Updated: Oct 20, 2018
When buying jewellery, it’s always useful to understand some of the terminology which is used to describe the various components of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other items.
If you prefer jewellery with a certain type of clasp, knowing the technical name for it can overcome any complications when out shopping.
Bolt or Spring Ring Clasp
Sometimes referred to as “Bolt Rings” or “Spring Rings” these rings are opened with a small lever which is pulled to slide the spring open. When the lever is released, the spring will automatically close again. This is your standard clasp and is the most commonly used jewellery clasp.
The next most popular clasp is the Lobster. This is a sturdy clasp generally used for heavier jewellery items such as larger chains. It is named for it's lobster claw like appearance. Like the Bolt clasp it is operated by pulling back on the spring lever, allowing the end of the jewellery to slip through the opening and then releasing the lever which automatically closes the clasp.
These are the most user-friendly clasps and ideal for anyone who has difficulty with small and delicate clasps. Simply moving the two ends close together engages the magnets and the jewellery comes together seemingly on its own. They are commonly used in bracelets where only one hand is available to operate the clasp.
Magnetic clasps come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are often cleverly concealed into the design of the jewellery so it is sometimes not apparent at first glance how the jewellery is opened and closed.
Bar and Ring Toggle Clasps
These are a two-part clasp where one part is a circle and the other a "T" shaped bar. The "T" shape is inserted through the open loop and then pulled into position so that it does not slip through the loop. They are very popular and look attractive on larger necklace designs and bracelets.
Toggle clasps come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are usually designed to compliment the style of the jewellery item. This clasp is generally a large part of the overall look of the jewellery rather than simply a mechanism to join the two ends together.
This clasp has a box component into which a tab is inserted. The tab is squeezed together and inserted into the box and once released cannot be pulled again - until it is "resqueezed" to release the catch.
Box clasps come in an infinite range of sizes and designs. They are generally selected for their ability to become part of the overall jewellery design.