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.

… uh … I never finished this blog article even though the date at the top says 4/29/2013 (when I started it as a placeholder page to come back to some day). Today … March 23, 2018, I just googled for something completely unrelated, and noticed this in my google search results, meaning it’s LIVE! Oh goodie, it’s apparently been LIVE since oh yeesh, October 5, 2018.  (insert blushing emoticon). FINE. I’ll finish it soon since apparently I accidentally made it live about 5 months ago. If you read this block of text anytime after April 1, 2018, please post a comment laughing at me and reminding me to FINISH it. (I have to approve replies, and I check for those nearly every weekday morning.)


Link to:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like

  • Della October 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I would love to see this finished, I am revisiting riveting I learned about 8 years ago and cannot seem to find any sterling tubing to match exactly to a drill bit or wire gauge, I really like doing both wire and tube rivets and have drill bits for my various gauges of wire. I want tubing in sterling, copper and brass, any ideas?