If you are looking for a safe, cost effective clasp that will not overpower the rest of your piece, it is safe to assume lobster clasps or spring rings will work for you. Lobster clasps and Spring Rings are two of the most commonly used clasps because of both their simplicity and their relatively low cost. They are both available in many sizes and metals which makes them ideal for scaling designs to larger or smaller beads.
A little bit of background: What is a Lobster Clasp? What is a Spring Ring?
Spring Rings are round tubes with a spring loaded lever on one side that opens and closes the clasp. Small spring rings are light and very inexpensive so it is not uncommon to find Sterling Silver Spring rings for just a few cents, and 14K or 18K gold for under $5 a piece.
Lobster Clasps also have a spring loaded mechanism on its side, but they differ from spring rings in that the body is not a round tube. The body of the lobster clasp has more metal weight than a similarly sized spring ring, which makes them generally more expensive. Another consequence of its different shape is that lobster clasps have more styles and variations than spring rings. They are available in the traditional pear and oval shapes as well as heart shapes, figure 8 shapes, with swivel functionality, or with diamonds.
How to connect them to your jewelry pieces:
Both Spring rings and lobster clasps usually have a jump ring attached to it which you can connect to the end of your necklace or bracelet. The part that opens and closes hooks into a jump ring or metal loop on the opposite end of the piece. If your piece is primarily chain at the ends, use clasps with open jump rings for connecting to the chain links. If you are stringing or beading directly onto your clasps, make sure the jump ring is closed or else the string will simply slide through the hole and fall apart. Aside from this potential problem, spring rings and lobsters are very safe clasps that do not easily come undone.
Drawbacks and Other Concerns:
For all their strengths, lobster clasps and spring rings are not without their limitations. Spring rings are difficult to use, especially for bracelets. Small sizes, though inexpensive, cannot bear much weight and tend to be very delicate. Depending on the person, Lobster clasps can also be difficult for a person to operate on their own. Neither clasp usually adds to the overall style of the piece, which is desirable if you want to avoid overpowering the rest of your design, but not so great if you are looking to add an extra aesthetic element to your piece.
To sum things up…
Lobster Claw and Spring Ring Clasps are great all around clasps to use because they fit with most any design and budget. Though they are versatile, they are somewhat difficult to use. However both are very familiar components, and when most people think of clasps, spring rings and lobsters generally come to mind first.
-Cyrus Nemani, Gempacked