge minimum.

So now you know how to tell the thickness of the jump rings you can look at the suspension bales of the charms you want to attach. You may want nice thick strong jump rings but the charms may have small bales so be sure to check the charms before ordering your jump rings.

The size of the bracelet links also need to be taken into account. The thicker the links the larger diameter jump ring you will need.

I am no longer selling jump rings on the website but all charms I sell (gold or silver) will come with either a vintage jump ring that is reusable or a brand new ring of appropriate size.

All images and text copyright Sandy’s Vintage Charms 2009.