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Half-round wire is used for wire-wrapping and jewelry crafts. Like the name implies, half-round wire is flat on one side and curved on the opposite side, so it can lay flat against a straight surface but looks round to the viewer. Jewelry making experts use sterling silver or gold half-round wire to make bracelets, earrings, necklaces, brooches, and rings.
Since half-round wire represents the best of both worlds, as it combines square and round wire, it is a versatile material. Crafters value this kind of wire for "wrapping," which means tightly winding the wire around other metal pieces, beads, stones, or charms. Often, half-round wire doesn't constitute the significant structure of an earring or pin, but it binds the other larger parts together. Popular designs include angels, faeries, flowers, birds, and abstract figures.
People who handcraft jewelry need half-round wire in most of their pieces. A simple bangle bracelet could be made from a few lengths of square, round, and half-round wire in contrasting colors. These kinds of wire are usually available in 14 and 18 carat gold, sterling silver, and copper. Flat nosed jewelry pliers can delicately bend and curve the wire without causing kinks or crimps.
You can choose the correct half-round wire by considering its gauge, or size, and its softness, or how easily it will bend. For example, you could choose a medium-gauge, like 20, with a malleability designated "soft." Depending on your technique, you may use "dead soft," "hard," and "half hard." Stiffer wire is stronger but harder to manipulate into delicate loops.
Of course, nearly any creative enterprise can be accomplished by using half-round wire. It could align faceted, crystal beads in a lattice that covers a glass candle holder. It could also wrap a heavy amethyst stone to create a pendant necklace. Tiny "seed" beads might be strung into a small lampshade for a tealight candle. Most crafters assure amateurs that a generous supply of half-round wire will come in handy in many projects.
Half-round wire also is (or maybe just used to be) used in the dental industry for orthodontia (braces) and oral surgery (e.g. to wire someone's mouth shut).