Doubling rings offers more than aesthetic appeal…
The use of two jump rings to make a connection in jewelry can add flair to your overall design.
Often, it’s not just the look driving the desire to double up your rings, but the added strength and control of the drape.
Reason #1) Add an extra ‘touch’ to the look of your jewelry…
Using two jump rings instead of just one can make your piece look a bit more refined.
A single jump ring will often suffice if your design goal is simplicity. But using a second ring adds a bit of sophistication and even some boldness.
Double or triple rings also offer a multiple linear look.
Sometimes there’s a visual element of multiple lines embedded in your components. If this is the case, using multiple rings helps unify the piece culminating in a design rich with continuity.
For instance these Quad-flourish links feature a triple wire focal point in the middle, so when I connect them to make a necklace, using 3 rings for every join subliminally showcases this feature.
Reason #2) Multiple rings offer more strength…
Quality jewelry should be durable enough to withstand common wear.
An earring doesn’t require the same strength as a bracelet. Although earrings may catch on a collar from time to time, they aren’t subjected to the wear and tear of a bracelet. Being attached to your wrists, bracelets are vulnerable to lots of abuse. Necklaces and pendants fall somewhere in between, depending on the length of the necklace.
While I always recommend using 16ga rings for bracelet assembly, they can sometimes appear too ‘heavy’ or clunky to match the appeal of your design.
In this case, using 2 or more rings can be the solution. When the force is dispersed over multiple rings, the strength required for each ring is reduced allowing you to use thinner rings. This approach can offer a ‘finer’ visual quality. Be aware though, you may need larger holes or connection loops if you plan to use multiple rings for assembly.
Reason #3) Doubling rings also helps control the drape…
Fluidity is good; unwieldy is not your friend.
‘Drape’ is a term used to describe how well jewelry hangs on the body. Usually you want your pieces to have a fluid quality so they don’t feel stiff or un-yielding as you wear them throughout the day. However if there’s too much motion, components can flip around as you move, detracting from the intended look.
Chain-maille aficionados use the term ‘aspect ratio’ to describe the appropriate scale of rings to be used to achieve various patterns. But for basic assembly purposes, you just need to be conscious of how much ‘play’ there is in your connections. Snug fitting rings – that still allow for fluidity- can control how your piece hangs.
Let me explain better by using this angel necklace from my own Wings and Waves Collection as an example…
The forged wing components are fighting the natural flow of a necklace by arching up more than down. Clearly, they need to lie this way as they are meant to evoke the angel’s spread wings. So in order to help control them from flipping down, I used (2) 18ga 4/32” ID rings to attach the wings to the ‘angel body’. The connection loops are more filled in this way, so even though there’s plenty of movement side to side to allow for the natural curve of a necklace – the wings are not inclined to flip (or change the plane) from the angel body. Effectively, if the wings flip, the whole angel would flip which is much less apt to occur.
The next element I considered was the type of chain to use.
I knew I was striving to defy gravity with the arrangement of the wings, so I chose a simple 1×2 chain pattern. The structure of this chain offers much more stability than a traditional 1×1 chain, which has a proclivity to twist. By selecting the same small 18ga 4/32” ID rings to connect the larger and wider 8/32” ID 16ga rings, I achieved continuity with my angel focal. The small diameter of these rings coupled at the joins reduces the amount of twisting substantially. The larger rings not only offer a beautiful contrast, their width also helps reduce the tendency to twist.
The drape is further controlled with doubled rings joining the chain and focal.
You can’t see the doubled rings connecting the chain to the wings from the front, but they are intrinsic for keeping this angel soaring as opposed to diving nose first. The pair of rings basically fills the space in the connection loops of the wings, removing any extra play. They aren’t so tight as to inhibit the side to side drape, but they are snug enough to keep our angel’s head up.
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