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Hardness [hahrd-nis]

Hardness is the property in metal that resists bending. Soft metals are pliable and easy to bend. Hard metals are stiff and hard to bend. The hardness of metals can be changed by heat treating the metal in a process called annealing or by simply hammering the wire in a process called work hardening. Typically, jewelry wire is measured as either Full Hard (very stiff), Half Hard (stiffer than dead soft but more pliable than hard) or Dead Soft (very fine and pliable). Use a hard wire for making jewelry that will go through a lot of wear but won't shape easily. Use half-hard wire when making sharp angles or for wire wrapping. Use dead soft wire for making spiral shapes and circles.

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