Pros:Inexpensive, easy to use
Cons:Can crack and chip, they tarnish
The Bottom Line: An inexpensive bail for teens or those starting out on a budget
One of the most popular necklaces right now are adorned with large pendant beads. When making your own jewelry, you can make your own bails, but for a cleaner look (and faster finish) you can purchase pre-formed metal bails.
Beadalon makes a wide variety of beading supplies that are readily available in craft stores. These 10mm Pinch Bails come in a package of 10 and are quite versatile as to the size of bead they will work with. My daughter is allergic to nickel and I am pleased these are silver plated and do not contain any nickel.
With these bails I like to use large genuine semi-precious stones such as Agate. Pendant beads will have a hole at the very top of the bead, and the bails fit into these holes, yet have a small metal ring or hanging loop at the top so you can attach the bead to a chain or any type of beaded handmade necklace. The overall size of the bails are 2mm by 10mm when in the open position and the opening in the loop is 1.5mm.
You can use beads as thick as 8mm with these bails. They make special bail pliers, but you don't have to spend extra money on those. I like to use nylon pliers because they are soft and don't leave marks on the metal bails when pinching them closed.
To attach a bead to the bail, place one of the notches into the hole on one side of your pendant. Gently squeeze the bail together so the other notch enters the other side of the pendant.
When I first started to make necklaces these Beadalon Pinch Bails worked okay, but I have since found decorative bails that aren't quite so plain. Some bails look better with certain styles of pendants. These Beadalon plain silver colored bails work well with a pendant that has a lot of color or what I refer to as "busy".
The one complaint I have with these is that the silver plating can crack when closing the prongs. This can eventually chip away and looks pretty ugly. These bails are not sterling silver, they are silver plated, and I think sterling would hold up better. These bails will tarnish just like sterling silver, so I can't think of a real advantage, other than price, for purchasing them.
If you are just learning how to make pendant necklaces, these would be good to start off with since they are very affordable. You can pick up the package of 10 for a few dollars.
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