I love gemstones in all shapes, sizes and colors! But recently, I have been having fun with one shape in particular, gemstone donuts. They are round, washer-shaped gemstones, with a hole in the center. They come in a variety of sizes, from dime sized, to palm sized! They also come in a variety of stones.
One nice thing about the gemstone donut, is that since there is a large area, you can really see some of the intricate veining and patterns on some of the jasper and agates. Plus, they are fairly inexpensive, so you can make a pair of earrings or a necklace for just a few bucks!
While Rings & Things does sell a variety of donut bails, I prefer to make my own with a simple wire wrapping technique. Then I can quickly convert donuts into earrings or necklace pendants.
All you need to get started is:
- Your choice of gemstone donuts
- Some basic wire working tools
- Some jewelry wire (I used solid copper wire, and later used liver of sulphur to antique it)
To create a simple wire wrapped bail, simply follow the steps in these pictures!
After you have wrapped them, you can attach them to chain to make a necklace. Small 15mm and 20mm donuts are perfect to attach to earring hooks for making simple gemstone earrings.
I personally am partial to antiqued copper, so I antiqued my wire work with a liver of sulphur solution. It is very easy to do on bare copper, silver filled or sterling silver wire. Simply mix a small amount of the liver of sulphur gel with hot tap water. It will make a yellow, stinky solution that will oxidizes your metal to a dark, almost black color. Then you can polish the wire work with polishing pads, to take off some of the antiquing.
Well, I hope I have shed some light onto a new shape of gemstone for your creations! The possibilities are endless when it comes to gemstone donuts! 15mm-20mm donuts make great earrings, 25mm-40mm donuts make great necklace focals, and jumbo 50mm donuts are great for long pendant necklaces! Mix in some crystals and other beads, and you’ll be creating new, affordable jewelry for weeks!