Jewelry Findings: Choosing Clasps | Barrel, Hook and Eye, Toggle, Magnetic, Lobster

by lakeerieartists

This article is an introduction to the various types of clasps that you can use in jewelry design, and the pros and cons of each clasp.

One of the essential components of making jewelry is the clasp that joins two ends of a necklace or bracelet. There are many types of clasps that can be used for security, style, and ease of use.

This article is an introduction to the various types of clasps that you can use in jewelry design, and the pros and cons of each clasp. Most jewelry clasps are made of metal with some way to fasten the two ends. However, technically, you can make a jewelry clasp out of any material that will fasten together including ceramic clay, buttons, leather, or string.

Choosing the Right Clasp for Jewelry Designs

For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing metal clasps made of precious metals like silver or gold, and base metals like copper or brass. Jewelry clasps have evolved quite a bit over the many hundreds of years that humans have been making jewelry. Modern clasps add both function and design to jewelry. Some of the popular clasp styles are hook and eye, toggle, barrel screw clasps, and magnetic clasps.  For very expensive jewelry, safety clasps are still quite popular as well as an additional safety chain along side another clasp.


Gold or Silver Filigree Safety Clasps

filigree pearl claspIf you take a look at the picture of the clasp at the right, you will see a traditional filigree pearl safety clasp. This type of clasp is often used for pearls because pearls are heavy, and pull at the clasp through normal wear. This clasp can potentially open, but still stays locked because it has to open twice to come off. Even open, the hook remains fastened around the clasp. To make it even more safe, an additional safety chain can be added. This clasp is available in silver, gold, vermeil, or gold filled, and sometimes can be found in base metal.

Lobster Clasp

100 Silver Plated Jewelry Lobster Clasps Findings 10x6mm

100 Silver Plated Lobster Clasps Great for Making Necklaces & Bracelets. This is a new set of 100 silver plated lobster clasps. Great for making necklaces and bracelets. Each me...

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Beading Station 50-Piece Lobster Claw Clasps for Jewelry Making, 12mm, Gold

This item is for 50pcs of these shiny gold plated lobster craw clasps. Size are 12mmx7mm, with 2mm connector, can be link to chains or jump rings. The lobster clasp, also called...

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Magnetic Barrel Clasp

Shipwreck Beads Electroplated Brass Barrel Magnetic Clasp, 20mm, Metallic, Gunmetal, 3-Set

Super strong barrel magnetic clasps manufactured to meet strict industry standards. This is made from EPA certified lead safe, hypoallergenic brass plated with a variety of hypo...

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Buckets of Beads Barrel Clasp Charm Necklace Fits Pandora Troll Biagi Zable Beads, 20-Inch

20" inch barrel clasp necklace. Compatible with most major European style bead systems including Pandora, troll, bilge, Cham ilia, sable, kays jewelers and many more.

Only $12.99

Using a Lobster Clasp | Toggle Clasp

If you are making a bracelet, one of the two most popular bracelet clasps is a lobster clasp. The other popular choice is a toggle clasp.

Lobster clasps are very secure, and can safely be used on any type of bracelet, heavy or light, because they will not open until pressure. Bracelets are constantly moving, being rubbed, and tugged through normal wear and tear, so a lobster clasp is a good choice.

Many people prefer a toggle clasp because it is easier to get on and off, however, that also means that it is easier to fall off. So if you use a toggle, make sure that it fastens well, an that the bracelet is not too costly.

Toggle Clasp

Rockin Beads Brand, 100 Complete Antiqued Silver Pewter Toggle Clasps Small Loop Jewelry Findings

100 Complete Antiqued Silver Pewter Toggle Clasps Small (3/4 Inch) 11mm Loop 17mm Bar, Jewelry Findings

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Beadaholique Flower Toggle Clasps, 14mm, Silver, Set of 5

A wonderfully cost-effective and beautiful toggle clasp. Solid Brass with bright Silver Plating. Measurements: Ring side of clasp is 14mm in diameter, approximately 18mm long. B...

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Blue Moon Plated Metal Toggle Clasps, Detailed Leaf Gold, 5/Pkg

Plated Metal Toggle Clasps. These clasps are too pretty to be just another clasp. Great to use for hanging pendants, clusters of beads, charms and much more. Available in a vari...

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Filigree Pearl Clasp

Beadalon Filigree Clasp 2 Strand Nickel Free Silver, Plated, 5-Piece

Sharply detailed higher quality Filigree Clasps for double and triple strand designs give a definitive flair to multi-strand pearl and bead designs.

Only $4.00

Using Magnetic Clasps

Magnetic clasps have become quite popular in the last few years, and they make a good choice for older customers who have more trouble getting a bracelet or necklace on and off. However, be careful when buying magnetic clasps because they need to have strong magnets to stay on when people are wearing them, and they do not work well for heavier jewelry.

Magnetic clasps are magnets so they will stick to other metal objects, and can affect anything that is affected by a magnet like a computer.

Hook and Eye Clasp

Dritz Hooks & Eyes Nickel Size 2

Hooks and eyes are a staple for anyone's sewing basket.

$2.29  $0.11
Dritz 93-65 Sew On Hook & Eye Closures Nickel 5/8-Inch, 4-Pack

It's easy!Sew hook to underside of overlap. Position at least 3/8" from edge of overlap. Whipstitch between hooks to secure in place. Insert eye in hook with bend facing up. Pos...

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Dritz Sew On Size 2 (3/8") Hook & Eye Closures, 14 Hooks, 7 Straight Eyes & 7 Round Eyes, Black S...

Black Hooks & Eyes 14-Pk: Size 2

$2.29  $2.00

Box Clasps and Tube Clasps

If you are looking to join a several stranded bracelet or necklace, the most useful clasps to use are box clasps or tube clasps. These come with two or more rings on each side of the clasp for joining the strands together.

Box clasps are similar to the pearl filigree clasps above in that they have a built in safety, but tube clasps fasten tightly and do not normally come undone readily so they are a good choice also.

Whichever clasp you use, make sure that it is the right size, dimension, and right type of clasp for your jewelry design, then you will feel confident in adding it to your bracelet or necklace.

Are you new to metal clay? Metal clay is a clay form of precious metal that you can use to create jewelry. Metal clay is available in gold, silver, copper, and brass.
In the last year, metal stamping, embossing, and embellishing has become a new technique that is catching on with jewelry hobbyists.
Updated: 10/02/2014, lakeerieartists
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