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Home>Wire Gauges and Bead Hole Sizes

Wire Gauges and Bead Hole Sizes

Do you need to know if your wire will work with our Venetian Beads, Here's the Answer:

Wire is measured in gauges. Bead holes we measure in millimeters. Since wire is produced by machine, it runs quite true to the stated gauge. Since beads are made by hand, one by one, the size of the hole will vary.

Most of the beads at are produced on copper mandrels which are then etched out once the bead is cool. Sometimes there is a bit of stubborn copper which does not disappear. These beads can be re-etched to complete the removal of the copper. Some of our beads are produced in the fashion popular in the US with bead release. This is also subject to differences in hole size. Here it usually varies on the larger size as start with a stainless steel mandrel (perfect sized) and then dip into the bead release. Depending on the humidity, the age of the beadrelease, the skill of the person dipping, the size can vary (sometimes a bit more elongated if you hold the mandrel in one position, gravity moves the bead release).

Now that you know much more about hole sizes of beads than you ever wished. Here's the comparison so you know which gauges of wire will go through our beads.

This includes headpins, stringing wire, half-round.  For headpins, the most common sizes are 20-24 gauge. See the gauge below, all wire no larger than 19 gauge will fit our beads.  Here the important issue is the flexibility as well as the difficulty in wrapping them.  Italians tend to use a lower gauge and instead of wire wrapping, they just loop over and cut the end. We prefer the finished tight look of a good wirewrap!

Quick Tips

1mm = .03937 Inches OR 1 inch =25.4 millimeters

The larger the Gauge, the smaller the wire diameter

10 Gauge - 2.59mm (0.1019 Inch)

20 Gauge = 0.813 (0.032 Inch)

Gauge Inches Millimeters

10 0.1019 2.59

11 0.0907 2.3

12 0.0808 2.05

13 0.072 1.83

14 0.0641 1.63

15 0.0571 1.45

16 0.0508 1.29

17 0.0453 1.15

18 0.0403 1.02

19 0.0359 0.0912 Venetian Beads

20 0.032 0.0813

21 0.0285 0.0724

22 0.0253 0.0643

23 0.0226 0.574

24 0.0201 0.0511

25 0.0479 0.0455

26 0.0159 0.404

24 0.0142 0.361

28 0.126 0.321

29 0.0113 0.287

30 0.01 0.0254

Courtesy of
Free Jewelry Design Projects and Instruction for Swarovski
2 Inch Sterling Silver Headpin, 22ga, Per Piece 2 Inch Sterling Silver Headpin, 22ga, Per Piece
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1 1/2 Inch Sterling Silver Headpin 24ga, Ball End 1 1/2 Inch Sterling Silver Headpin 24ga, Ball End
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Sterling Silver 5mm Jump Ring, Open, 19ga Sterling Silver 5mm Jump Ring, Open, 19ga
Price: $0.42
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