Here's an Exclusive List of the Different Types of Jewelry Clasps

Type of jewelry clasp - lobster claw
A jewelry clasp fastens the two ends of any piece of jewelry that adorns the body. You'll find clasps in bracelets, anklets, and necklaces, and they come in different shapes and sizes. Buzzle throws light on the many types of jewelry clasps.
Did You Know?
Among the different types of jewelry clasps, the hook and s-hook clasps are the most common.
Have you ever closely observed how your anklet or bracelet fastens around your wrist or ankle? Have you noticed the way the two ends are held together using different locking mechanism or clasps? Well, if you love jewelry, then you probably would have. Various clasps are used to fasten jewelry, and some of them are more common, if not exclusive, to only a particular piece of jewelry. For example, lobster clasps are far more common on necklaces than on bracelets and anklets.

Now, if you're wondering what's the purpose of having so many different designs of clasps when all of them serve the same purpose, then you're in for a surprise―different types of clasps offer different levels of security. What's more, not all of them are equally easy to operate, which makes some of them unsuitable for use in bracelets where one has to open or close the clasp using only one hand.

If you're an aspiring jewelry designer, or simply love to transform your creative ideas to fine jewelry, knowledge about the different types of clasps that exist, will only make it easier for you to incorporate them in your designs to enhance their look and utility. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the different types of clasps used in jewelry.
Box Clasp
Box clasps consist of two pieces―one is shaped like a wedge that can be compressed, and the other is shaped like a box. There is a slit in the box through which the lower part of the wedge-shaped end projects out and acts as an external lever. To open the clasp, one has to press the external lever, which compresses the wedge and it slips out. However, closing the clasp is easy, and all you need to do is press the wedge into the box-shaped end, and it clicks shut. Box clasps are of medium strength, and good for lightweight bracelets or necklaces, but are not meant for ones that are heavy.
Box Clasp
Hook Clasp
Perhaps the simplest clasp you'll find is the hook clasp, which is otherwise known as fish hook clasp or hook and eye clasp. One end of the clasp consists of a simple ring, while the other end is shaped like a hook. To fasten, just slip the ring into the hook and you're done! Hook clasps can be simple or carved with intricate designs. You'll find them in different metals, including gold and silver. Some might find hook clasps a bit difficult to operate with one hand.
Hook Clasp
The problem with hook clasps is that the hook can easily slip out of the ring. A possible solution to this is to reduce the opening of the hook by pressing it after having it slipped into the ring. Hook clasps are of medium strength, and are mostly used in bracelets and fine necklaces.
Toggle Clasp
The toggle clasp is yet another clasp with a simple design, and can be easily fastened using one hand. It consists of a ring at one end, and a T-shaped straight bar at the other. To fasten the clasp, one must insert the bar into the ring. While you'll find toggle clasp rings in different shapes, such as oval and heart-shaped, the classic toggle clasp has a circular ring. These are fancy clasps and are more than just an attachment―they are often crafted to merge with the design of the piece of jewelry and enhance its look. The toggle clasps are more secure than hook clasps, but are more suited for anklets and bracelets. However, you might find them in necklaces as well.
Toggle Clasp
Lobster Claw Clasp
As the name suggests, classic lobster claw clasps are shaped like the claws of a lobster, but you can find them in a host of other shapes. As you can see in the image above, a lobster claw clasp has a lever, and you must press the lever down to open the clasp. It incorporates a spring mechanism, and the action of the spring keeps the clasp from opening when the lever is held up. Lobster claw clasps are quite easy to operate with one hand, and these clasps are commonly used in necklaces, bracelets. They are generally more expensive than the more simple clasps. One of the most secure clasps out there, lobster claw clasps are strong enough for the heaviest of necklaces and secure enough for bracelets.
Lobster Claw Clasp
Spring Ring Clasp
Spring rings have a mechanism that is similar to the lobster claw clasps, but are in the shape of a ring. The clasp has a lever that has to be pushed down to compress the spring, which opens the clasp. The other end consists of a loop that has to be inserted inside the spring ring. Spring ring clasps are inconspicuous and can easily blend into the design. These clasps are ideal for use in delicate pieces of jewelry, where using a big clasp can hamper the look and elegance. They are less expensive than lobster claw clasps, but can be difficult to operate with one hand. The spring ring clasp is as secure as the lobster claw clasp, and is ideal for necklaces and bracelets. Though, it is not commonly used in anklets.
Spring Ring Clasp
Barrel Clasp
Commonly used in necklaces, barrel clasps are simple clasps that work on the nut and bolt mechanism. You have one half of the barrel that has internal threads that accommodates the other half that has external threads. Now, one half has to be rotated to close the clasp. Since these clasps cannot be operated using one hand, they are not suitable for use in bracelets. These clasps are commonly available in gold, silver, and other metal finishes, and you can choose one that best complements the look of the piece of jewelry in question. Barrel clasps are quite secure, and are ideal for necklaces of different kinds.
Barrel Clasp
S-Hook Clasp
S-hook clasps are another type of simple clasp that consists of one end that is shaped like the letter 'S', while the other end has a ring attached to it. To unfasten the clasp, one has to remove the ring from the 'S' on the other end. The s-shaped hook looks elegant and complements most designs. This is the type of clasp that you're most likely to find on anklets, though it is used in bracelets and necklaces as well. S-hook clasps are fairly secure, but there's a probability that the ring might slip out of the hook.
S-Hook Clasp
Tube / Bar / Pin Clasp
These clasps are designed for multi-strand pieces, and consist of a hollow tube and a bar that can pass through the tube. To close the clasp, one has to pass the bar through the entire length of the tube. Also known as slide lock clasp, this is commonly used in bracelets that are designed with two or more strands, and is easy to operate. You'll also find some varieties of the clasp that have the tube divided into five parts, with two parts of it attached to one end and the other three parts attached to the other. Tube/bar clasps are secure enough to support multi-strand pieces, but there's always the possibility of the bar slipping out.
Tube / Bar / Pin Clasp
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Magnetic Clasp
Magnetic clasps come in a wide range of designs, and hence, offer you a wide scope for creativity. These clasps have a magnet at one end and a magnetic material at the other, and it is the magnetic force of attraction that keeps the two ends fastened together. The biggest advantage of these clasps is the ease of use. You can also find them in an array of designs and finishes. However, you need to select the strength of the magnet carefully, depending on the weight of the piece of jewelry. Needless to say, stronger magnets come for a higher price. Magnetic clasps can offer great security, provided you choose the magnet well.
Magnetic Clasp
Button Clasp
This type of clasp is used in weaved or crochet jewelry. While one end of the clasp has a button or fastener made of plastic, fabric, or wood, the other end forms a loop. To fasten the clasp, one has to slide the button or fastener through the loop. Button clasps are used in thread jewelry as the clasp is lightweight. The use of metal clasps can damage the delicate thread used in making it. This clasp is easy to use and can be comfortably operated with one hand. Button clasps are secure enough to support thread bracelets, but one should ensure that the button fits snugly into the loop and does not slip out easily.
Button Clasp
In addition to the ones stated above, there are other lesser known clasps, such as lanyard snap hooks, and push gate snap hooks. So, the next time you design or choose a statement piece, pay attention to the clasp that not only adds to its beauty but also functionality. Good luck!
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