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 measu...

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Jewelry Designer Slimpack Silver Metal Findings-12mm Lobster Clasp 4/Pkg

DARICE-Jewelry Designer: Slimpack Silver Metal Findings. Use these silver findings for a jewelry project to add a little something extra. This package contains two 2 piece big s...

$1.99  $1.40

Magnetic Barrel Clasp

Artistic Wire Beadalon 144-Piece Medium Barrel Clasp, Gold Plate

Beadalon Screw Clasps attach by screwing together. Loops are free to spin allowing design to maintain look. Barrel style provide a secure closure.

Only $28.61
14k Solid Y. Gold Fancy Barrel Clasp for Single Strand Bracelet Necklace .36 G

You'll get as pictured one new 14k solid yellow gold fancy barrel clasp for single strand pearl or beads necklace or bracelet. Weight: .36 gram.Size: 13.12 mm x 2.14 mm.Marking:...

Only $57.80

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

UnCommon Artistry 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...

$5.91  $5.29
Cousin Sterling Silver Twist Toggle - 1 Set

This high quality toggle set (ring and bar) is one of the most popular closures available. Use this toggle for a variety of daily uses in your necklace and bracelet designs. Pla...

Only $4.99
Shipwreck Beads Pewter Toggle Clasp, 16mm, Metallic, Antique Gold, 3-Set, 16-mm,

This toggle clasp is made of EPA certified lead-safe pewter. Attractively detailed toggle clasps compliment almost any style. Set comes complete with both bar color and toggle. ...

Only $9.23

Filigree Pearl Clasp

Filigree Pearl Clasp 14K Gold

14K Yellow Gold Filigree Pearl Clasp Great for Making Necklaces & Bracelets This is a new 14 karat yellow gold single strand filigree pearl clasp Great for making necklaces and ...

Only $31.44

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 93-65 Sew On Hook & Eye Closures Nickel 5/8-Inch, 4-Piece

Use the Dritz Sew-On Hook & Eye Closures to hold finished edges of your fabric and apparel projects together. These extra sturdy fasteners are ideal for waistbands on skirts and...

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Dritz 97-65 Coat Hook & Eye Closures, Nickel-Plated Brass 4-Count

Dritz extra-large hooks & eyes are sew-on fasteners for use on a variety of garments and accessories. They are perfect for holding finished edges of fabric together on skirts, p...

Only $2.29
SINGER 07400 Fastener Variety-Pack in Stackable Screw Top Container - 48 Hook & Eyes, 24 Sew-On S...

This variety pack of fasteners allows you to always be prepared to fix missing buttons, snaps and other fasteners with quick and easy replacements. Housed in a stackable, screw-...

Only $6.17

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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