While DIY jewelry makers are often preoccupied with the cord and designs of their pieces, many consider the clasp as an afterthought, even if it is one of the most important parts of any piece of jewelry.
Jewelry clasps are more than just functional – they make it possible for a piece of jewelry to be useful for the longest possible period because if you can’t lock a piece of jewelry in place, it is going to end up in some drawer or jewelry box.
There are many types of clasps for different projects – explore them and find the ones that are best suited for what you are creating at the moment. If you are practicing with different kinds of jewelry, you can even make repairs later on with new clasps, if you happen to have old jewelry that has broken clasps.
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Types of Jewelry Clasp
Lobster clasps look a lot like the claws of the crustacean, and it has a basic locking mechanism held together by a small spring. There is a small lever on one side, and you can either open or close it by pulling and releasing this clever lever.
The lobster clasp is one of the oldest and most recognizable clasps for jewelry, and they can be used for different kinds of projects, from necklaces to bracelets of all sizes.
Lobster clasps have many variations, and some of them have a built-in swivel attached. Swivels are sometimes added by the manufacturers for jewelry that tend to roll around like anklets. The extra swivel feature allows the clasp to roll about its axis freely, without twisting or snagging the jewelry itself.
While effective, many people indeed find it difficult to put on jewelry with lobster clasps, so please do bear this in mind if you are designing a piece of jewelry that is either too light or too heavy, as the weight of the jewelry may make it harder for the user to lock the bracelet or necklace in place.
However, based on experience, clasps like the lobster clasp are better for bracelets and other jewelry that are heavier, because they can secure the jewelry well, and there is almost no risk of the jewelry breaking away at any point in the day unless there is a lot vibration or rough movement involved.
Spring Ring Clasps
Spring ring clasps operate almost the same way as lobster clasps, the only difference is that there is a metal ring that can be controlled by a lever and a spring. When you pull on the tiny lever, the spring compresses, and a gap emerges.
This gap is where you latch on the lock. This is a secure close type of clasp that can be used on a variety of different types of jewelry. Like the lobster clasp, it takes a little dexterity to get the clasp to open and close, so keep this in mind when designing and attaching this clasp to your DIY jewelry.
Toggle clasps are made of a T-shaped piece of metal and matching locking bar with a hole in the middle. So what you do is you slip the T-shaped metal into the hole and straighten it out so the longer bar prevents this part of the clasp from slipping back easily. The T-shaped metal locks the jewelry in place.
If you are using this, make sure that you opt for clasps with a longer T piece so it won’t be easy for the locking T-bar to slip past the ring. The locking bar should be just right so the user won’t have any trouble locking and removing the jewelry whenever he/she wants to. This type of closure is ideal for all kinds of jewelry as well. They’re fashionable and decorative, which is why they are also popular.
Magnetic clasps work by magnetism, and while manufacturers try to put reliable magnets on jewelry, this type of closure is not secure and it can be easy to lose jewelry this way. Also, the conventional magnets used in magnetic clasps may be less favorable for wearers who have pacemakers, as the magnets may disrupt the activity of the pacemaker. Magnetic clasps are ideal for bracelet constructions, mainly.
Push clasps or button clasps are so named because they are round and look every part like buttons. Push clasps have a simple mechanism. After attaching one end of the clasp to your jewelry, you simply create a seed bead loop so the button can be cloaked in place. Just make sure that the loop on the other end is big enough to accommodate the button locker, and you will be all set.
Unlike the previous clasps we have reviewed, this type of clasp is relatively easy to put on even when you are alone. Additionally, there is plenty of variety when it comes to these clasps, and the variety will surely make your DIY jewelry attractive. A most excellent choice for people who suffer from allergies from common metals, as these people will not be able to wear metal clasps as skin allergies tend to flare quickly when the sensitive skin is in contact with most metals, except the hypoallergenic ones like gold and titanium, which will be more expensive than the common jewelry clasps that we have reviewed here.
Glue-in clasps are tubular locks for jewelry that can accommodate the tips of the cords of a bracelet or necklace. Glue can be applied after. Glue-in clasps come in many different varieties, and many of them have a spring-loaded locking mechanism that can be pushed down to free one end of the clasp when the jewelry is being removed. The more rounded styles of glue-in clasps are perfect for Kumihimo-type jewelry.
Multi-strand clasps operate with spring locks and slide locks, depending on the type that you have. These are best used on beadwork that requires multiple clasps on the same cord.
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