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Forum Home > With Wire-Wrap Rosary > Help with type and gauge of wire

Posts: 2

Hi, I am just starting out and could use some help in deciding the type of wire (and the gauge) I can use for a less expensive wire-wrapped rosary.  For higher quality, I will use sterling silver (best gauge?) but I also want to offer more affordable rosaries as well.

Thanks for your help!

September 15, 2016 at 1:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 2

Also, is half-hard the best for wire-wrapping?

September 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Mary Meier
Site Owner
Posts: 272

Thanks for a great question! We'll try to help.


Base metal wire refers to any metals other than precious metals. They are usually alloys of non-precious metals. Base metal wire is usually made of tin, copper, bronze or nickel, or some combination of these metals. These are perfectly suitable for making Rosaries, but some people may have an allergic reactions to a base metal.

(Costume jewelry is made with base metals.)



Half-hard wire has been hardened but is still very malleable, or easy to shape and work with. This term is usually used with sterling silver or gold filled wires. Half-hard wire will maintain a loop, even under some stress. Half-hard is perfect for a fine Rosary.


We have found the best gauges for wire-wrapped Rosaries is 18 to 22, with 18 being the largest. We'd go no smaller than 22 as it will not be strong enough for a Rosary.


Silver-filled wire is made by fusing a layer of .925 sterling silver to a brass core, resulting in a permanent bond. It is more durable than silver plated. Silver-filled wire is beautiful, and lower-cost than sterling. Both will tarnish over time, especially if they are not handled, but they can be polished.


Sterling Silver Wire can be too soft. Adding copper to it makes the silver harder and easier to work with.

See our page  Pliers and Wires

September 28, 2016 at 2:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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