Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Terminology: 4 Types of Jewelry Clasps

When shopping for necklaces, bracelets or anklets, you will see many different types of clasps that connect your jewelry piece together. Today we are going to look at 4 of the clasps and explain their workings so you can recognize them when shopping and find the best clasp for your usage. Later we will have a follow up article to fill out the variety of clasps used.

Clasps are jewelry fasteners used in neck chains, bracelets and anklets to fasten one end of the chain to the other end of the chain. There are many different styles and shapes of jewelry clasps and they can be found in a wide variety of metals. Some clasps are purely functional and others are functional and decorative within the overall design of the jewelry piece.

1. Hook & Eye Clasps - These types of clasps are very easy to use and consist of a hook shaped piece of metal that slides into the eye shaped (figure-8 shaped) clasp. You will mostl see this style of clasp used in necklaces and bracelets and not often used in anklets.

2. Lobster Claw Clasps - This style of clasp consists of a lobster claw shaped hook/clasp that is often connected to a ring made from metal. A lot of people prefer a lobster claw clasp as they are easy to operate and are very secure. This is a great clasp for heavy, big & bold or chunky style jewelry that weighs more than a light-weight simple chain.

3. C-Ring/Spring-Ring Clasps - This style of clasp features a c-shaped ring that is spring-loaded and simply hooks into a matching o-ring but you can also find them hooking into a variety of other shapes like ovals and squares too.

4. Box Clasps - This clasp consists of two parts, the box or housing part and the tongue part which slides into the box/housing part to secure both ends of your chain together. Sometimes you will see this type of clasp used with a figure 8 safety-catch for added clasp security.

These 4 clasps are readily available on many of your favorite jewelry pieces. Identify the ones that work best for you so you can remember them when shopping next time.

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