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From Toggles to Clasps, What to Use on Your Jewelry

From Toggles to Clasps, What to Use on Your Jewelry main article image
Posted on March 1, 2022 by Lyndsey Drooby

There are so many styles of clasps and toggles to finish off a piece of jewellery. Some are of a simple design meant for the necessity to close off a necklace or bracelet, and some can feature an intricate design that can be a featured statement on the piece. Clasps and toggles can definitely add elegance and sophistication while also making an impact on the strength and durability of the jewellery. Let’s take a look at some of the various jewellery closures and what fits best when making your own jewellery. 

Typically, jewellery pieces that require a clasp are necklaces, bracelets and anklets. When designing jewellery, consider the size and style of the piece depending on beads, accents, charms and the overall style you’re going with. A modern clasp may not fit the look if you’re recreating a vintage-style piece. 

The Most Well-Known Clasps

The most popularly used clasp is the lobster claw clasp. Named as such because it is shaped like a lobster claw. To open, there is a small lever that will open and close the claw. Since they are spring-loaded, the best feature is that they are self-closing. These are popular due to their secure feature of keeping the jewellery piece together and the ease of putting on and removing the jewellery. The size of the lobster claw should go along with the size of the jewellery. Smaller beads, smaller chains, smaller lobster clasp. 

A cousin to the lobster claw in the swivel clasp, which is a lobster claw clasp with a swivel piece connected that allows a full 360-degree rotation. Great for pieces that require any sort of movement, or are used when making keychains. 

Another spring-loaded clasp is the spring ring, which is another recognizable closure clasp, usually seen on much more delicate pieces. The spring ring is a small circle with an even smaller lever to open the circle. Like the lobster claw, they are also self-closing. They are best used for small chains and seed-beaded pieces. The one disadvantage is that being that most of these spring rings are quite small, they can be annoying to put on and take off. 

Non-Traditional Clasps and Toggles

There are numerous other styles of clasps that fulfil and particular function of a piece of jewellery such as bolo clasps. Bolo clasps are perfect for sliding bracelets and necklaces. They can tighten and loosen a piece, allowing ease of wearing. The clasp can also be adjusted so when you are wearing it, you can adjust the tightness or looseness to your liking. The designs of bolo clasps are so versatile that they can play a central role in a piece, such as a necklace that can change a whole look of how it can look when worn. 

Barrel clasps, also known as torpedo clasps because of their shape, work by being twisted to open and close using the threaded end of one side of the closure into a hollowed threaded end. When twisted closed, the entire clasp should fully resemble a barrel and keep the jewellery securely in place. 

Barrel clasps are not the best option for bracelets because the ends require both hands to open and close. However, for necklaces, barrel clasps do offer sturdiness and safety. 

Box clasps work by inserting a small tab into a box-shaped piece. There is usually a hinged clasp that covers the opening. With their detailed design, they can be a part of the jewellery’s design as a focal piece or to finish off an elegant piece like a diamond bracelet. They can be simple or embellished with gemstones or other decorative elements that fit specific styles from modern to vintage. Box clasps are sturdy for quality pieces of jewellery but are not best-suited for heavy jewellery. The little tab, over time, can wear down or bend and will no longer fit securely into the boxed end. 

Clasps That Can Make a Statement

Bead or ball clasps are round in design and often have a tab or bayonet closure. The benefit of bead clasps is how they look. They can seamlessly be a part of the design of the jewellery, especially on a beaded piece. 

Fishhook clasps are not as common as other types of clasps. They have been mostly used on vintage pieces of jewellery. They are quite elegant against an older string of pearls with their elegant design. Seen as an oval-shaped box of an intricately scrolled design or covered in stones or any inlay work, the opposite end features a hook-shaped piece that goes into the box. In modern pieces, or when repurposing a vintage piece, a fishhook clasp is perfectly used for lightweight necklaces and bracelets. 

The less-detailed version of a fishhook clasp in the hook clasp. It is an S-shaped piece of metal that hooks into a ring. Also seen on vintage pieces, these S-hooks can latch on to other parts of the jewellery piece—such as a necklace—with an extended chain to adjust the length of the jewellery. Hook clasps are sturdy, made of a simple design but serve their purpose very well. 

Clasps that close with the use of magnets are utilized for their ease of opening, closing and overall strength and security. Depending on the design, the magnetic clasp can be a part of the jewellery’s design like other clasps, as their size and shape can be a featured motif. Magnetic clasps can look like round beads or barrel-shaped pieces to offer that seamless look. Magnetic clasps have grown more in jewellery design or have even replaced some of the forms of clasps for people with dexterity issues. 

All About the Toggle

The final clasp style is the toggle, which has been manufactured to fulfil any style of jewellery you are making. The toggle is a long, thin bar that is inserted into a circle vertically and then adjusted rest horizontally. The bar acts as the lock and cannot be undone until the bar is readjusted to feed through the circle. 

Toggle clasps are stylish and can create a real statement on jewellery from a boho style to an elegantly chunky beaded piece. The size of toggles varies so you can use these for large beads, small beads, different widths of chains and more. They are best used for heavier pieces as the bar held in place offers tension when wearing the piece, particularly a necklace. 

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