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Onyx and chain necklace set

A necklace-and-earring set made with onyx, chain, and crystal is a chic mix of classic and modern styles

The deep black color and fine texture of onyx are unmistakable. It’s great to use in jewelry because it’s affordable and available in many shapes and sizes. Most onyx, which is a type of chalcedony quartz, is treated to give it a uniform color. This traditional process is permanent, so the color doesn’t bleed. The stone is found worldwide, but India and South America are the leading sources.

SUPPLIES

necklace

  • 15–20mm onyx charm
  • 16-in. (41cm) strand 4–11mm graduated round onyx beads
  • 4 6mm round crystals
  • 30–46 3mm round crystals
  • 4 3mm spacers
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • 30 in. (76cm) 24-gauge half-hard wire
  • 16–24 in. (41–61cm) chain, 5–7mm links
  • 4mm jump ring
  • 2 crimp beads
  • two-strand clasp
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • bead design board
  • crimping pliers (optional) 

earrings

  • 2 15–20mm onyx two-loop components
  • 4 6mm round onyx beads
  • 6 in. (15cm) 24-gauge half-hard wire
  • 2 2-in. (5cm) 24-gauge decorative head pins
  • 4 4mm jump rings
  • pair of earring wires
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

All onyx beads and components from Fire Mountain Gems, firemountaingems.com.

INSTRUCTIONS

Necklace

Onyx and chain necklace Step 1

1. Place a graduated strand of onyx beads in the channel of a design board and remove the string. Set aside four 6mm beads for the long strand of your necklace.

Onyx and chain necklace Step 2
2. For the short strand of your necklace, cut a piece of beading wire. (My short strand is 14 in./36cm.) Center a 3mm crystal, the largest onyx bead, and a 3mm crystal on the wire.
 
Onyx and chain necklace Step 3
3. On each end, string the next-largest onyx bead and a 3mm crystal. Repeat until the strand is within 1 in. (2.5cm) of the finished length.
Onyx and chain necklace Step 4
4. On each end, string a spacer, a crimp bead, a spacer, and the corresponding loop of half of the clasp. Check the fit, and add or remove beads from each end if necessary. Go back through the last few beads strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire. 
Onyx and chain necklace Step 5
5. Cut a 3-in. (7.6cm) piece of wire. Make the first half of a wrapped loop on one end. String a 6mm onyx bead and make the first half a wrapped loop. Make a total of four onyx units, four 6mm-crystal units, and two 3mm-crystal units.
Onyx and chain necklace Step 6
6. Cut a 3-in. (7.6cm) piece of chain. Open a jump ring and attach an onyx charm to the center link. Close the jump ring.
Onyx and chain necklace Step 7
7. Cut six 1-in. (2.5cm) pieces of chain. On each end of the 3-in. (7.6cm) chain, attach: 6mm-crystal unit, chain, onyx unit, chain, 6mm-crystal unit, chain, onyx unit. Complete the wraps as you attach each loop, leaving the end loops unwrapped.
Onyx and chain necklace Step 8

8. Decide how long you want your long strand to be. (Mine is 22 in./56cm.) Subtract the length of the existing strand and cut a piece of chain to that length. Cut the chain in half. Attach a chain to each unwrapped loop and complete the wraps.

 

Check the fit, and trim chain from each end if necessary. On each end, attach a 3mm-crystal unit and the corresponding loop of half of the clasp. Complete the wraps.

Earrings
Onyx and chain necklace earrings Step 1
1. Cut a 3-in. (7.6cm) piece of wire. Make a wrapped loop on one end. String an onyx bead and make a wrapped loop. On a decorative head pin, string an onyx bead and make a wrapped loop.
Onyx and chain necklace earrings Step 2
2. Open a jump ring and attach the head pin’s loop and a loop of an onyx component. Close the jump ring. Use another jump ring to attach the onyx component to a loop of the remaining bead unit.
Onyx and chain necklace earrings Step 3
3. Open the loop of an earring wire and attach the dangle. Close the loop. Make a second earring to match the first. 
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Budget option: Most onyx is relatively affordable, but you can reduce costs by using glass beads. In the version shown here, I substituted glass for onyx, Czech glass for Swarovski crystal, and base metal chain for sterling silver.

 

Glass beads are available from Shipwreck Beads, shipwreckbeads.com.

FIND MORE: stone , stringing , necklaces , earrings , chain

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