How Do You Wire-Wrap Gemstones?

Use round- and chain-nose pliers, wire cutters and wire to wrap gemstones. The exact instructions for wire-wrapping gemstones depend on whether the stones have holes drilled through them. Gemstones that have horizontally drilled holes are briolettes. Common non-drilled stone shapes are cabochons and nuggets. Practice with inexpensive craft wire before you begin to use sterling silver, gold-filled or other precious metal wires in your wire-wrapping projects.

To wrap a briolette gemstone, cut a short length of wire, and bend it into a "V" shape using chain-nose pliers. Slide the briolette onto the wire until it is flush with the bend, then push the other side of the wire up so that it crosses the first and forms a triangle above the stone. Use pliers to bend one of the wires straight up, then wrap the other wire around it several times, and cut this with wire cutters. Use round-nose pliers to form a loop at the top of the briolette with the remaining wire, then wrap it around the top of the stone and clip the excess with cutters.

To wire-wrap a non-drilled gemstone, cut a long piece of wire, and bend it at a 90-degree angle so that there is a piece approximately 4 inches long on one side. Leave the short piece as a tail, and create a small coil at the bend. Place the coil at the bottom of your gemstone, and position the shorter segment behind the stone. Use your fingers to form a spiral around the stone with the longer piece of wire. Wrap the remaining longer wire around the shorter piece, and clip with wire cutters. Turn the short piece of wire into a loop with round-nose pliers, wrap around the base, and clip the excess wire.