Updated date:

Types of Jewelry Clasps: List of Findings and Where to Buy Them

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

I'm not sure exactly what got me thinking about jewelry clasps one day. I started browsing Google hits for the subject and was surprised how limited the resources were. Most sites only cover 4-5 clasps (with almost no pictures or resources), which is a shame, because is such a wide variety out there. I was determined to do better than that for this hub.

I've included pictures of jewelry using all of the clasps that I describe in this article. I hope that these visuals help you to gain a better understanding of how the clasps work. If you want to see close ups of the clasps, click on the pictures to see the larger versions or visit the resource links.

Almost all of the clasps in this article are available in bulk on eBay. I only provided links for a few of them here, but I personally tested most of them. If you are planning to use large quantities of a few clasps, it's well worth purchasing them in bulk.

jewelry-clasps-comprehensive-list-with-resources

Lobster clasp

This simple, familiar clasp is perfect for a wide variety of jewelry pieces. It is not ideal for those with arthritis or for tighter bracelets that people will be fastening on themselves. I use them for a number of my charm bracelets and other button bracelets. They work well for necklaces, too. Typically I order my lobster clasps in mass quantities through eBay. Art Beads offers a neat, easier to operate double push lobster clasp. I've linked it below.

jewelry-clasps-comprehensive-list-with-resources

How to add clasp and jump ring to your jewelry

Toggle clasp

Typically toggle clasps are a little fancier than lobster clasps and are also easier to fasten. They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes (i.e. hearts, triangles, etc.). It can be a lot of fun to pick out a toggle with a perfect shape to match your piece. You can't go wrong with the classic round toggle, too.

This is a handmade ceramic button. I also frequently use plastic and metal buttons for clasps.

This is a handmade ceramic button. I also frequently use plastic and metal buttons for clasps.

Buttons

If you've been reading my hubs for a while now, you've probably noticed that I really love buttons. Buttons make wonderful clasps. You can use buttons with holes or shanks and that are made of different materials (plastic, ceramic, etc.). Typically I use buttons that are 1/2" or wider for clasps.

If you're like me and always on the look out for bulk buttons, check fabric/craft stores for bulk button bins and estate/second hand sales for old button jars.

Magnetic

Magnetic clasps are a wonderful option for those who want a very easy to operate closure. Be careful when constructing delicate pieces. Sometimes magnets are strong enough to pull them apart when you fasten or unfasten the bracelets. Many magnetic clasps are very simple, but there are some fancier options out there. I have a beautiful gold one on a strand of cream pearls.

Slide lock / tube bar clasp (pin clasp)

This clasp is ideal for multistrand pieces, such as the gorgeous crocheted piece on the right. It's very easy to operate.

jewelry-clasps-comprehensive-list-with-resources

Ribbon

A ribbon can make a wonderful finish for a bracelet or necklace. It isn't the most practical closure, but it can be very elegant. Ribbons come in a wide range of sizes and colors. Have fun browsing what's out there before you settle on one for your piece.

Check out Organza Bags, Ribbons, and Ric Rac by BeautifulAdditions on Etsy.

jewelry-clasps-comprehensive-list-with-resources

Beaded bead

Many beadweavers choose to use beaded beads as clasps for their bracelets and cuffs. Delicas work wonderfully for beaded beads. If you're not a beadweaver but are interested in using a beaded bead for one of your pieces, there are many available on Etsy as stand alone products. Search beadwoven beaded beads.

Part 2 Even Count Peyote Tubular Beaded Beads

Lanyard (spring) hook clasp

Hook clasps are used frequently for lanyards. Some hook clasps include a swivel. If you specialize in lanyards, consider investing in bulk clasps.

Push gate snap hook

This is another option for a lanyard clasp, especially for some of the non-beaded varieties as well as heavier weight pieces.

Spring ring clasp

If you wear necklaces, I'm sure that you've seen spring rings clasps. They are light and delicate, perfect for small chain necklaces. If you make jewelry that is in any way similar to the piece pictured on the right, this is a good clasp choice. Spring rings are not ideal for people who have arthritis or who have difficulty operating smaller clasps.

jewelry-clasps-comprehensive-list-with-resources

Barrel clasp

Barrel clasps are another popular necklace clasp. They are light and delicate. To work them, you simply screw the two sides of the barrel together, making them easier to operate than lobsters or spring rings.

S hook / S clasp (hook and eye)

Many jewelry makers who enjoy wire wrapping will make their own S hooks/clasps. This isn't my own preference for jewelry work, but I'm glad that there are people out there who enjoy it, because this is a very elegant clasp.

Box clasp

The box clasp has a simple locking system that comes apart when you squeeze and pull on the designated lever. Box clasps come in a variety of sizes and designs. Some are designed for multi stranded pieces.

Metals to consider include:

silver plated

sterling silver

copper

bronze

gold

pewder

Metals

There are a number of different metals to consider for claps. Most likely you will not be able to find all clasps in all metals, but many are available in multiple metals. Consider what will work best for your pieces. Currently silver and white gold are trendy, but they may not be the best fit for your particular items.

Other Materials

If you're looking to branch out from metal, consider the following materials: plastic (especially buttons), ceramic, stone, wood, and glass. Art Beads carries a number of glass buttons and toggles, including a wide variety of Swarovski buttons. There are lots of handmade ceramic buttons on Etsy. Two of my favorite ceramic shops on Etsy are LisaPetersArt and artisanclay.

Comments

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 08, 2014:

Vicki, I know, the variety is staggering! Thanks!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 08, 2014:

I didn't know there were that many clasps! I do know that some are more difficult than others. Neat hub!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 06, 2013:

That's great, pinto! Thanks.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on May 05, 2013:

Very nice ideas. I have bookmarked this hub, as I am going to show this to my wife who will surely love this.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 04, 2012:

That's great, Cyndi! Thanks. :)

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on October 04, 2012:

What wonderful information on the different types of clasps. I think my sis-in-law would love this as she does beading, but as a hobby. I'll share this. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 16, 2012:

Thanks!

DragonflyTreasure from on the breeze......... on June 16, 2012:

Very informative. Thanks for the indepth info. Voting up

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28, 2012:

Thanks so much ishwaryaa22! I'm so glad that this is helpful.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on March 28, 2012:

This is an insightful and well-researched hub on jewelry clasps. You provided helpful ideas on how to create these clasps using various resources, including your favorite buttons!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & interesting. Voted up.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 23, 2011:

Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 22, 2011:

This is one of my very favorite hubs! You have done an outstanding job. I love how you paired the photos with the text and even provided links to purchase various clasps. Thanks a million! Rated up and awesome and usefull!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 20, 2011:

Thanks Edi! That sounds like a great choice for a bracelet clasp!

Memories for Life Scrapbooks on May 20, 2011:

Great list! It's nice that there are so many options, especiall for different types of jewelry.

I have a friend that makes wire-wrapped bracelets and she makes a style similar to the S Hook and you just push the bracelet together and latch the hook...makes it so easy when you're putting on a bracelet by yourself!