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  Virgo Necklace

By: Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
Techniques: 18g wire, connections, "CZ Gem Dropz"
Skill Level: Advanced-Intermediate/Advanced
I absolutely love working with the Beadalon 18 gauge square and fancy square wires! Their temper is just a bit softer than a regular half-hard so they are easy to bend and hold a shape very well. The necklace design taught with this pattern utilizes both square styles of 18 gauge German Style wire in silver, accented with lovely "CZ Gem Dropz". Of course, like most of my designs feel free to change the colors, shapes and sizes of the 'Dropz used and make this necklace "yours".
•18-gauge Fancy Square Silver-Plated = 14 inches 
•18-gauge square Silver-Plated German = 51-1/2 inches (4 feet, 3-1/2 inches) 
•20-gauge half-round NT Brass = 42 inches (3-1/2 feet)
"CZ Gem Dropz" & coordinating jump rings: your choice!
Sample uses: Square 1-hole: 1-7mm champagne, 2-6mm white, 2-6mm square champagne / Round 1-hole: 2-5mm round champagne / Square 2-hole: 3-5mm champagne, 2-5mm square white / Pear 1-hole: 1-9x6mm white drop
Chain: about 3 inches medium weight links 1-trigger or lobster clasp of choice (sample uses 11mm lobster claw)
•Flat, chain and round nose pliers
•Wire cutters 
•Marking pen 
•Steel neck mandrel round shaping item with a diameter of 7/8 inch



Step #1

Virgo Necklace Step #1

Straighten, measure and cut 1 piece of 18g fancy wire, 14 inches long and three pieces of the 21g square wire, two each 16 inches long and one 10-1/2 inches long. Mark the center of each wire. On the 10-1/2 inch length of wire, also measure and mark 1 inch from each end. At those marks, use flat nose pliers to bend the wire ends out at a 90° angle so they are both heading in the same direction. Place all four wires together so their center marks line up, with the fancy wire sandwiched between the two 16 inch square wires, and the bent wire on one edge. Tape the necklace bundle in several places to hold it together. The 10-1/2 inch bent wire will now be called the "bottom" wire.

Step #2

Virgo Necklace Step #2

Straighten, measure and then cut a piece of 20 gauge half-round brass, 10-1/2 inches long. Use this half-round wire to begin a wrap immediately after the bend in the bottom wire and wrap the necklace bundle together, toward the center, 5 times to show. Do not cut the wrap wire!!!

Step #3

Virgo Necklace Step #3

Bend the bottom wire down at a 90° angle. Place the end of a pen at the base of the main necklace bundle and curve the bottom wire over the pen, back toward the main bundle.

Step #4

Virgo Necklace Step #4

Where the curved bottom wire meets the main bundle, use flat nose pliers to bend it back toward the bundle. This forms a "scallop" shape.

Step #5

Virgo Necklace Step #5

Return to the half-round wire. Use fingers to wrap it tightly around the main bundle once. When it comes around the bundle a second time, place chain nose pliers on the wrap wire at the bottom of the main bundle and use fingers to form another wrap. This forms a smaller "scallop". Bring the wrap wire to where the bottom wire returns to the main bundle and add 3 wraps to show. Again, do not cut this wrap wire!

Step #6

Virgo Necklace Step #6

Continue using the bottom wire to make scallop shapes, wrapped in with the half-round wire until there are a total of seven (7) scallops. After forming the 7th scallop, make 5 wraps to show with the brass half-round and now you may trim and tuck the end of the wrap wire.

Step #7

Virgo Necklace Step #7

On the bottom wire, cut each end at a severe angle and then use chain and flat nose pliers to roll each trimmed end into a flat loose coil, heading back to the base of the main bundle.

Step #8

Virgo Necklace Step #8

From the remaining 18g square silver-plated wire, straighten, measure and cut two pieces each 3-1/4 inches long and one piece 2-1/2 inches long. Use round nose pliers to form a complete loop at both ends of each piece, so the loops are on the same side of the wire, facing one another. One at a time, place each looped wire on the round shaping item (diameter 7/8 inch) and bend each wire into a U shape, so the loops lie flat on the shaping item as shown.

Step #9

Virgo Necklace Step #9

Use chain nose pliers to open each loop to the side (like a jump ring) and attach each larger scallop to the smaller scallops on the necklace base and the smaller scallop to the larger two scallops as shown.

Step #10

Virgo Necklace Step #10

Place the necklace on a steel neck mandrel and carefully shape it to fit over the collar bone and around the back of a neck. When you are happy with the general shape, remove the necklace from the mandrel and further shape it by hand.

Step #11

Virgo Necklace Step #11

From the remaining 20g half-round wire, straighten, measure and cut two pieces each 6 inches long. On one side of the necklace bundle, measure 1 inch from the last brass wrap and use one 6 inch piece of half-round to make 5 wraps from the mark toward the end. Still working toward the end, measure 1 inch from the last wrap made and make another set of 5 wraps to show. After the last wrap on this segment, measure 1 inch and add 5 more wraps. Trim and tuck the end of the wrap wire. Repeat the procedure on the other side of the necklace bundle so there are a total of 6 sets of 5 wraps each, 3 sets on each side.

Step #12

Virgo Necklace Step #12

Using the last of the 20g half-round brass wire, straighten, measure and cut two pieces each 5 inches long. On one end of the necklace, trim the end of the fancy square wire 1/8 inch. Now bend the top, plain square wire over the jaw of round nose pliers, toward the bottom of the bundle to form an "eye" that is about 3/8 inch longer than the trimmed fancy square wire. This wire will overlap the bottom plain square wire.

Step #13

Virgo Necklace Step #13

Carefully cut both plain wires at the same time to their ends are flush with one another. Repeat the procedure on the other end of the necklace.

Step #14

Virgo Necklace Step #14

Insert a 1-1/2 inch piece of medium weight chain into each "eye". On each end use a 5 inch piece of half-round brass wire to wrap all of the wires together, making about 12 times to show. Trim and tuck the wrap wire ends. Depending on whether you are right or left-handed, attach a clasp to one end of chain and the pear "CZ Gem Dropz" to the other. Now add your favorite combinations of "CZ Gem Dropz" to the scallops!

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