What’s the catch!!
Anyone else get confused from your lobster claw to your mystery clasp?
At Blue and Grey we have created a helpful little guide through the most popular clasps to help you choose the best fastening for you…
Whichever jewellery you are choosing, one important aspect that most people overlook is the clasp, a feature that is absolutely essential when it comes to putting your jewellery on or taking it off!
How many times have we made a beloved jewellery purchase only to find that we constantly struggle when trying to fasten or unfasten the clasp, eventually resigning our treasured pieces to the back of the jewellery box or drawer.
Let’s take a moment to look at some of the most popular clasps and how easy and effective they are to wear.
By far the most favoured clasps are either the Spring ring or lobster claw, these clasps are relatively easy to secure and are common place on both necklaces and bracelets, the basic design dates back to the 1840’s. Both the spring ring and lobster claw offer a high level of security once fastened correctly and can look quite discreet once in place, many contemporary designers choose to make them attractive and part of the design. The clasps can be opened by sliding a small tab which in turn moves part of the catch to form a small opening, giving enough space to attach the securing ring on the opposite end and holding the necklace or bracelet securely. The downside to this type of catch is both the users dexterity and eyesight, as both can cause problems during fastening and unfastening.
Toggle clasps are again a popular choice for both necklaces and bracelets. They are made up of a circular or shaped ring on one end of the jewellery piece and a small toggle on the other, the toggle is simply feed through the ring and straightened to form a lock. These clasps are easy to use as the openings are normally quite large and for the most part are fairly safe. However, occasionally the toggle can manage to make its way back through the ring causing the fastening to come apart.
Hook and eye or S hook clasps are mainly found on necklaces or heavier pieces of jewellery, these traditional fastening date back well before the 1800’s and are a reasonably effective way to fasten jewellery. They work by looping the hook through the eye to form a link similar to the process described for the toggle clasp, decorative hooks and eyes can also form part of the overall jewellery design. The downside is the risk that the hook and eye may slide apart risking the potential loss of your jewellery piece, although this combination is safer than the toggle clasp overall.
A fish hook clasp consists of a proportional large hook on one side of the jewellery piece and a normally oval box on the other. To fasten the jewellery, the hook is inserted into the box and locked inside by a spring mechanism. This type of clasp is a safer option than the hook and eye or S hook clasp because the hook is securely held inside the box. These clasps can however be quite difficult to fasten and require some dexterity, although once in place are incredibly secure.
Magnetic clasps are formed with two small magnets in either side of the jewellery connections, thus when the two are pushed together they form a bond which is not easily broken. This type of clasp can be found on both necklaces and bracelets and are a popular choice when either dexterity or eyesight is a problem as the magnets tend to correctly position themselves once connected. The downside of course is that if forcefully pulled the magnetic clasps will come apart with a risk of losing the jewellery piece if unnoticed.
Snap shut clasps are most commonly used on watches and bracelets. They are usually formed by using a small metal tongue with a tiny tab, which holds the tongue in place once fitted in position on one side and a box section, which the tongue fits snuggly into on the other side. Once in place the two pieces snap shut to form a solid connection, but can be released again by depressing the tab. They are relatively ease to use and once correctly in place are very secure. The box section of the clasp is not usually very visible making this an ideal fastening on both bracelets and watches.
Barrel or mystery clasps are fastened with a small screw threaded into the barrel part of the clasp, circa 1890’s. These are a very safe way to secure both necklaces and bracelets and the barrels if decorated can form part of the overall style of the jewellery piece. Depending on the size of the clasp they can be a little fiddly to fasten but once in place are very secure. Designers often choose these clasps for jewellery designs using diamonds and pearls because the clasp can be integral to the design and form an extremely secure fastening.
We hope this has been a useful tour through some of the most popular jewellery clasps and catches. But don’t forget to remember and save any future disappointment, a little bit of thought before you make that important purchase could make all the difference…
April news from Blue and Grey HQ
I am not quite sure the weather yet knows we are in April but fingers crossed we will be enjoying some blue skies and warmer temperatures soon. At B&G we are extremely delighted to be introducing some new Boho Betty clutch bags to our SS18 range, with exciting funky styles and colour these will be in stock from early April, so checkout or Instagram and Facebook links for delivery updates.
Until next month, enjoy some savvy springtime shopping.
Happy, sunny days await.