This is my first blog!! So please be kind.
I make jewellery, I love making bespoke jewellery for my customers, but a common question I get asked is what clasp would you recommend for a bracelet? It’s a bit like asking what colour would you recommend or would you recommend a button or a zip? It’s entirely the customers choice, what do you prefer? what would you find easier? But also, what is your budget? as different clasps will be bigger, heavier and cost more than others.
So I thought I’d explain a bit about each and then you can then make that informed choice.
Trigger / Lobster clasp:
Trigger clasps are a traditional choice of clasp in jewellery making to fasten bracelets. The clasp is opened and closed with the aid of a sprung 'trigger' mechanism. It’s the most common and versatile clasp, as it can be used in conjunction with an extension chain to allow for an increase in size of the bracelet or necklace. I use three sizes of trigger clasp, small, medium and large. I generally use a medium for a bracelet, as the small can be very fiddly, and the large can be a bit big for a bracelet, its more used for a necklace.
Pro’s: can be used with extension chain to easily change the size of the bracelet.
Cons: can be fiddly, even if a large clasp is used
Cost: the cheapest clasp option
A toggle clasp is a closure that is used for bracelets and necklaces consisting of a ring on one end and bar on the other. The bar slides through the ring vertically and then lays on the ring horizontally to keep it from coming back through. Again, they can be fiddly to put on, but do add a certain style to your bracelet. They come in a few of different designs: standard round and heart shaped to name but two.
Pro’s: adds a certain amount of style to your bracelet
Con’s: can be fiddly and can’t be used with an extension chain
Cost: generally, around £2.50 more than a medium trigger clasp
Magnetic clasps are made using strong magnets and are easier to fasten than conventional clasps because the magnetic power in them makes the two part of the clasp to stick together to keep your bracelet in place when worn. There is always the worry that the clasp will get caught and so the bracelet will fall off and be lost. All I can say is the magnetic clasps that I use in my bracelets are the strongest I have found, and so with care you shouldn’t have a problem.
Pro’s: Very easy to use, and reduces the potential for breaking if snagged/caught on clothing etc.
Con’s: Can’t be used with an extension chain, and care is needed when removing clothing etc. as can be caught and fall off.
Cost: depending on the size of magnetic clasp, can be between £2.50-£5 more than a medium trigger clasp.
Slider Ball clasp
This is a very elegant and adjustable box chain slider clasp. With a smooth slider bead and rubber core on a box chain, it can be fully adjusted to fit when worn. Can be a bit fiddly to put on, but once you have the knack, its easy. No need for an extension as it can be adjusted to fit what size you like, within the minimum and maximum length.
Pro’s: Easy to use once you have the knack, and is adjustable.
Con’s: if you have a small wrist there will be quite a bit of excess dangling down.
Cost: Roughly about £6 more than the medium trigger clasp
Of course, you could just ditch the clasp altogether and go elastic!
Pro’s: easy to put on and take off and by far the cheapest option
Con’s: The elastic is tied, knotted and then glued. The strongest glue in the world will eventually come lose. It could take years, and does depend on how you treat it of course.
Cost: in comparison to the Trigger clasp, this is approximately £4 cheaper.