Weeeellllll, that depends. In general, the larger the piece, the
heavier the gauge.
Earrings where weight is of concern and the piece is usually small,
thinner gauges (like your 26 ga) are probably good. Belt buckle? Use
16 - 18 gauge and maybe plan to add strength with added rim work. I
have good stability for pendants using at least 22 gauge sheet.
Also, I’m talking about sterling work. When working in gold, the
sheet could be thinner gauge because its strength is better; however,
appearance might still dictate something heavier.
Now to see what Orchidians have to say! Judy in Kansas, who failed to
get the Christmas lights up two days ago when the weather was nice.
Too cold and rainy now and for the rest of the week. Maybe later?