There are many different thicknesses of jewellery wire, and the sizes are referred to as the ‘gauge’.
The first thing I want you to remember is that the smaller the gauge number, the thicker the wire. As you can see, 10 gauge wire is pretty big (about 2.6mm in diameter) and 28 gauge wire is very very tiny (about 1/3 of a millimeter in diameter).
Gauge 10 - 2.59mm - rings, cuffs, necklets - very hard to work with
Gauge 12 - 2.03mm - rings, bangles, heavy duty structure work
Gauge 14 - 1.63mm
Gauge 16 - 1.29mm - a nice thick wire to work with - perfect for sturdy clasps, heavy jump rings and structure work.
Gauge 18 - 1.02mm - as a 16 gauge - can also be used for earwires and connecting chunkier beads and wrapped loops - as well as chainmaille work
Gauge 20 - 0.813mm - perfect for ear wires and beaded chains.
Gauge 22 - 0.635mm - good for making beaded chain with small holed beads - the thickest wire for wire wrapping.
Gauge 24 - 0.508mm - too fine for jump rings or support work - use with tiny hole beads - good for wire wrapping and weaving
Gauge 26 - 0.455mm - great for wire wrapping and weaving
Gauge 28 - 0.320mm - great for wire wrapping and weaving, knitting and crochet and more delicate work
Gauge 30 - 0.254mm - too delicate for wrapping - not suitable for structure work - best for knitting, weaving, crochet
Gauge 32 - 0.203mm