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labster clasp box clasp slide clasp and barrel clasps are pictured with a background og black and white leaves blog post about the different types of clasps

Ten Types of Clasps

Clasps are an essential component of jewelry design. As a jewelry maker, I'm always weighing functionality versus aesthetics. A tiny clasp might look perfect on a delicate chain, but can the wearer use the clasp easily? If I opt for a big clasp, will the clasp be creeping to the front to take away the focal point of a pendant?  Often, there's no perfect answer. I sometimes get questions about clasps, so I created this list of the ten common types:

  1. Lobster Clasp: This is one of the most popular types of clasps, featuring a spring-loaded mechanism that opens and closes with a small lever. Lobster clasps are sturdy and secure, so they're ideal for necklaces, bracelets, and anklets.
  2. Spring Ring Clasp: Similar to lobster clasps, spring ring clasps have a spring-loaded mechanism for easy opening and closing. They're usually lightweight, so they're ideal for delicate jewelry pieces.
  3. Toggle Clasp: A toggle clasp consists of a bar that is inserted into a circular or oval-shaped loop to secure the jewelry in place. Toggle clasps can be very simple and sleek, or more ornate and decorative. So much so that they're often used as focal points in necklace and bracelet designs.
  4. Hook and Eye Clasp: This type of clasp features a hook on one end and a loop (eye) on the other end. The hook is inserted into the loop to fasten the jewelry. Hook and eye clasps are simple and secure. You'll usually see them used in necklace and bracelet designs.
  5.  Magnetic Clasp: Magnetic clasps, just like the name states, use magnets to fasten the jewelry together. They're popular for people with dexterity issues. However, they may not be suitable for heavy or valuable jewelry pieces. I've found that they aren't a good option for bracelets.
  6. Box Clasp: A box clasp consists of two parts: a box with a small tab or latch mechanism and a tongue that fits into the box to secure the clasp. Box clasps are often used in bracelet and necklace designs, especially those with heavier or more valuable gemstones.
  7. S-Hook Clasp: An S-hook clasp features a hook shaped like the letter "S" that attaches to a loop or ring on the other end of the jewelry. S-hook clasps are versatile and can be simple or ornate. They work well with necklaces or bracelets.
  8. Slide Clasp: Also called tube clasps or slide-lock clasps, these clasps consist of two pieces that slide together to secure the jewelry. They are often used in multi-strand bracelets and necklaces.
  9. Barrel Clasp: A barrel clasp looks like a barrel, though it’s sometimes called a torpedo clasp. The two pieces screw together to make a barrel shape. These are used for necklaces but can’t be used on a bracelet because they would be extremely difficult to connect.
  10. Fishhook Clasp: Fishhook clasps, also known as fishhook-and-extender clasps, have a curved hook that inserts into a loop or jump ring to fasten the jewelry. They are commonly used in necklace and bracelet designs, especially those with adjustable lengths.

The more folks know about how jewelry is made, jewelry terminology and materials, the better prepared they are to buy jewelry and be happy with their purchase.

Want to learn more about jewelry materials and techniques?
Explore Earrings: posts, ear wires and more
Explore Settings


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