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- How to Figure the Number of Rings Needed to Make a Byzantine Necklace
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## How to Figure the Number of Rings Needed to Make a Byzantine Necklace

Byzantium is the most popular and recognized weave in chainmail jewelry. There are many places to find patterns online, but most people struggle to figure out what size to use and how many rings are needed. It doesn’t help that many of the older patterns were written long ago when chainsmiths made their own rings using a cut-off shank from a screwdriver or a wooden dowel that actually shrank a little each time. They then placed their ring on the ruler and chose the nearest fraction for the size.

Today, rings are made a little more precisely. The special cores are ground to the exact millimeter by machine. Digital calipers give you an accurate reading. Quality sawn rings are sold by the troy ounce in hundreds of sizes. In fact, there are so many sizes that beginners are routinely confused by all the options, especially when trying to convert their pattern from the required fractions of an inch to the millimeter sizes that most chain ring companies use.

After much experimentation, the ideal sizes for Byzantine weaving were developed. Once you’ve decided which wire you want to work with, these recommendations can help you choose the right hoop size. But how much to buy? To answer this, you need some more information that only you can provide. How long do you want the chain? The next step in the formula is “How many loops are needed to knit an inch of chain”? To figure this out, you actually need to knit inches of chain and then count them. Fortunately, this step has already been done for you.

Now let’s get down to some simple math. The ideal ring size for a Byzantine 22 gauge is 2.25mm id and you need 40 rings to make an inch of chain. If you want a 20″ necklace, the formula would look like this: 20 (inches of chain) x 40 (rings per inch (rpi)) = 800 22ga/2.25mm rings.

To go up a gauge to 20, the ideal ring size is 2.75mm id and rpi 33. Again, I’m using a 20 inch chain as an example. 20 x 33 = 660 20ga/2.75mm rings.

If you want to use 18 gauge wire, you will want to order 3.5mm diameter rings and you will need 26 rings per inch. 20 x 26 = 520 18ga/3.5mm rings.

The most popular wire size for Byzantine is 16 gauge and 4.5mm id is the perfect size ring. At this size you need 20 rings per inch: 20 (chain length) x 20 (rings per inch) = 400 16ga/4.5mm rings.

With 14 gauge wire, you will move rings up to 5.5mm in diameter and 16 rings per inch. 20 x 16 = 320 14ga/5.5mm rings.

Note that this does not take into account the length of the clip. You should measure it and subtract that number from the length of your chain. Or leave it as margin for error in case you lose a ring or two.

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