I recently bought a 22 and 30 gauge loop of magnetic wire from radio-shack. The loops of wire were colored differently (if this makes any difference) and on the package it noted how these wires were good for creating electromagnets. I bought these with the purpose of creating a small generator. I ran 3V on the 30 and 22 gauge wires and to my surprise; there was no current flowing. I know there was no current because I used a multimeter to check this. Also, when I replaced the wire with another I had, current flowed normally. What's wrong with magnetic wires? Why isn't current flowing through them?
There is a thin ("invisible") coating of insulator on this wire - this is actually what gives the wire its color (green, blue, red etc instead of "copper colored"). You can either scrape it off with the edge of a sharp knife, or burn it with a lighter etc. Until you do, it will appear not to conduct.
I happened to have a reel at home. According to the package the coating is "enamel" and there are instructions: