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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Adventures With Jewelry

I have this sterling silver pendant that I wear almost every day, but the sterling rope chain has had tarnish issues. No matter how often I clean it, it just doesn't last. I finally decided to buy a stainless steel chain, even if I had to get one of those medical alert chains. As it turned out, stainless steel jewelry has come a long way since I last shopped. They had a very nice 30 inch box chain that I bought.

The only problem I discovered was that the clasp was rather large for the width of the chain and it wouldn't fit through the jump ring on the pendant. I tried squeezing the clasp, I tried squeezing the ring to make it more oval. The clasp still wouldn't go through and now I had a gap where the ring joined.

I didn't want to risk using a real pair of pliers so I bought jewelry pliers. With an incredible lack of skill, I opened the jump ring farther. Okay, I thought, so instead of trying to thread the clasp through the ring, I'll just open it far enough for the chain to slide through and then seal it up again. This should be easy. Or so I thought.

Forcing the ring open with the pliers was hard, but I did manage that. The problem came when I tried to close the ring again. It had become an oval and I couldn't get the two edges of the ring to match up. I know have a sharp edged piece of metal holding my pendant to my chain.

After messing around with the pliers and my pendant for way longer than was reasonable, I decided to search online for instructions. I found a video and guess what? The instructions said not to use pliers to pull the ring apart. Using two pairs of pliers, I was supposed to twist it open and then twist it closed again because if you pull, you can never get the circle back. Um, yeah. Great.

Clearly, the answer was to find another jump ring since I'm risking scratching my skin or tearing clothes with the jagged edge. They sell them online in packs of 100. Gah! I don't make jewelry, but the price was cheap--less than $4--so I bought them.

And I bought another pair of jewelry pliers because the instructions said two pliers and the rings are only 6 mm so I can't use a regular pair of pliers from the garage. Now I'm thinking, wow, since I have all this equipment, maybe I should try making some jewelry. It might be fun! I'm not kidding. Creative outlets that are not writing usually help the writing flow better and why not jewelry making?

All because I wanted a chain that wouldn't tarnish.

You know, I could see the snowball start to roll downhill, but I couldn't manage to stop it. :-/