To get started in jewelry making without much fuss, to save money, and to create unique pieces every time, an understanding of what the different parts of jewelry are and what they do is crucial.
Today, we focus on necklaces or pendants, and an important part of these kinds of jewelry is known as the bail.
We’ll learn more about what it is, what you need it for, and most importantly, the types and ideas for the use of the pendant bails in jewelry making. So, let’s jump right into it!
What is the bail on a pendant?
Pronounced and also known or spelled as a bale, the jewelry bail used on pendants and other kinds of jewelry can be defined as the premium design pendant connection that is designed to easily and further accentuate the focal pieces of the jewelry, either for the cord or the chain necklace.
The bail is an important component in a necklace where it is used to attach the stone or pendant to the rest of the necklace. And in most cases, the bail is found at the center of your necklace; wear the pendant hangs. In other cases, the bails are designed so that they allow for the pendant to be attached to the necklace once the design of the necklace ends.
In most cases, the classic bail is designed to allow for the necklace chain to pass through it; then, it’s connected to the pendant using a ring.
If you are learning about jewelry making and you’re working on some ideas for the pendant bails, it’s worth noting that in most cases, the bails are available as pre-made parts/jewelry findings that are then used on the handmade pendant jewelry pieces.
Though overlooked because of its small size, it really is an important part of your chain or cord pendant necklace because you wouldn’t have the pendant on without the bail or if the bail is broken.
Note that that the bail rings often come in different sizes/ shapes, with the simplest bail type being the jump ring – the small looped metallic piece that is easy to open, although some come closed or soldered shut. There also are decorative bails and also bails that form part of the pendant, and they are not separate pieces.
Jewelry Bail Ideas (And Types) For Necklaces
Now that we have all the basics of pendant bails out of the way let’s take a look at some of the options and bail ideas that would work well for necklaces.
As you learn more about the jewelry-making findings, you will be happy to know that there is a wide range of findings that would transform things like beads, donuts, and many other flat-backed necklace components into stunning necklace pendants or drops. These bails will, therefore, expand your range of design options, and you wouldn’t have to worry about soldering the pieces.
So, which are the main types of jewelry bails that you can use for necklace pendants?
The pendant bails are categorized into different groups, depending on how they work and how the pendants look like. The main categories of these pendant bails are as follows:
- The Bails for the Donut Focal Components
- Jewelry Bails for the Undrilled and other kinds of focal components
- Pendant Bails for the Focal Components and the Half-Drilled Beads
- Pendant Bails for the Focal Components and Pieces Drilled from Front to Back
- Pendant Bails for the Focal Components Featuring Attached Jump Rings or Wire Loops
- Pendant Bails for Brooches and Pins
- Pendant Bails for the Fully-Drilled Hole Beads
Let’s look at the specific types below:
The Bails for the Donut Focal Components
1.Folding Donut Bail
This bail is the most popular type of jewelry bail that is ideally used to make pendants for necklaces.
This folding donut bail will clamp over your small and even medium-sized gemstones, beads, and glass donuts, and the best part is that the bail allows you to fold it into the necklace directly.
In this case, the bail also doubles as an enhancer for the necklace and/or pendant, especially because you can hang it from the chain or the cord to easily change the look of the necklace.
Essentially, you can remove the bail from the chain, open it, then replace the donut, closing and re-hanging the bail when done.
2.Pressure or Casting Donut Bail
The pressure donut bail is the type of bail that will hold to any of the small or medium-sized donuts hanging behind the detailed casting on the necklace, leaving you with a nice-looking pendant.
3.Bond-On Donut Bail
With this donut pendant bail, you will have a donut that bears an illusion of weightlessness. This is because most of these bails are connected to the pendant using glue like the epoxy glue that is commonly used in jewelry making.
4.Wire-Wrap Donut Bail
If you are looking for a piece of jewelry finding that will transform a simple chain necklace and pendant combo into the most stunning pendant necklace, the wire-wrap donut bail could be the perfect piece for you. This bail features a piece of wire made of sterling silver, which works perfectly for the freeform donuts, the uncalibrated donuts, as well as the go-go donut shapes.
Jewelry Bails for the Undrilled and other kinds of focal components
5.Fold-Over Pendant Bail
This bail’s designed with two flat pads in a leaf design and on each end of the straight portions. The metal will, therefore, fold in half, and Epoxy glue is used to suspend the pieces. The bail is ideal for the flat but irregularly shaped pendants.
6.Bell Caps featuring Jump Rings
The bell cap is another popular type of bail that will ideally turn anything into a pendant or a drop earring. The bail has bent legs that follow the shape of the object and will have to be bonded together using glue.
7.Flat-Backed Y Bail
This bail is double-looped, meaning it allows you to easily suspend it more evenly, although you could also string it along with the stringing wire, a chain, or cord. It features a single pad that allows for easy attachment of the item that isn’t drilled. The design features of this bail make it an ideal option for turning cabochons into nice pendants.
This is a glue-on bail that features one large stringing hole along with a flat side that you can attach the undrilled piece too – the flat area allows for perfect adhesion since it’s textured.
This is the other type of bail that can be used for earrings, besides the pendant necklaces. Its function is enhanced by the fact that it is a 2-sided finding designed to hold the drilled bead on the added undrilled bead, using both glue and a considerable amount of pressure.
10.Cord Rings/ Looped End Caps with Jump Ring
This bail allows the bead to be inserted between it, where the end caps are ideal for creating drops or for giving a nice, professional attachment for the stringing material using jewelry glue-like epoxy. It’s ideal for spherical pendants, and you only need to add the jump ring after stringing the pieces.
Bails for the half-drilled beads/ Focal Components
11.Up-eyes with a jump ring
This is a glue-on bail, and it bonds to the holes of the half-drilled piece using glue. Once glued, add the jump ring to be able to use the bail as a pendant.
12.Screw-Eyes with Jump ring
This bail is also bonded to the holds of the piece that is half-drilled, and the jump ring is then added for addition or use as pendants.
13.Y-Bails with Pegs
This has double loops for even suspension on chains. The vertical peg allows you to glue it easily to the half-drilled bead.
Bails for the Focal Components Drilled Through
14.Pinch / Prong / Ice-Pick Bail
This pendant bail features horizontal prongs pinched in the hole of the top-drilled bead. You need glue to secure prongs.
15.Safety Pin Bail
This is a round-bottomed, bulb-shaped bail that works well for interchangeable pendants like charms and brooch attachments.
Other types of bails include:
16.Standard or Snap-On Bail – this is easy to work with, and you can snap it on for a nice pendant attachment.
17.Pearl Enhancers/ Bead Hangers/ Interchangeable Hinged/ Strand Hanger Bail– it opens and closes using a magnetic closure or a snap.
18.Split/ Hidden Bail – it is a metallic bail with a smooth stringing hole as well as a split loop that is easy to open, loop wire through, and close.
19.Brooch converters – this is a bail that changes a pin or brooch into a nice pendant.
There are many types of pendant bails on the market today, which means that you can easily achieve different pendant styles or designs as long as you find the right bail and, in other cases, glue. So, if you are not sure where to start, this article is right for you. Just keep in mind that the main types of pendant bails are the standard, slide, peg, glue bails, and enhancers.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.