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Chain mail gemstone necklace

Hang gemstones from a chain of large jump rings

Linked jump rings create a flat chain, allowing gemstones to fan out for maximum display. Use large jump rings for a bold statement or smaller jump rings for a more delicate version.

SUPPLIES

Both necklaces 

  • bench block or anvil
  • chasing hammer
  • small file or wire rounder
  • ruler
  • chainnose pliers
  • flatnose pliers
  • flush wire cutters
  • roundnose pliers

Gemstone necklace 17 in. (43 cm)

  • 5 15–20 mm gemstone beads
  • 4 8–12 mm gemstone beads
  • 5 4–6 mm gemstone beads
  • 18 4 mm spacers
  • 39 in. (.99 m) 16-gauge round sterling silver wire
  • 9 2 1⁄2-in. (6.4 cm) 22-gauge head pins
  • 26 12 mm inside-diameter (ID) jump rings, 16-gauge
  • 21 6 mm ID jump rings, 16-gauge
  • 18 5 mm ID jump rings, 16-gauge

Crystal necklace 17 in. (43 cm)

  • 3 8 mm round crystals
  • 4 6 mm round crystals
  • 14 3 mm faceted silver beads
  • 7 4 mm spacers
  • 65 in. (1.7 m) 16-gauge round sterling silver wire
  • 7 2-in. (5 cm) 22-gauge head pins
  • 38 10 mm inside-diameter (ID) jump rings, 16-gauge
  • 53 4 mm ID jump rings, 16-gauge
Some of the step-by-step photos show colored jump rings to make it easier to see the order of attachment.

INSTRUCTIONS

Gemstone necklace
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo A
Photo A
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo B
Photo B
Links

1. Cut a 2 1⁄2-in. (6.4 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire. File the ends or use a rounder to smooth the ends.  

2. Use roundnose pliers to turn a simple loop at one end of the wire. Make a simple loop on the other end of the wire as a mirror image of the first simple loop. 

3. Using roundnose pliers, bend the wire in half with the backs of the simple loops touching to form a link (PHOTO A). Hammer the link. If the wire spreads, push the link back into shape.

4. Repeat steps 1–3 11 times to make a total of 12 links.

Clasp

1. Cut a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, and file or round the ends. 

2. Use roundnose pliers to turn a simple loop at one end of the wire. Bend the wire into a hook so the simple loop touches the straight edge of the working wire (PHOTO B). On the opposite end of the wire, make a wrapped loop
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo C
Photo C
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo D
Photo D

3. Hammer the hook and loop of the clasp (PHOTO C).

4. Cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, and file or round the ends. Make a plain loop (Basics) on one end, and make a wrapped loop on the other end. Twist the loops so they are perpendicular to each other, and hammer the loops (PHOTO D). 

Jump ring chain

1. Close 26 12 mm jump rings, and open eight 6 mm jump rings.

Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo E
Photo e
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo F
Photo f

2. On a 6 mm jump ring, attach two 12 mm jump rings, and lay one to the left and one to the right of the 6 mm jump ring (PHOTO E).

3. Lay a 12 mm jump ring over the 6 mm jump ring (PHOTO F).

Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo G
Photo g
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo H
Photo h

4. Attach two 12 mm jump rings as in step 2, and close the 6 mm jump ring (PHOTO G).

5. Flip the top right 12 mm jump ring to the left. With an open 6 mm jump ring, attach the bottom right 12 mm jump ring and a new 12 mm jump ring. Lay a 12 mm jump ring over the 6 mm jump ring as in step 3 (PHOTO H).

Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo I
Photo I
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo J
Photo J

6. With the open 6 mm jump ring, attach the top right 12 mm jump ring that was flipped in step 5 and a new 12 mm jump ring. Close the 6 mm jump ring (PHOTO I).

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 six times to attach all 26 12 mm jump rings.

Necklace assembly

1. Open a 6 mm jump ring, attach two end 12 mm jump rings and a loop of a link, and close the 6 mm jump ring. Repeat for the other loop of the link (PHOTO J).

Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo K
Photo K
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo L
Photo L

2. Open a 5 mm jump ring, attach the center of the link and the center of a new link, and close the 5 mm jump ring (PHOTO K).

3. Open a 5 mm jump ring, attach a loop of the link and a loop of a new link, and close the 5 mm jump ring. Repeat for the remaining loops on the links (PHOTO L).

Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo M
Photo M
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo N
Photo N
Chain mail gemstone necklace Photo O
Photo O

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 twice, but in the last repeat of step 3, attach half of the clasp instead of a new link (PHOTO M). 

5. Repeat steps 1–4 for the other half of the necklace.

Gemstone dangles

1. On a head pin, string a 4 mm spacer, a 15–20 mm gemstone bead, a 4–6 mm gemstone bead, and a 4 mm spacer. Make a wrapped loop to form a large gemstone dangle. Repeat four times to make a total of five large gemstone dangles, and set them aside. 

2. On a head pin, string a 4 mm spacer, an 8–12 mm gemstone bead, and a 4 mm spacer, and make a wrapped loop. Repeat three times to make a total of four small gemstone dangles, and set them aside. 

3. Determine the order in which you want to attach the gemstone dangles. Open a 6 mm jump ring, attach a gemstone dangle and a pair of 12 mm jump rings, and close the 6 mm jump ring (PHOTO N).

4. Repeat step 3 for the remaining gemstone dangles. 

Crystal necklace

1. Follow the steps in “Gemstone necklace: Links” to make 16 links using 2-in. (5 cm) pieces of 16-gauge wire.

2. Make a clasp as in “Gemstone necklace: Clasp.”

3. Make a jump ring chain as in “Gemstone necklace: Jump ring chain,” but use 10 mm jump rings in place of the 12 mm jump rings and 4 mm jump rings in place of the 6 mm jump rings, and continue until you have connected all 38 10 mm jump rings.

4. Connect the links and clasp as in “Gemstone necklace: Necklace assembly,” but connect eight links on each side of the necklace.

5. To make a spiral dangle, cut a 4-in. (10 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire, and make a small simple loop at one end. Repeat on the opposite end, making the loop face in the opposite direction (PHOTO O). Use roundnose pliers and your fingers to form a spiral with one loop until the spiral touches the other loop. Hammer the spiral.

6. Repeat step 5 five times to make a total of six spirals.

7. On a head pin, string a 3 mm faceted silver bead, an 8 mm round crystal, a 4 mm spacer, and a 3 mm. Make a wrapped loop. Repeat twice to make three 8 mm crystal dangles, and four times with 6 mm round crystals instead of 8 mms.

8. Determine the order in which you want to attach the spirals and crystal dangles. Open a 4 mm jump ring, attach a spiral or crystal dangle and a pair of 10 mm jump rings, and close the 4 mm jump ring.

9. Repeat step 8 for the remaining spirals and crystal dangles.

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