Come up to speed faster as a jewelry designer when using correct terminology for different jewelry-making components. Locate the right findings faster, converse with suppliers intelligently and boost your credibility in the jewelry making marketplace.
What are Jewelry Findings?
A jewelry components less than finished pieces are called “jewelry findings” or just “findings”.
What is a Clasps?
To connect the ends of a necklace, bracelet or anklet, you may use a jewelry clasp, toggle, s-hook or hook-and-eye closure. A jewelry clasp is different from toggles, s-hooks and hook-and-eye closures in that they provide a lock between the two ends of the jewelry by using two or more pieces. The connection is more secure than pinching an s-hook or hook-and-eye finding closer together or putting a safety chain on a toggle.
What is a Pearl Clasp?
Pearl clasps originated with pearl jewelry. Now, pearl clasps 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 number of jump rings on the bracelet tongue should match the number of jump rings on the body — one set of rings per strand. Designs come in simple polished metal, corrugated metal, filigrees, “bullseyes” or other fancy pattern. The bracelet tongue may push directly into the body or may need to be inserted around an intermediate pin that provides some safety if the clasp becomes undone accidentally.
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 have traditionally been made of precious metals – gold, silver and platinum. In the DIY Jewelry market, pearl clasps of sterling silver, gold-filled or brass plated with silver, gold, antique copper, antique brass, gunmetal, imitation rhodium and nickel are common.
Pearl clasps come in a wide variety of shapes, designs and prices. One who learns what pearl clasps are and how they are used will project a professional knowledge and attitude when making jewelry.