What do your ring names mean?

B3 Ring NamesOur jump ring sizes consist of a letter (or letters) followed by a number.  The letter in our ring name refers to the inner diameter of the ring, and then number refers to the wire gauge.  The letters go in alphabetical order with size B being significantly smaller than size X.  Wire gauge is a bit counter-intuitive to understand as larger numbers refer to thinner wire (i.e. 20ga wire is much thinner than 14ga.)

 

Inner Diameter = Letter

To understand exactly what the letters mean, please refer to the chart below. Letter A rings are smaller than B, which are smaller than C, and so on. The letters refer to the size of the mandrel that the raw wire was wrapped around. To find the exact inner diameter (ID), after springback, of each rings we sell, look at the base metal stats & uses and the sterling silver stats & uses pages in the supplies section.

We adopted our lettering system from chainmaille artisan Spider (who now uses a different system) because we discovered that many people find it easier to understand that a sequence of increasing inner diameters is F, G, H rather than 5/32, 11/64, 3/16.

If you prefer to refer to our rings in fractional inches or millimeters instead of the letters, it's no problem. Use whatever system you feel most comfortable with.  All of our ring pack labeling includes conversions so that you don't have to memorize that F = 5/32" = approx 4.0 mm.

Inner Diameter Conversion Chart

The chart below only goes to size T (3/8"), but you can view a complete Inner Diameter Conversion Chart (PDF) with IDs in 64" increments, from 1/64" to 1" and their metric equivalents.  (Having trouble opening the file?  Try downloading the latest version of Adobe® Reader®)

B3 Name Mandrel Size
(Inches)
also
called
Decimal
Inch
Millimeter
Conversion
1/64 insanity 0.016 0.4
2/64 1/32 0.031 0.8
3/64 0.047 1.2
AAA 4/64 1/16 0.063 1.6
A 5/64 0.078 2.0
B 6/64 3/32 0.094 2.4
C 7/64 0.109 2.8
D 8/64 1/8 0.125 3.2
E 9/64 0.141 3.6
F 10/64 5/32 0.156 4.0
G 11/64 0.172 4.4
H 12/64 3/16 0.188 4.8
I 13/64 0.203 5.2
J 14/64 7/32 0.219 5.6
K 15/64 0.234 6.0
L 16/64 1/4 0.250 6.4
M 17/64 0.266 6.7
N 18/64 9/32 0.281 7.1
O 19/64 0.297 7.5
P 20/64 5/16 0.313 7.9
Q 21/64 0.328 8.3
R 22/64 11/32 0.344 8.7
S 23/64 0.359 9.1
T 24/64 3/8 0.375 9.5
U 25/64   0.391 9.9
V 26/64 13/32 0.406 10.3
W 27/64   0.422 10.7
X 28/64 7/16 0.438 11.1
Y 29/64   0.453 11.5
Z 30/64 15/32 0.469 11.9
BB 31/64   0.484 12.3
CC 32/64 1/2 0.500 12.7

 

Wire Gauge = Number

The gauge refers to how thick the wire is. Different numbering systems are used, depending on the type of metal. Overall, though, as the gauge number decreases, the thickness of the wire increases. (In other words, in the same metal: 24ga is always thinner than 22ga, which in turn, is thinner than 20ga.).

The table below shows the wire diameter of the rings we sell in Sterling Silver vs Base Metal (Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Copper and Stainless Steel).

Many serious maillers prefer to use wire measurements instead of gauges so that others know exactly what the wire size is. When calculating the Aspect Ratio of your rings, you must convert the wire gauge to either mm or inches to match the units of the rings ID. Your results won't be accurate if you try to plug wire gauges into the AR formula!

Wire Gauge Conversion Chart

Wire
Gauge
Precious Metal (AWG)
Base
Metal (SWG)
24 0.02"
0.5 mm
22 0.025"
0.6 mm
21 0.029"
0.724 mm
20 0.032"
0.8 mm
0.032"
0.8 mm
19 0.036"
0.912 mm
18 0.04"
1.024 mm
0.048"
1.2 mm
17 0.045"
1.15 mm
16 0.051"
1.291 mm
0.062"
1.6 mm
14 0.064"
1.63 mm
0.08"
2.0 mm
13 -- --
12

0.081" 2.025 mm

0.104" 2.64 mm
11 -- --
10 0.102" 2.588 mm 0.128" 3.25 mm

Buying from other suppliers

When purchasing jump rings elsewhere, it is important to note how they are measured, as every supplier does it differently. Most places measure the inner diameter of the ring, however a few use the outer diameter. Some prefer inches, some are metric and others combine both systems! Adding to the confusion, wire gauges are not consistent. Some suppliers use AWG for all their rings while others use SWG for all their rings.  Most, like Blue Buddha, use a combination of the two systems. You should always ask your suppliers for the exact measurements of their rings after springback to ensure you are buying what you need. (If you are not familiar with springback, it is explained in the Common Terms page of the FAQ.)