Search This Blog

March 09, 2023

Rio Grande Jewelry Findings and Supplies Review

Rio Grande is a reputable supplier of metals, findings, diamonds and gemstones, tools, finished jewelry, displays, packaging and anything else a jewelry crafter or designer needs. Their selection ranges from base metals like stainless steel, brass, bronze and copper to precious metals including argentium silver, sterling silver, gold filled, karat gold and even platinum. I'm guessing their customer base is mostly jewelry businesses and more advanced hobbyists.

Gold plated brass chain and findings from Rio Grande

This article is a review of jewelry making products that I've purchased from Rio Grande. It is meant for my personal reference to remember which products I like, which were different than what I expected, how the item held up over time, what I want to reorder, etc. 

If you find it useful, that's great - but remember it's just my opinion. (And opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one). There are no affiliate links in this article, all of these items were purchased by me, and if you would like to add your 2 cents about items from Rio Grande you like or dislike, please add it in the comments.

My reviews include a review date, item number that links to the product on their website, description, price  paid (which may include a quantity discount), first impressions and results using the product including how the items held up over time. 

The last criteria, how something lasts over time, is really important to me. My goal is to make (and sell) affordable, quality hand crafted jewelry. To test durability, I typically make some jewelry, wear it 24 hours per day through all activities (shower, exercise, cooking, etc) and then assess it periodically to see how it holds up. Very scientific. After the trial by fire test, I typically make additional jewelry that I wear responsibly (put it on and take it off as needed) to test how it holds up under recommended wear.

The main product categories I buy from Rio Grande are wire, chain, findings and some finished jewelry. You can search the list using Ctrl-F and entering the information to find. 

Item 62987513 Brass Yellow Gold-Plated 5mm ID Round Jump Ring, Qty 100, $20.77 (.20 each)
These are sturdy jump rings that close flush. The outside diameter is 7.6 mm which is on the larger/thicker side for most of my projects. (3/1/2023) Used for chain bracelet clasp. 1 week - still tightly closed, finish has less shine but still gold in color with no discoloration. 

Item 68005010 Brass Yellow Gold-Plated 4.4mm Elongated Oval Cable Chain, 10-ft. Spool $45.68 ($4.57 per foot / .38 per inch )
Nice, heavyweight chain with links that are shorter than a paperclip chain and longer than standard cable chain. I bought it as an extender chain, and while it will work, it's much better as the focal of a project as in a charm bracelet.

Item 620634 Brass Yellow Gold-Plated EZ-Lobster Clasp with Open Ring, Qty 72 $30.16 (.42 each)
 These clasps look great out of the package. High quality lever, nice sturdy half ring closure to attach to projects BUT the finish wore off to show what looks like copper in less than one week of continuous wear on a bracelet. I'm disappointed, and confused why a brass clasp would have a copper color when the plating wears off. 

sample bracelets showing wear to clasp

Here is a comparison of a brand new clasp vs the one that I wore for a week. The chain in the center is the bracelet that I wore. The chain and jump ring (both listed above) stayed looking new.

gold chain bracelet with flower charm

This is my 'test' bracelet that uses all three products listed above. I found that using a polishing cloth on the clasp made it blend a little better, but the finish is still more copper-y than gold.

* Update 3/15/2023: After another week, the clasp is fully copper colored and I decided to contact Rio to see if they would accept a return of the clasps and suggest one that will wear similarly to the jump ring and chain which still look really good. 
*Update 3/16/2023: Rio credited my account for the clasps, but did not know what could have caused the problem and did not suggest an alternate product. I'm disappointed because the clasps looked really nice, but pleased that Rio has good customer service.

More updates coming soon. Until then, let me know what you like at Rio Grande. 


No comments:

Post a Comment