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FAQ - Pearl Clasps

QUESTION

How to take care of pearls

How to select

Value factors

Freshwater vs Saltwater (Akoya)

Types of Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls vs natural pearls

Origin of Pearls

Pearl Colors and Overtones

I'm not sure which pearls to select?

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Cultured pearls vs natural pearls

Choosing your Freshwater Pearls

Real and Imitation Pearls

Are black pearls dyed?

How To Choose Your Perfect Tahitian Cultured Pearl Necklace

How to choose your perfect South Sea Cultured Pearl Necklace

Introduction to Pearls

Pearl Clasps

Selecting my necklacea and necklace length

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What is Nacre?

Why Choose PearlsOnly Japanese Akoya?

What are the blue tags shown with Akoya pearls?

How are necklace strands and bracelets tied?

Choosing a necklace

Pearl Measurements

Are my pearls strung too tight?

A Man's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pearl Gift

What are Hanadam pearls?

Why are Akoya pearls more expensive than Freshwater Pearls?

Wedding Pearls

What are the pearl certificates?

How to adjust my earring backs?

What is pearl grading based on?

What are Golden Southsea Pearls

Pearl Recommendation for Different Age

ANSWER

Pearl Clasp

The clasp on a strand of pearls can be considered a unique piece of jewelry in and of itself, making a world of difference on the overall presentation of your necklace. You will want to carefully consider the size and style of your clasp, as different designs can affect the comfort and security of the strand around your neck or wrist. Due to the significance of every pearl in a strand, it would be wise to invest in a secure clasp.

Following are a few of the most popular clasps for pearl necklaces and bracelets. For each style of clasp, there is a description of the Open/Close Mechanism, Safety Features, and How it is Worn.

Spring Ring

The spring ring clasp is the traditional necklace clasp and is the most readily available. When closed, the clasp looks like an open circular ring.

Open/Close Mechanism

To open or secure a spring ring clasp, push the trigger on the outside of the loop to open up the ring. While holding the lever, insert or remove the loop on the opposing end of the necklace or bracelet. Once the trigger is released, the spring automatically closes the clasp.

Safety Features

This type of clasp is spring-loaded and will shut on its own.

How it is Worn

Spring ring clasps lie flat on the skin. Clasps to be worn on the back of the neck or wrist tend to be quite small. Larger and more ornate spring ring clasps for necklaces can be worn in the front or slightly off center.

Lobster Claw

The lobster claw clasp is a variation of the traditional spring ring. Instead of being shaped like a circle, it is oblong-shaped shaped like the claw of a lobster.

Open/Close Mechanism

To open the lobster claw, push down on the outer trigger to open the clasp (much like the spring ring). Once released, the spring will automatically close the clasp.

Safety Features

This type of clasp is spring-loaded and will shut on its own.

How it is Worn

Similar to the spring ring, this clasp will lie flat on the neck and wrist. It is typically quite small and worn on the back of the neck. Lobster clasps can usually be opened with one hand.

Fishhook

The fishhook is one of the most common clasps for traditional pearl necklaces and bracelets.  These clasps are shaped like an almond and are generally small, with the hook itself hidden within the main oblong-shaped body. They are commonly decorated with engraving, open filigree metalwork, or set with small gemstones.

Open/Close Mechanism

To close the clasp, push the end with the hook entirely into the almond-shaped main body of the clasp. The hook will lock into place. To remove, squeeze both sides of the clasp and pull the hook loose. The hook will be still hooked onto a secondary catch, which you will then need to unhook in order to release.

Safety Features

This is traditionally the most secure type of pearl strand clasp. In the event the main locking mechanism is shaken loose, the hook will catch onto a secondary bar to keep your pearls in place. This clasp tends to require two hands to unlock.

How it is Worn

This clasp is typically worn on the back of the neck. It is usually more ornate and slightly thicker than the spring ring, but will still lie relatively flat on the neck or wrist.

Plunger

A plunger clasp is the next generation of a fishhook clasp. The main body comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are often decorated with design work, engraving, open filigree and set with gemstones. The second half is a metal tongue that springs open into a "V" shape. One side of the open "V" has an incorporated tab.

Open/Close Mechanism

To close the plunger clasp, hook the metal "V" tongue into the main body of the clasp. Then push the metal "V" closed into the body of the clasp. To open, press down on the tab and pull out. Then unhook the tongue from the main part of the clasp to fully open.

Safety Features

This is a very secure clasp. The "V" will spring open to catch a bar on the main body of the clasp.

How it is Worn

The wear of this clasp depends entirely on the design of the main body, but usually lies flat on the neck or wrist. The v-shaped metal tongue is hidden within the body so will not affect the clasp's design. Large plunger clasps are often worn at the front of the neck as the focal point of the necklace. Smaller clasps are more suitable for bracelets so as not to affect hand movement.

Ball

The ball clasp is similar to a plunger clasp except that it is in the shape of a sphere. The ball clasp can be polished, sanded, or encrusted with gemstones.

Open/Close Mechanism
This clasp opens and closes just like the plunger the clasp. The metal "V" tongue is hooked into the main part of the clasp. Then you'll push the metal "V" into the main part of the clasp. To open, press down on the tab and pull. Then, unhook the tongue from the main part of the clasp to fully open.

Safety Features
Like the plunger clasp, ball clasps are very secure and typically have a safety catch. The "V" will spring open and catch a bar so that your necklace will not fall off if the clasp comes loose.

How it is Worn

Ball clasps mimic the round shape of the pearl and therefore will not lie flat on the skin. A larger ball clasp can be used as an attractive focal point and be worn in the front on a necklace.


Double Strand Slide

The multi strand slide is much like a plunger clasp, but for two (or multiple) strands of pearls. If a longer necklace is preferred, the clasps of a double strand necklace can also be connected to create one longer necklace.

Open/Close Mechanism

A double strand slide opens and closes much like a plunger clasp. To close, hook the metal "V" tongue into the main body of the clasp. Then push the metal "V" closed into the body of the clasp. To open, press down on the tab and pull out. Then unhook the tongue from the main part of the clasp to fully open. To make a double strand, the individual clasps will slide together then lock.

Safety Features

Like the traditional plunger, the "V" will spring open and catch a bar on the main part of the clasp.

How it is Worn

These slide clasps are quite flat and square. The metal tongue is also hidden entirely within the main body. The clasp will lie flat on the neck. Beautiful metalwork and encrusted gems typically further adorn the clasp. When worn as a double strand, the clasp will be wider than a single strand. Bracelet clasps can also be connected to necklaces to add length.