I think I've found the perfect wire gauge for hoop earrings - 2mm. This is just my opinion and probably many would disagree! But..................I've made hoop earrings from various gauges from 20g/0.8mm (big no there, way too flimsy) to 1.5mm and 2mm definitely feels just right. It forms sturdy feeling hoops that don't bend out of shape but aren't too heavy so are nice and comfortable to wear.
I've always loved hoop earrings and I am wearing a pair right now. I've often seen the handmade hoops made from 20g/0.8mm wire with the hammered bottom section and thought they looked cool. These are the one's where you form a loop on one end and the hook on the other end of the wire. I did make a pair a long time ago but soon realised that they were much too flimsy and would easily bend out of shape as you tried to fasten them. I tried the same in 18g/1mm which were a bit sturdier but the 1mm wire was too big for the holes in my ears and actually hurt to wear so that idea was shelved. Reluctantly.
I've made various hoops since with complete hoops and separate ear wires and have always felt vaguely dissatisfied with them. They were fine but still not quite robust enough for what I wanted so when I made some hoops from some 2mm sterling wire I bought recently I was really pleased that they turned out how I wanted.
I made three different designs - one with a copper and silver etched disc dangling from the bottom ~
The second pair has a small silver heart that I cut out from sheet and soldered to a backing of copper before soldering to the bottom of the hoop. Making the heart was fiddly, I seem to have this perverse desire to make very small things and make life hard for myself! The ring clamp I sometimes use to hold things for filing wouldn't grip the tiny hearts so I did a lot of fumbling and managed to file part of my finger while I was finishing them :D
The wooden box is one of two I picked up from a local discount store. They were plain pine so I decided to stamp and stain them. They were sitting on the table when I was photographing the earrings earlier today and I thought they might be ok for the "dangle" shot so I tried them and I think they look alright and a change from the usual bright green vase/leather pen holder I normally use. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with the boxes, what I'm going to put in them or even where I'm going to put them but I like them!
The third pair of hoops have a leaf shape in etched silver soldered to the bottom. The etched silver sheet was only 24g/0.6mm which would have been a bit thin on it's own so I soldered it to a base of 20g/0.8mm and trimmed the edges. Soldering the jump rings to the top was a bit stressful as I still struggle with the small fiddly bits but it got better after the first one. There was only a little bit of swearing this time.........