I used to use .18 Beadalon with (2) 2 mm crimps on either side of
the necklace. I recently switched to .10 Soft touch wire which has
great fluidity but slipped easily through the crimps after regular
crimping. It has a 5lb test which is more than enough strength for
most necklaces. I have had great luck since switching wires by
crimping as usual, then turning the crimp over and crimping the back
side as well. Last but not least I incorporate into my work six size
11 czech seed beads after/before the crimp through which I pass the
extra wire, then snip. I test every piece to make sure it doesn't
slip through the crimp. After 50+ necklaces, I haven't had any
I also use soldered jump rings at the wire then add an open jump
ring to attach the clasp.
I agree with the concern about using silk & gemstones - I worked
with silk when I first started selling my work in the early 80's and
had lots of problems with breakage.
Hope that makes sense and is helpful. Good luck to you!
Artist / Intuitive Consultant
Om Tara! Jewelry & Finery