All About Clasps and Ear Wires. Every piece of jewelry deserves a perfect beginning or ending. As a stunning focal piece, a hidden closure or something in between, clasps are an integral part of every one of my designs, as well as the hooks I use for my earrings. Here are descriptions of some of the ones I use when making jewelry.
Lever Back, Hook Ear Wires and Hoops are the varieties of gold-plated, sterling silver, silver-plated and surgical steel earwires that I use to create my earrings.
Bar and Ring Toggle Clasps
Bar-and-Ring Toggle Clasps are two-piece clasps. One piece is formed into a loop (usually a circle, but sometimes other shapes such as stars, hearts or leaves); the other piece is a ''T'' shaped bar. The clasp is closed by pulling the ''T'' shaped bar through the open loop. Available in almost infinite material options and in a variety of styles, weights and designs, they are commonly used for necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
Springring Clasps are used with a jumpring or chain tab to make a complete clasp. Pull the trigger to open. Release -- and the clasp automatically springs closed. This popular spring-loaded clasp comes in a multitude of sizes, for single-strand to multi-strand designs.
Lobster Claw Clasps
Lobster Claw Clasps are self-closing. The name gives a general idea of the clasp design; however, these spring-loaded clasps are available in a range of shapes, sizes and styles. They are suited for lightweight to medium weight designs, however some larger styles can accommodate larger and heavier pieces.
Filigree Clasps have an open, filigreed surface, like a metallic lace. Can include box clasp and fishhook clasp styles.
Barrell Clasps (aka Torpedo)
Barrel (aka Torpedo) Clasps are low-profile clasps with threading, which are twisted to open and to close and are very easy to put on by yourself.
Fishhook Clasps are small clasps with a fishhook-shaped interior hook which is inserted into an oval box. The interior hook prevents jewelry from immediately falling off if the clasps are accidentally opened by hooking on the crossbar within the clasp box. Ideal for lightweight necklaces and bracelets.
S-Hook Clasps are double-ended clasps, shaped like an ''S.'' Available in a spectrum of sizes and styles; some clasps are sold with two rings. Pinching the arm of the ''S'' secures the clasp. Pulling the ''S'' open again releases the ring and opens the clasp.
Snap Lock Clasps
Snap Lock [aka Fold-Over] Clasps are low-profile clasps and are less likely to tangle or snag on clothes or hair than other styles. This hinged clasp folds shut, closing securely and locking with a quiet ''snap.'' With this secure closure, snap lock clasps are ideal for bracelets or anklets.
Hook-and-Eye [aka Hook-Style] Clasps are possibly the oldest style of clasp in the world. This immensely popular clasp comes in a wide selection of patterns, designs and styles. This easy-open clasp is recommended mostly for necklaces and chain belts.