Beaded jewelry can add a nice decorative element to any outfit. While there are many beautiful beaded jewelry options available in retail stores, you can make your very own, both to save money and to have a truly unique piece. For beaded necklaces and bracelets, you may select to include a clasp to provide closure for the two ends. The following provides some useful information for selecting the right clasp for your design.
The first decision you need to make when selecting your clasp is the type of metal from which you would like your clasp to be made. If you would like to invest more money into your piece, you may select sterling silver or even 14-carat gold. If you would prefer a less expensive clasp, several options include gold or silver plate, gold or silver-filled, pewter, nickel, vermeil, or copper.
The next decision you need to make concerning your beaded jewelry clasp is the type of clasp design you would like to have. Several design options include:
*Toggle Clasps βToggle clasps have an open ring as one end of the clasp and a bar as the other end of the clasp. To connect the two, you slip one end of the bar through the open ring and then pull the other end of the bar through. Because the bar is longer than the opening, it holds the clasp shut. Toggle clasps come in many different designs including the basic ring design toggle clasps, heart toggle clasps, bamboo style toggle clasps, rectangle toggle clasps, and floral toggle clasps. These fancy toggle clasps are fun clasp designs that work well for elegant jewelry, jewelry for children or teens, or any beaded jewelry design that could use a little extra pizzazz.
*Spring Ring Clasps β Spring ring clasps have an open ring as one end and an open ring with a lever as the other end. To open and close the clasp, you move the lever to open the ring and slip the other ring through. You then release the lever to close the open ring. This is one of the most basic clasps with a basic circle design. Since it does not add a decorative element, this type of clasp is good to use when it will be hidden or on beaded jewelry that does not require any added decoration.
*Lobster Clasps β Like the spring ring clasps, lobster clasps have an open ring as one end and an open ring with a lever as the other end. To open and close the clasp, you move the lever to open the ring and slip the other ring through. You then release the lever to close the open ring. Unlike the spring ring clasps, however, lobster clasps have larger lever rings that come in a variety of shapes and designs including hearts, ovals and even dolphins. Lobster clasps are idea for beaded jewelry that incorporates larger beads or stones, as lobster clasps tend to be fairly heavy duty.
*Hook and Eye Clasps β Hook and eye clasps have a hook as one end and a ring as the other end. To close this clasp, you simply hook the hook end through the ring end. This is a fairly basic design that works well on casual jewelry or on beaded jewelry for someone who may have problems with the small levers on the other designs.
*Magnetic Clasps β Magnetic clasps are made of two barrel ends that magnetically stick together. This tends to be a very basic clasp design, as well. Like the hook and eye clasps, it is a great choice for anyone who may have difficulty in connecting the clasps with small levers. Therefore, it could be welcome clasp design for small children or people with eyesight or fine motor skill impediments. Beaded jewelry should be for everyone!
*Multi-Strand Clasps β If you have making beaded jewelry that has more than one strand, a multi-strand clasp is a great option. Multi-strand clasps can incorporate a smaller square as one end that slides into a larger square as the other end, locking into place. Each square has several loops attached that can accommodate one or more strands per loop. Often it can be difficult working with several strands of beads if you do not have a multi-strand clasp.
There are even more clasp options beyond those described above, however, these should provide a good start. Selecting the right clasp for your beaded jewelry design is very important. Keep in mind the type of piece you are creating and who will be wearing it. These requirements should help to simplify your clasp selection. Remember that beaded jewelry makes a great gift for friends and family. Have fun with your beaded jewelry designs!