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07/05/2015

Jewelry-Making DIY Basics - What is a Pearl Clasp?



New jewelry designers will come up to speed faster when they earn the terminology of different jewelry-making components.  Find the right components quicker, project professionalism to potential customers, and enhance your jewelry making credibility by using correct terminology.

Definition of Jewelry Findings

In the jewelry industry, "findings" are components of jewelry less than a finished piece.

 Definition of Clasp

A jewelry clasp is a jewelry finding of two or more pieces designed to connect the free ends of a necklace, bracelet or anklet.  Clasps differ from S-hooks, hook-and-eye closures and toggles in that there is a lock established between the two ends of the jewelry piece that is more positive than pinching an S-hook and hook-and-eye closed or putting a safety chain on a toggle closure.

What is a Pearl Clasp?

A pearl clasp originated as a finding for strands of pearls, although now they may connect a single strand or multiple strands of pearls, beads, or jewelry chain.

A pearl clasp has at least two parts - a body or "box", plus an insert that locks into the body, sometimes called a "bracelet tongue".  The body may be simple - a polished rectangle with at least one jump ring on the end opposite the bracelet tongue - or it may be very fancy with filigree patterns or corrugation.  The clasp's insert may be a hook that needs to fit around a pin before locking into the body or it may be a folded insert pushed directly into the clasp.  The number of jump rings on the bracelet tongue should match the number of jump rings on the body.

Some pearl clasps also have additional safety provided by a figure eight and a pin.  The figure eight, which looks more like a pop bottle, attached to one side of the clasp will click over a pin fastened to the second side of the clasp.

Pearl Clasp Materials

Pearl clasps of the noble metals - gold, silver and platinum - have traditionally been used.  In recent years, pearl clasps have become available to the DIY Jewelry market in brass plated with silver, gold, antique copper, antique brass, gunmetal, imitation rhodium and nickel.

 

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