Bead Clasps in 14K Yellow Gold, 14K White Gold, Gold Filled and Sterling Silver

A Detailed Guide to Jewelry Clasps: Ball Clasps and Bead Clasps

If you are looking for a clasp that matches the shape of the beads on your single strand, knotted bead necklace, a bead clasp will work quite nicely. It is a simple looking component that can be plain or fancy which many fine jewelry brands and high end pearl retailers use in their necklaces to add character to a jewelry design without overpowering the beads.

A bit of background: What is a Ball Clasp? What kind of Bead Clasps are there?

Bead clasps close by inserting a spring tongue that clicks into a slot in the bead. To release the clasp, you simply pinch the tongue which releases it from the bead. Bead Clasps tend to be light weight, especially when they do not have stones set in them which makes them relatively inexpensive for the functionality that they provide. These findings are manufactured in almost any shape or texture that metal beads are made. Ball Clasps, the most widely used type of bead clasp, are shaped like round beads and are available in sizes as small as 4mm up to larger than 12mm with shiny high polish finish, matte finish and pave diamond styles just to name a few. The sheer number of choices is very useful for creating sleek designs that have beads that are all the same width, but also great if your bead sizes are graduated from large to small and you want the widths to enlarge seamlessly from top to bottom.

Ball Clasps in 14K Yellow Gold, 14K White Gold, Gold Filled and Sterling Silver
Ball Clasps are available in almost any precious metal and may be set with Diamonds or other gemstones. The ones shown are 14K Gold, Gold Filled, and Sterling Silver.

How to connect them to your jewelry pieces:

Bead clasps are typically used for beaded single strand designs like traditional pearl necklaces. Ball Clasps and Bead Clasps are not often used on bracelets because although they may look nice in the design, the small tongue makes it somewhat difficult to connect to the other end without assistance. Depending on what size beads you use, it is possible to make multi-strand necklaces using a bead clasp but it is very difficult to have the strands lay nested with each other. With regards to multi-strand pieces, bead clasps work much better for twisted necklaces where each strand is the same length.

Necklace with Green Beads and Gold Ball Clasp
Knotted Single Strand Bead Necklace with Gold Ball Clasp

Drawbacks and other Concerns:

Safety is usually not a problem because most bead clasps, and almost all ball clasps include a safety mechanism which catches the tongue in case the clasp releases on its own. Bead Clasps are safe clasps with many varieties on the market, but they aren’t without their limitations. As we briefly touched on earlier, bead clasps are somewhat limited in the types of jewelry designs they will work with. Ball Clasps are great for necklaces but difficult to use for bracelets, and with a few exceptions they do not work well for multi-strand designs. Plain bead clasps with no stones are usually light weight which makes the larger sizes more prone to denting than other similarly sized clasps. Ball Clasps, large ones in particular, have more surface area to potentially suffer damage and they normally experience more wear and tear than smaller size clasps. The denting does not typically affect the functionality of the clasp, and in most cases can be easily fixed by a jeweler, but it becomes more of a legitimate concern the larger clasp you use. Denting is not a concern for bead clasps that have diamonds and stones in pave setting because they require a thick enough layer of metal to safely sit in and absorb impact.

To sum things up…

Bead Clasps are great for single strand necklaces and they come in enough shapes, sizes, and styles for you to find the one perfect for your beads. Plain Bead Clasps are safe and usually lightweight which is easy on your wallet, but larger ball clasps can potentially get dented. This is an annoyance, but in most cases it is repairable and will not affect how your clasp opens and closes. Ball Clasps look very sleek, refined, and work exceptionally well with both pearl necklaces and beaded stringing jobs. Aesthetically, it is hard to top the elegance bead clasps in your jewelry design, which is no wonder why high end jewelers and pearl retailers continue to use the simple ball clasp in their necklaces year in and year out.

-Cyrus Nemani, Gempacked

To browse more types of Sterling Silver, Gold Filled, and 14K Gold Clasps, visit

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