Mystery Clasps: Whats so Mysterious about it?

A Detailed Guide to Jewelry Clasps: Mystery Clasps, The Most Mysterious Clasp of All

A bit of background: What is a Mystery Clasp?

Mystery clasps are a unique way to end stringing jobs because they are the only type of clasp that cannot be seen in the final design! Mystery clasps are a screw type clasp that is installed into beads with holes specifically drilled to fit each end. The stringing cord is threaded through the bead and held in place with a knot, and the clasp has a hole to fit thread and string the beads like normal. After the hole is made in the bead, the ends are glued into the bead with a strong epoxy adhesive. After the stringing is done, the ends of the necklace will be able to screw together and appear like there is no clasp at all!

Mystery Clasps in 14K Gold and Nickel Metals
How to attach thread to Beads with a Mystery Clasp

Drawbacks and Concerns with Mystery Clasps:

Mystery clasps are relatively difficult to install because it requires precise drilling and beads that can accommodate a 3mm or 4mm hole. Mystery clasps are most popular with beads that have a low hardness like Freshwater Pearls, Cultured Pearls, and Amber because they are easier to drill.

How to remove a mystery clasp for restringing:

Acetone for Removing Glue from Pearls
You can use Acetone to Remove Glue from Pearls

Restringing is also somewhat difficult, because the mystery clasp has to be removed by loosening the glue. soaking in a solvent like acetone or by delicate heating with a flame. Acetone will not not affect precious metals, Freshwater Pearls, Akoya Pearls, Tahitian Pearls, or South Sea Pearls, but it may not be suitable for use on materials like faux pearls, amber, plastic, or gemstone beads with artificial dye.

Carefully Use a Flame to Heat Up the Metal and Loosen the Glue
Step 1: Carefully Use a Flame to Heat Up the Metal and Loosen the Glue
Make sure not to get the flame too close to the pearl.
Make sure not to get the flame too close to the pearl.

 

Step 2: Slightly Twist the Metal End of the Mystery Clasp with a Plier
Step 2: Slightly Twist the Metal End of the Mystery Clasp with a Plier

 

Step 3: Pull out the Mystery Clasp
Step 3: Pull out the Mystery Clasp

 

Step 4: Use a Hand Drill to Clean out any Residual Glue in the Bead
Step 4: Use a Hand Drill to Clean out any Residual Glue in the Bead

 

Mystery Clasp Separated from its Beads
Mystery Clasp Separated from its Beads

Please keep in mind that these methods can potentially damage your beads, especially if you do not have experience using these tools. If your beads are irreplaceable or expensive or if you are not confident of doing this on your own, it is best to have a professional jeweler remove the clasp for you.

 

Cultured Akoya Pearl Necklace with Mystery Clasp
Cultured Akoya Pearl Necklace with Mystery Clasp

-Cyrus Nemani, Gempacked

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>