Types of Jewelry Clasps and Which Are the Best
If you're an avid jewelry lover then you probably know the most common types of clasps. But what you may not know are when or why certain types of clasps should or could be used. Sometimes clasps are chosen as the designers preference, but there are times that chosen clasps are more functional. While there are certainly more types of clasps out there but generally they're mostly variations on these common types.
A lever mechanism allows this clasp to lock onto an open loop or chain. Not everyone likes the look of a spring ring though, believing it to look “cheap” compared to the lobster clasp. However, quality jewelry will have secure spring rings that are just as sturdy. Spring rings can also be easier to maneuver compared to lobster clasps. You’re more likely to see spring ring clasps used on lighter jewelry pieces. The reason for this is because heavier pieces require larger spring rings and this can become rather clunky looking.
Like the spring ring clasp, a lobster clasp also contains a lever mechanism, however rather than a round shape lobster clasps are oval. Some styles of lobster clasps may swivel, others may look more like a figure 8 but despite the variety of appearances, lobster clasps are better suited for heavier pieces. Their weighted design handles heavier pieces more securely without needing to increase its size substantially unlike the spring ring. Lobster clasps like spring rings are very secure making them ideal in an all around way.
Hook and Eye
Sometimes also called hook and loop, this style of clasp closes just as it sounds; a hook catches onto a chain or loop. Hook and eye clasps are used for lightweight jewelry pieces. They are not as secure or effective when used on heavier pieces. These types of clasps can be incredibly decorative and they’re also cost effective. Hook and eye clasps can be easier to close compared to spring rings and lobsters since there’s no lever.
A ring paired with a connecting bar that when inserted into the ring will catch and hold. Toggle clasps like hook and eye clasps can be extremely decorative in design. Used for bracelets and anklets, toggle clasps are easier to close than levered clasps. Toggle clasps are not as secure as levered clasps, which is why they don’t make a great necklace clasp.
Magnetic clasps are usually round or barrel shaped and are closed by utilizing magnetic attraction. Magnetic clasps are an ideal clasp for those whose dexterity is no longer what it used to be. They can be used on all types of jewelry and are a secure closure. However, magnets can be demagnetized via high heat, shock, improper storage, and corrosion. So you’ll want to ensure you take proper care of your magnetic clasps to avoid this.
Barrel clasps or torpedo clasps screw into one another to create a secure closure. The obvious problem with screw clasps are they require two hands. Therefore, screw clasps can really only be used for necklaces and anklets. They’re the most cost effective type of clasp, which is why designers use them. Screw clasps can be used with any weight making it a style choice for designers.
When it comes to jewelry clasps, most of the decision is based on the designer preference and style. Certain styles are better than others when it comes to the weight of jewelry pieces. Spring ring, lobster and hook and eye clasps remain a favorite because of their security and cost and I don’t see that changing any time soon.