Monday, March 9, 2009

My latest article ...

I decided to write some more articles. The last one was posted about a week ago; I am going to try for one a week until I have nothing left to say ... LOL! So here it is:

Why Sterling Silver Rope Chain is a Must Have Style
By: Robert Edwards

Jewelry fashions change often. Trendy styles come and go, as with any other fashion accessory. Some designs lend themselves to a certain style dress or can be seasonal. Obviously toe rings and belly rings are mostly seen during the summer months.

Then there are the classic styles every jewelry owner should have. This is the kind of jewelry that can be worn with just about any style clothing, all year round.

One of the most popular and versatile jewelry items is the rope chain. A long necklace is ideal for most lockets; a shorter length can be very attractive with a gemstone or birthstone pendant. Wide sizes make nice bracelets. Many jewelers use it as a component in other pieces. For example, this design is also fabulous used in a nameplate or anklet.

This jewelry can be made with any metal, but a sterling silver rope chain is a popular choice for a variety of reasons. An attractive, fabulous fashion accent that can be worn over a lifetime, they give high value for a very low cost.

This type of jewelry is made with round, ring shaped links. There are different styles; the design varies depending on the way it is made. Traditional double rope necklaces and bracelets are made by passing each link through the two previous links. Adding links in this manner allows the maker to produce jewelry that shows the spiral structure of this pattern. Standard sizes are made on machines that automate the process, but larger sizes are still made by hand, making and adding one link at a time.

Most commercially made pieces have soldered links. Larger commercially made necklaces and bracelets may be made with thick wire links that are not soldered.

Chainmaille artisans usually handcraft jewelry without soldering the links. These pieces are made in a way that does not require the links to be permanently closed; they will not come apart. Leaving the links unsoldered makes it easier to add onto or shorten bracelets, anklets or other items when making custom length jewelry.

A less expensive look-alike style is actually hollow. This design is made with fine metal tube shaped links. The result is a very light piece that looks similar; but isn't the same as solid jewelry made with wire links. The hollow links cannot be soldered closed; they break easily and often as a result. Many 14k gold bracelets and necklaces are made this way to limit their weight and keep the cost low.

Sterling silver rope chain is available in many size widths, from very fine to designs thicker than a man's thumb. This style is very strong; even fairly thin pieces are very tough because of the way this design is made. This means it is a great choice for holding your favorite pendant; but they also look great worn alone.

Sterling jewelry can be made with smooth or twisted wire links. Different textured links can be arranged to form patterns in the jewelry, like stripes. Other metals can be mixed in to create striking effects; jewelry made with copper and silver links is very attractive.

A silver rope chain is a great fashion choice -- for any occasion!

©Robert Edwards. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use this article as content on websites and blogs provided all links and this author's statement remain intact. Robert Edwards is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with more than 30 years of experience in the jewelry trade. He is the webmaster of a very popular silver jewelry site that features many unique and handcrafted designs. Visit the silver rope chain gallery for custom length jewelry!

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