July 19, 2012

Herringbone Weave Gemstone Ring

This ring style is so versatile!  It can be used with smooth or faceted round beads (up to 6mm), or regularly shaped flat coin style beads (up to about 10mm).  The bead size probably depends on the size of your fingers - but these are the stone sizes I found worked the best for me.

I used 20g wire for the ring shank.  A thicker wire might result in a sturdier ring, but the way these rings are made, the wire for the ring shank needs to fit through the center bead.  I prefer gemstone beads and it is hard to find them with holes that will fit wire much bigger than 20g.  For the garnet ring (on the far right), I coiled the wire around the ring shank to make it thicker.  I don't think it mattered very much in making the ring more comfortable.  The thinner wires sit really comfortably at the base of your finger, so unless you really like the look, I think the coiling was unnecessary.

There is nothing terribly tricky or difficult about this ring.  I cut the wire for the shank and centered the gemstone on the wire.  I made a single wire wrap close to the bead and left the tail hanging so I could keep the herringbone wrap wire tight.  Then I did a standard herringbone weave, making sure when I wrapped around the stone, I always put the wire behind the last wrap.  When the herringbone weave was the 'right' size, I wrapped one last time and snipped all the wire ends.

The hardest part was keeping the weave around the edge of the stone.  I recommend you use a round bead the first time you make this ring - it's definitely easier.  Even though I love this ring, the stone can turn in the weave and that bothers me a little bit.

If you are not familiar with the herringbone weave, here is a link to some free tutorials.

As you can see, I made the back of the ring adjustable.  I think this is my own design (I don't remember seeing it anywhere), but it's not rocket science.  Just criss-cross the wires, make a paddle and file smooth.  I have a nifty tool that I got from the orthodontist to make the paddles, but you can also use your wire crimper to do the same thing (practice first!).

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