Calling on creative minds

Maybe someone can come up with an alternative idea here, cause I’m

I took in an order from a customer with several unusually nice
charm/pendants, which she wants to put on a 4mm Omega. My problem is
the 14K yellow gold spacers between the charms. They need to have a
large inside diameter to get over the end of the chain (about 7mm
hole), so that leaves out anything I’ve seen in any catalog. I also
need about 9 inches worth of them, and each one 6 to 7 mm wide
(looking at them from the front). My only idea is to purchase some
wide heavy wall tubing (Stuller has it) and cut them to size. Can
anyone think of anything nicer looking (still needs to be simple so
it doesn’t clash with her charms) ? Don’t want to reinvent the wheel
this time of year if I don’t have to!

Cindy Crounse
Refined Designs Original Fine Jewelry

Hello Cindy,

Unless the customer wants to remove the charms and spacers, you
could take the end off of the chain, put on the charms and spacers,
then resolder the endpiece. The result is a necklace with everything
kept on the chain.

If the charms and spacers are to be removable, why not cut through
the back of the spacers and spread them enough to slip over the chain
end. If you are concerned that the spacers will deform, solder a
decorative trim over the opening and you’ll have double-sided

Without seeing exactly what’s going on, I hope this makes sense,
Judy in Kansas, where we’ll see sub-zero temps tonight and winds that
make it even colder!!

How about making oval rings out of flat wire shaped to fit the chain
and separating them with open wire work, like scrolls or vines and
flowers or something decorative, maybe matching the designs of the
charms? Or you could pierce some designs in sheet and form it into
flattened tubing-like spacers, which would in effect create the same
end result. You could even work in some small stones. Sounds like a
fun challenge!

Dave Phelps


Go industrial. Grrr! Use a pair of dash-202 or dash-203 simple
nitrile rubber o-rings between the charms. They have a suitable
inside diameter to cope with the chain, do not compete with the
charms, and two o-rings will provide about 7mm of spacing.

Your local bearing supply or industrial house will have them priced
at just pennies.

Mark B
Fourth Axis

How about altering one end of the chain so that it has a profile
smaller than the chain, instead of larger? Then you can make things
to slip on & off, and still have the units fit the chain closely. If
you are not proficient enough in repair to do this, you could have
another jeweler do it for you.

I’m guessing that she wants it flexible in a way that she can add on
more charms, or move them around as desired. That is a fun,
“creative” activity for customers.


Were this my customer, I would first ask her to set her priorities.
Which is more important…removability with considerable expense or
neatness with lower cost? Then I would illustrate the pros and cons
of different methods.

If the answer is removability there might be a few ways. Any spacers
large enough to fit over the clasp might be bulky so for ease of
assembly you have to resign yourself to a cluttered look perhaps. Or
you could make/buy snap bails(or enhancer bails) and key the back
side with short wire stubs to carefully placed and reinforced holes
on the back of the chain. More difficult to assemble for the client
but a neater look that shows chain instead of spacers, but with a
nine inch run the bails on the upper end of the chain might hang

If neatness is the goal I might suggest to weld/solder jump rings
directly to the chain and looping thru the charm. A single ring that
is viewed edge on from the front. Uncluttered but definitely not
removable except by a jeweler. This also will be the least expensive

I’m a big fan of multi-use jewelry but the practical and financial
sides have to be addressed too.

Hello Cindy,

I have used heavy walled tubing as spacers myself. To give it more of
a design than just plain tubing you can either flare the ends of each
spacer, or bulge the spacers by putting it into a corresponding size
dapping hole and using a round dapping punch, lightly tapping on the
tubing to give it a rounded, (synclastic) appearance, or flared
(anticlastic) look to the ends. This way it does not look like
simple pieces of tubing, and is very easy to do. Just make sure you
flip it over and fore both ends evenly. I have made bracelets and
necklaces by just playing with tubing in this way, and they look very
nice. For an added design touch you can solder twisted wires to them
in different places. They are kind of fun to make too!

Good Luck!

Re finding wide 14K roundel-type beads with 7mm holes, looks like
there’s no such animal. Flaring out tubing is something I thought of
too, Teresa, so you’ve just reinforced it, and that looks like the
way to go. Had some other great suggestions, but don’t have enough
time to do something labor intensive, seeing as I’ll need to make
almost 40 of them! Thanks to everyone who responded here and by
email, at this busy time.

Cindy Crounse
Refined Designs Original Fine Jewelry