How to transform gemstone donuts into simple earrings and necklaces!

November 25, 2014

Gemstone donuts come in a variety of stones and sizes!
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!

Some of the different stones offered at Rings & Things!
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:

All you need to turn these gemstones into jewelry! Wire (I used 22-gauge solid copper wire), chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, and side cutters.

To create a simple wire wrapped bail, simply follow the steps in these pictures!

Wrap your wire around the the gemstone donut, through the hole, 3 to 5 times. Use about a foot of wire to start.

Use your chain nose pliers to pinch the two ends the the wire flush.

Use your round nose pliers to create a loop about 1/4 to 1/2 inch up from the base of the gemstone.

Holding the piece with the round nose pliers, wrap the two pieces of wire down to the gemstone donut. It can be a little messy.

For a thicker wire wrapped bail, you can then wrap back up towards the loop.

Use your side cutters to clip the wires as flush as possible.

Use your chain nose pliers to “smoosh” any tail left from cutting the wire. You should be able to run your finger across where the ends are without feeling any snag.

Here are several donuts, that I wrapped with that simple technique. The small ones on the outside were done with silver filled wire instead of copper wire.

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.

Jumbo 50mm green jade donut necklace!

Dainty 15mm blue goldstone donuts wrapped in silver filled wire. Perfect little earrings!

Three necklaces using gemstone donuts. Left to right, a 25mm Leopardskin Jasper donut, a 50mm jumbo donut and a 25mm Pyrite donut with a 28mm bronze shade Swarovski crystal spike.

Chinese turquoise donuts make sweet little earrings!

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!

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  • Robin Hudson December 15, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Hi! I have just discovered your blog and I’m loving it! I’ve just gotten into jewelry making and find your tutorials very helpful.
    I used to be an English as a Foreign Language teacher at a university in South Korea, so forgive me for correcting a small error in this blog – I can’t help it! : “I personally am impartial to antiqued copper, so I antiqued my wire work with a liver of sulphur solution.” “Impartial to” means you don’t care one way or the other, “partial to” means you like that thing over other things. 😉
    I am also partial to antiqued copper, well, any kind of copper. Really, I like copper, brass, bronze, anything that looks earthy and old. I guess that would include antiqued and beat up silver and gold too! And patinas! Yes, patinas are very cool!
    Thanks for writing your blog. You have a gift. I HATE blogging, I don’t know how you guys can do it so consistently.

  • Melissa December 15, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hi, Robin. Thanks for you comments. We’re glad you found us and glad our tutorials are helping you out. I fixed the small error above. Happy jewelry making. Cheers! ~ Melissa