Conversions and Useful Jewelry Charts

April 29, 2013

Wire Gauge Chart

Gauge is often abbreviated “ga” or simply “g”. If you can’t find what you’re looking for when searching a website, you may need to try the following variations: 28-gauge, 24ga, 22g, 20 gauge, and/or 18 ga to find what you want.

The most important thing to know about wire gauge is:

  • 30 gauge wire is very thin, excellent for wire stitching and fine wire weaving.
  • 21 gauge is a a popular size for ear wires in the United States (some other countries have thicker ear wires). To make nice ear wires that don’t bend out of shape, many people buy 18 gauge or 20 gauge dead-soft sterling silver wire and pull it through a draw plate to size it down, while the draw plate toughens it and makes it springy.
  • 10 gauge is very heavy. It is likely to break inexpensive jewelry pliers, and dent or break most wire cutters. (Use a jeweler’s saw to cut heavy gauges of wire.)
Wire Gauge Chart for Jewelry Wire

Wire Gauge Conversion Chart (AWG)

Picking the right size hole punch or drill bit for your wire gauge:

When punching a hole for a jump ring, you normally want a hole at least twice the diameter of your wire. This allows for good freedom of movement.

When riveting, either measure and drill a hole the exact right size, or punch a hole slightly too small, and then enlarge it to the perfect size with a bead reamer. Riveting with a hole that is too large, can cause your rivet to bend or slip, both of which can cause additional problems.

  • 1/16″ hole punch = .0625 inches or 1.59mm (a tiny bit smaller than 14 gauge) – so a 1/16″ hole, plus a few turns of a bead reamer, is perfect for riveting 14ga wire.
  • 3/32″ hole punch =  .0938 inches, or 2.38mm (roughly 11 gauge)
  • 1/8″ hole punch = .125 inches, 3.18mm
  • The new xx tool punches holes that are the exact correct size for xx, xx, xx, and xx gauge wire
  • The new xx tool punches holes that are the exact correct size for xx, xx, and xx tubing or eyelets.



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