The Search For The Right Clasp
When venturing out for a jewelry purchase, we tend to focus on the gems and the style and forget one of the most important components: the clasp.
While the clasp may not be the most noticeable component, it is the most functional when it comes to wearing a piece and securing it into place. In some cases, the clasp can also become a striking part of the design too.
Usually, a part of jewelry items such as necklaces, bracelets, and anklets, the clasp serves a far mightier function than simply clasping shut and improving aesthetics – it keeps your investment safe.
When going out for a grocery run, to a party, or a wedding, if you have your jewelry on you, the right clasp will ensure it stays in its place and does not fall accidentally.
Types of Clasps
Once you venture into the jewelry world, you will find an abundance of clasps gracing the jewelry items. While you can find yourself confused in such times, fortunately, you need not anymore.
Here is a guide to help explain what options are available and how to use them.
Spring Ring Clasp
A spring ring clasp is shaped like a ring and is opened by pulling back a lever on the ring. Inside the ring is a spring that is squeezed together when the lever is pulled. When the lever is let go, the ring can close over a jump ring attached to the other side of the chain, securing the piece in place.
The spring ring clasp is more suitable for necklaces and anklets made of daintier, smaller chains. Since it usually requires two hands to work the clasp, it is not recommended for bracelets or people who have dexterity issues, unless it is a larger-sized clasp.
Lobster Claw Clasp
The general design of this clasp resembles a lobster’s claw, hence the name, but the look can vary to suit different types of jewelry pieces. An arm of the clasp is opened and closed by a lever on the side due to a tiny spring mechanism in the clasp. The clasp is easier to open and close than a spring-ring and is appropriate for necklaces, bracelets, and anklets.
One of the most common styles of clasps, the trigger clasp looks and functions exactly like a lobster clasp, only it doesn’t have that lobster look.
With stylish features, this clasp is rounder, heavier, and usually more expensive. Therefore, it is better suited to heavy chains and bracelets, and can often be found on the nicest jewelry in the market. In fact, if you head over to your jewelry collection, you might just find this clasp on most of your jewels.
Another rendition of the trigger clasp, the Swivel Clasp is distinct in one of its offerings – it swivels!
With a base that allows 360° rotation, the swivel clasp is great for jewelry that tends to move around frequently.
Magnetic clasps can come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. Magnetic clasps use attracting magnets to lock two ends of a piece of jewelry together. Medium strength magnets are typically used to provide security when the piece is snapped together, but not too much force to make it impossible for the wearer to pull it apart. This is especially useful for bracelet wearers who have access to only one hand while putting a bracelet on or those with dexterity issues.
A toggle clasp usually consists of a t-shaped bar that fits through the middle of a circle or shape that is just smaller than the length of the bar. When the bar is turned, it is secured into place as it cannot fit through the hole at that angle. This design works best on heavier bracelet and necklace pieces as the weight helps keep the bar locked in place. Toggles often are incorporated more into the design of the piece as they can be more decorative than other clasps.
Hook and Eye Clasp
A hook and eye clasp is a very simple design that has a hook on one end of a chain and an opening on the other end that the hook latches onto. This type of clasp, like a toggle, is best for heavier necklaces or bracelets that can keep the hook engaged in place.
S Hook Clasp
These clasps are shaped like the letter S or a double-sided hook. To open and close to wear the jewelry piece you pull one curve open and then squeeze it back together to secure it.
Called ‘barrel’ for the look they create when closed shut, the barrel clasp is another distinct jewelry clasp.
While one end of the clasp is like a pointed screw, the other represents a barrel-like structure. The screw is placed into the barrel through a threading mechanism, and once the clasp is closed, it becomes secure and looks much like a barrel.
While this clasp is unique and certainly fashionable, it is not added to jewelry items that need to be worn with a single hand (such as a bracelet), since the clasp includes an intricate threading mechanism requiring both hands.
Fish Hook Clasp
A Fishhook clasp consists of an oval box on one end of a necklace and a hook on another end. To close and secure the clasp, you loop the hook over a small bar on the end of the oval box body and then push the hook inside the oval box. Once inside the box, the hook will expand slightly to lock in place. To undo the clasp, push the sides of the oval box while pulling the hook out. This loosens the hook but it is still in place, secured by the bar, so just unhook it to completely undo the clasp.
Fish hook clasps are ideal for pearl necklaces as they provide an extra safety system to keep them in place and can be very elegant to complete the pearl necklace design.
The Bolo Clasp
A clasp that is as fashionable and unique as it is easy for the wearer, the bolo clasp can mostly be seen as a part of necklaces and bracelets.
This form of the clasp includes a bolo in the form of a circular bead that holds the chains together and can be pushed towards the skin or pulled outwards to adjust the size of the bracelet or necklace according to the wearer. These kinds of clasps are also called sliding beads or sliding clasps.
Undoubtedly, the best feature of the bolo clasp is that it is self-adjusting and great for those who seldom find jewelry in their size and have to get it mended.
Bead claps generally work like fishhook clasps but instead of squeezing the sides, there are tabs at one side that squeeze together to release the clasp. They tend to be lightweight, decorative and are perfect for pearl necklaces.
Mostly found on tennis bracelets, a box clasp features an elegant design to allow easy securing of the jewelry.
Whether plain or embellished with beautiful gemstones, this clasp functions the same way: there is a little tab that is inserted into a frame that resembles a box and clasps shut to protect the jewel from falling off.
Slide Lock Clasp
The slide lock clasp is usually a bar or tubes set that slides into each other and lock in place. These types are also multi-strand clasps, great for bracelets or layered necklaces.