DIY Gemstone Jewelry

Beautiful gemstone pendants and a few necklaces I've made with them!

Beautiful gemstone pendants and a few necklaces I've made with them!

Agate slice and crystal point pendant necklaces have been popping up on Etsy, at craft shows, and in small boutiques for quite some time now. While I love the natural, raw beauty of these pieces I could never quite get myself to pay the $30-50 plus for a simple gemstone on a chain. I'm not trying to discredit the time, quality and artistry committed to these pieces- there is definitely a difference between good quality chain and gems versus cheap, craft-store supply findings. However, with the help of a few good websites and very little time committed, you can make your own version for a fraction of the cost. An easy DIY project you'll be proud to show off!

What you'll need:

  • Good quality chain- Fire Mountain Gems is a good online resource. Look for 14kt Gold-filled or Sterling silver-filled chain; it's durable, usually safe for sensitive skin, and a fraction of the cost of true gold and sterling chain. You can either buy pre-cut chain in lengths of 18-36" with clasps already attached or unfinished chain that can be cut to size.
  • Coordinating metal clasps and jump rings
  • Gemstone pendant- I've had great success with gem pendants from Crystal River Gems; I love their Druze pendants as well as these Amethyst slice pendants!
  • Jeweler's wire cutters for trimming your chain
  • 22-26 gauge wire (if the gem has a drilled hole but no ring attachment)
  • Round-nose pliers for making wire loops
  • Measuring tape
  • Extra beads or stones if you'd like to embellish the chain or add extra detail (optional)

To make:

  1. Cut your chain to the desired size. An 18" long chain will hit around your collarbone, 24" will hit mid-chest, and 30" will lay below the chest at the base of your ribcage. Keep in mind the scale and shape of your pendant- a thinner, more delicate gem will sit better on your collarbone or chest while a larger or more pronounced stone will do better hanging on a longer chain that hits below the chest. Lay the chain around your neck to see what size you like and remember to measure twice and cut once!
  2. If the gemstone already has a ring attachment you can simply slide the pendant onto your cut chain, attach your clasps using 2 coordinating jump rings (make sure to twist jump rings open- front to back- rather than pull apart) and voila! Necklace done! If the stone doesn't have a ring you'll need to do a simple briolette wrap to create a hook attachment. See my demo below!
  3. While these gems look great hung on a simple chain you can also add additional beads along the chain or a decorative stone by the closure. Check out this simple and clear tutorial to make a simple loop with wire and beads. Once you make this decorative run of beads you can inset it anywhere along your run of chain (like I did in the above photo, bottom left.)
  1. Cut a 4-6 inch piece of wire and loop it through the hole.
  2. Using your round nose pliers or fingers bend one half of the wire over to the right and pinch the other side so that it stands up straight from the center of the stone
  3. Wrap the bent piece around the straight piece 3 times. Use pliers if you have trouble wrapping it tightly. Clip any extra wire
  4. Using round nose pliers loop the piece that is sticking up into a closed loop. Clip any extra wire.
  5. You now have a finished loop that is ready to be hung or looped through chain!

Jewelry making is so simple once you have a few key tools and a little patience! These simple gemstone necklaces are so easy to make and so pretty- great for gifts or just for you!

-c.