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What does "gauge" mean when referring to metal?

  • When discussing the gauge of sterling silver wire, it typically refers to its thickness as measured by a standard wire gauge (SWG) or the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system. In the context of sterling silver wire, the gauge represents the thickness of the wire, which is important in jewelry making. 
  • Sterling silver is commonly available in various gauges, ranging from very thin to relatively thick, depending on the intended use. 
  • The resources we buy our silver from use the AWG system. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the silver. So, a 24-gauge sterling silver wire would be thinner than an 18-gauge wire. 
  • That's why we try to add the gauge number in the descriptions of our jewelry. It gives you an idea of the thickness of the silver. 
  • We typically use 20-22 gauge sterling silver to make the back plates for pendants and rings because those gauges are thick and sturdy.
  • We like to use 26-28 gauge sterling silver for the backplates on earrings to make them lighter to wear.
  • Ring bands and bracelets need to be extra strong to hold their shape. We use 18 gauge all the way down to thick, 4 gauge sterling for those. 
  • The lower the gauge = The thicker the silver = The higher the cost.
  • Does it matter? YES! We make quality jewelry by using the appropriate  thickness of sterling silver to make each piece comfortable and durable to sustain years of wear!