Chain Mail Questions

What is Argentium Sterling? Jeweller’s Bronze? Silver Filled?

Argentium Sterling is 92.5% silver just like traditional silver. But, instead of the 7.5% copper in traditional silver, it uses a patented metal containing Germanium. The resulting silver alloy has several interesting properties, including high tarnish resistance.

Jeweller’s Bronze (or Merlin’s Gold or NuGold) is an alloy of copper and zinc that is similar to the colour of gold. It is a harder metal than copper and easy to work with. It will tarnish just as copper will.

Our silver filled rings are made from wire that is 1/10 sterling silver. You can use silver-filled wire to get the bright whiteness of sterling at a very reasonable price. The thickness of the .925 sterling silver overlay on this wire constitutes a full 1/10th of its overall weight (twice the content of 1/20 silver-filled wire of the same gauge). This thicker silver layer lets you work deeper and polish more without exposing the brass underneath. The sterling is bonded to a brass core (CDA #220; 90% copper/10% zinc).

I’m interested in ordering a kit, but I want to know the gauge of wire used because I like heavy bracelets. Help!

Contact me. I can tell you the specific gauge(s) for specific kits. If you want a heavier gauge than is in a kit, I can usually tell you what size rings you would need to order and how many.

Is it possible to purchase the rings to complete a byzantine bracelet, but not the instructions? I already have them. Is there a price break?

Yes. There is an option to select “No Instructions” when you purchase the kit.
$10 will be subtracted from the price of a necklace or bracelet kit; $5 off an earring or pendant kit.

How do I choose the right pliers?

I recommend flat nose pliers with long handles (so the tips of the handles don’t dig into your palms as you work. Some people prefer the padded handles for comfort; others find them a bit bulky and prefer the plain PVC handles; and some find the PVC handles slip in their sweaty hands.

Contact me for specific recommendations in different price ranges.

What size rings should I buy for my project?

I am happy to answer this kind of question. Tell me about your project and I will reply quickly with suggestions.

What is the correct spelling of chain mail?

This is interesting: the dictionary says it’s “chain mail”, but variants include chainmail, chainmaille, chain maille, chainmaile, and chain maile. Even the beading and wirework books and magazines are not consistent!

What are those black paper squares in your chain kits?

That is a special paper made by 3M to help prevent the metal from tarnishing. It lasts 6-12 months when sealed in a ziplock bag.

I’m a true Beginner: what kit should I get first?

Look for the kits that say Beginner. Then choose one—it’s that easy. And if you run into a problem—something you don’t understand—just contact me. I can help via email or phone.

What do I need to know to be at an Intermediate level?

A “Beginner Plus” skill level means that you have completed 2 or 3 Beginner projects using more than one different weave.
For the “Intermediate” skill level you should have completed several projects with several different weaves.

I see you have earring and bracelet kits, but I would like to make a necklace. Help!

Contact me! Depending on the weave, I may have photos to show you. And I can usually tell you how many rings you will need.

How can I polish my chains?

Here are some ways using household products.

How to clean copper chains here.

Here is a spray cleaner I sell that really works well.

The best way, if you have lots to polish, is to use a jewelry tumbler.

I’m interested in getting a jewelry tumbler – can you recommend one and tell me where to get one?

Yes. Please contact me.