The clasp on a piece of jewelry is likely the last thing you’re thinking about when putting on your favorite necklace or bracelet. For many people, they can actually be a point of frustration when putting on jewelry because they can be incredibly difficult to fasten. However, fine jewelry clasps are very important to ensure your jewelry stays tightly fastened to your body all day long. So, what are the different types of jewelry clasps and necklace closures on the market? Read on to find out.
1. Lobster Clasp
A lobster clasp is one of the most common and strongest jewelry clasps available and likely one you’ll notice on most pieces of your jewelry. It gets its name from its shape since the clasp gives the illusion of a lobster claw with the pinching style of the hook. To use this clasp correctly, you work the spring-loaded lever with your fingers to open the clasp, and you release the lever to close it.
Compared to other types of jewelry clasps, the lobster clasp offers greater security and can be a lot easier to open and close. Because the lever is spring-loaded, the clasp will automatically close on its own once pressure is released from the lever.
2. Barrel Clasp
This type of clasp, also called a torpedo clasp, gets its name from its appearance. A small barrel-shaped closure is used to fasten two ends of a chain together. It works through a threading mechanism, via a hook or screw, that will open and close when you twist it. When the clasp is twisted shut, it resembles a tiny barrel, like on this white gold diamond tennis bracelet.
These types of clasps are a safe option for most jewelry. They are known for being sturdy, and they come in different sizes to accommodate different pieces of jewelry. However, because of the twisting element involved with this clasp, they aren’t ideal for bracelets, as they’re difficult to do with one hand. They also aren’t ideal for people with dexterity problems.
3. Box Clasp
For this jewelry clasp, a tab is inserted into a tiny box that typically contains some sort of safety mechanism to keep the chain fastened securely. When closing a box clasp, you will likely hear it click securely in place. The small box may also have added side security to further reinforce the closure and keep two ends of a chain attached, as seen on this round diamond bracelet.
Some box clasps are created with a chain design that covers the box itself, so a necklace or bracelet will look endless. Unfortunately, this type of clasp is particularly heavy, so it’s more convenient for bigger chains.
4. Bolo Clasp
One of the less common jewelry clasps is a bolo clasp. These clasps are typically fashionable in appearance and work well for sliding necklaces and bracelets, such as this sterling silver bolo bracelet. They are made with a tiny bead that’s sturdy enough to hold the two sides of a chain together, which is how the jewelry stays fastened.
The reason that bolo clasps are so appealing is that they allow you to adjust the jewelry so it fits to your liking. They are more commonly used on bracelets since wrist sizes can vary drastically, and bracelets must be adjusted so they don’t slide off. The only disadvantage to bolo clasps is that thinner chains are more prone to breaking if the jewelry isn’t adjusted carefully.
5. Ball/Bead Clasp
A ball clasp is a spherical, round fastener that usually comes with a tab closure, allowing the two sides of a chain to be connected. The biggest advantage of this type of jewelry clasp is how it looks. Because it gives the appearance of an extra bead on a necklace or bracelet, this clasp can be both functional and decorative.
6. Fishhook Clasp
A fishhook clasp is a more delicate fastener with a longer hook, similar to what a fishhook looks like. To close the clasp, the hook is inserted into a decorative, oval encasing and hooked around a stopper bar on the inside. It then slides and clicks into place within the encasing, hiding the hook away and leaving behind a decorative element on any piece of jewelry.
Fishhook clasps are especially known for being used on pearl necklaces, although they are also becoming more popular on other types of jewelry. They are known for being relatively secure and are often used on more expensive pieces of jewelry because of their appearance.
7. Hook Clasp
A hook clasp uses a curved, S-shaped piece of metal that latches into a circle or loop on the other end of the chain. These jewelry fasteners are easy to use—especially with their hook-on, hook-off motion—and they range in style from lightweight to heavy, fancy designs. If there are multiple rings to latch into, the length of the jewelry can be adjusted as well.
Because this clasp is not necessarily securely fastened, it’s best used for heavier neckpieces that can hold the hook in place under their own weight.
8. Magnetic Clasp
Magnetic clasps are becoming increasingly popular since they tend to be much easier to use—especially for those with dexterity problems. Both ends of the chain contain a small magnet, and when placed near each other, the magnets snap together to fasten the jewelry shut.
This type of jewelry clasp is most ideal for necklaces. Bracelets tend to get caught on things while you’re using your hands, and if caught on the wrong thing, the magnetic clasp might tear open.
When considering a magnetic clasp, it’s best to consider the weight of the jewelry chain and pendant first. Heavier pendant pieces can put a tremendous amount of strain on a magnetic clasp, potentially forcing it to pull apart. Additionally, magnetics have the potential to weaken, so it’s important to take special care of the jewelry piece to ensure demagnetization can be avoided.
9. Toggle Clasp
A toggle clasp is a two-piece fastener that uses a decorative bar on one end of a chain and a circular hook on the other. To fasten the clasp, the decorative bar is inserted and slid vertically through the hook, then adjusted so that it lays horizontally. This creates a small lock that is mostly held in place by the weight of the necklace.
If a toggle clasp experiences a lot of movement, it may wiggle and come loose over time. It can also be rather bulky, so it’s not necessarily suited for smaller-sized chains.
10. Spring Ring Clasp
A spring ring clasp works similar to a lobster clasp in that a small lever is pushed down to open it, and then automatically shuts due to the spring-loaded fastener once pressure is released. These types of clasps are highly effective, although they are best used with light chains and pendants because of their delicate design. Spring ring clasps are very secure, but they can be a hassle to put on because of their small size.
With so many jewelry clasps and closures on the market, it can be difficult to find the one that’s right for you. Visit Noe’s Jewelry in Raymore, MO today to see how we can help you find the perfect jewelry piece that fastens to your liking. Contact us at 816-322-7227 to learn more.