Best Gemstones for Wire-Wrapped Jewelry

If you love the look of wire-wrapped jewelry, you’ve probably given some thought to trying to make your own. Wire wrapping gemstones is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to create truly one-of-a-kind jewelry for yourself, your loved ones or even for paying customers. Before you get started, though, it’s important to understand a few basic guidelines. While virtually any stone can be wrapped in wire, starting out with certain types of stones makes it much easier to learn and practice. Keep reading to learn more about the best gemstones for wire-wrapped jewelry.

closeup of various gemstone beads

Use Beads


As a newbie to the world of wire-wrapped jewelry, you will have much more success if you start off using beads instead of stones. They are much easier to work with, and it’s easier to secure the stone when you can simply thread a piece of wire through it. Instead of having to worry about how to best use your wire to provide structure for the stone, you can focus on using it for decorative purposes. Stick one little piece of wire through the bead’s hole and then get creative with your wrapping!

 

Choose Rough Stones


Perfectly smooth tumbled beads may look beautiful when expertly wrapped, but they are difficult to work with. The smoother your stone is, the more challenging it will be to wrap. Smooth stones are slippery, and so is wire. Trying to put the two together–especially when you are just starting out–will likely lead to you accidentally dropping your stones or launching them across the room.

Instead of polished or tumbled stones, look for ones that are rough cut. Hammer-faceted beads are a great option. They come in a wide variety of rough shapes that are both beautiful and easy to work with. The hammer faceting gives them a slightly more consistent shape than you can find with rough cut stones, but the process leaves rough edges that are not slippery.

wire wrapped jewelry preparation

Think Carefully About Size


When you are just getting started, selecting a tiny gemstone bead may seem like a good jumping off point. The smaller the stone is, though, the more difficult it may be to wrap. Bending the wire and using it to secure a stone can be quite challenging when there is very little surface to work with.

Look at it this way: When children are learning to write and color, they typically use fatter pencils or crayons that are easier for little hands to handle and get used to. When you are learning how to wire wrap gemstones, using stones that are slightly larger makes it easier to get a feel for how to work with wire and get your hands used to the overall process.

On the other hand, though, it’s smart to avoid stones that are too big when you’re starting out, too. If they’re excessively large, getting the structure right and making sure they hang properly can be a challenge. When you are learning how to wire wrap stones, stick with medium-sized beads for the best results.

 

Specific Types of Gemstones to Use


When it comes to the specific type of gemstone bead you use, that is entirely up to you. Semi-precious beads are popular choices because they are available at virtually any price point, and they come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. Druzy beads are a popular choice because they have rough edges that are easy to wrap around. They also come in multiple colors, so it’s easy to find one that matches your outfit.

If you aren’t sure which stones to use, consider looking up their metaphysical properties. Crystal healing is very popular right now, and there are stones that are said to soothe everything from anxiety and depression to systemic disorders and physical pain. They are not, of course, a substitute for medical attention when it is needed, but there are ways in which certain crystals may be able to improve your life. Obsidian, for example, is believed to dispel negativity while rose quartz is said to attract love and improve relationships.

hands wire wrapping jewelry into heart

Conclusion


Making wire-wrapped jewelry is not difficult, but it takes a bit of practice and patience. You can give yourself the best chance of success by starting out with the right gemstones. Choose rough cut or hammer-faceted gemstone beads for your first few projects and you will quickly be able to learn the technique and move on to more complex wrapping projects.