How to Weld a Long Herkimer Diamond Necklace – Micro Welding Series Tutorial

How to Weld a Long Herkimer Diamond Necklace – Micro Welding Series Tutorial

In this video, I demonstrate how easy it is to design and weld a long necklace with Herkimer diamonds in between sections of chain.

I personally prefer asymmetry and the look of random beads (as well as simply use up chain ends!). However, you can also pre-cut sections of chain so that they are even.  The easiest way to do that would be to mark on the table the length of the section and measure it against that.  For final trimming, if the links are small, simply thread them all with a straight pin and let the sections hang.  Then trim the bottom like you would if you were trying to get super straight bangs.

For the welding, I simply use 26 gauge wire and thread the bead in between two sections of chain.  I pinched the wire ends together, using pliers and trim – leaving approximately 1.5-2mm wire protruding.

I use solid gold wire instead of gold filled because overtime, the brass core in the gold filled wire will be exposed and will darken over time.  If it doesn’t bother you because it’s only a dot, it should be fine to use gold filled.  You may also wish to practice with cheaper wire until you are sure of the technique and design.

The two wires must touch one another when you bring it to the electrode.  The power setting I used was at 10 W, but you can put it slightly higher.  Whatever power setting you normally use, put it higher than you would welding a jump ring. In this way, the two ends will melt completely and form a slate ball.

The trick is to weld it off centre so that it protrudes less when worn, in other words, closer to either end of the chain.  This way, you don’t feel the ball.

If you find that the wire or the ball is protruding too much, or is too big, simply pinch with a pair of pliers and trim a little bit, and repeat.

Don’t worry about oxidation on the stone; you can use the bristle brush to remove it or use dish detergent; sometimes oils in our hands make it too sticky to remove with the brush alone.  Gentle soap will remove it easily without harming the stone or pearls.

Side trivia – Herkimer diamonds are quartz that are naturally shaped with double termination, hence the name diamond (a reference to the shape, not that they are actual diamonds). They are in Herkimer, New York, and you can actually pay an entrance fee and mine there yourself.  It’s a fun event and there are campsites and cottages available for rent. 

Tip – if you’re using a fine chain and have squished it, you can pop it back into shape by using a thumb tack or small pick.