To ensure that a bracelet sits securely on the wrist, over the centuries jewellers have developed a host of different clasps, all of which have their own specific advantages and disadvantages. Here we present the most well-known clasps.

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The carabiner clasp

A carabiner is probably the most common style of clasp found on bracelets. As with carabiners used by climbers, there is a hook on one side that connects to a small arm. The spring that holds the carabiner closed can be opened using a small lever. The carabiner is then hooked into an eyelet on the other side.

The clasp offers many advantages: the functional principle is simple and is not prone to faults, and there is no risk that the wearer will accidentally open the bracelet clasp. At the same time, carabiners can be designed sufficiently small and delicate that they don't look huge or obtrusive, even on a fine bracelet. In addition, a carabiner clasp is not limited to a single eyelet - if multiple eyelets are incorporated into the bracelet design, this enables a simple size adjustment.

The only weakness of this clasp lies in the bracelet itself - the finer the eyelet into which the carabiner hooks, the more the bracelet is liable to break apart under excessive stress.

The spring ring clasp

White gold bracelet with carabiner clasp - White gold bracelet with diamonds and carabiner clasp
Spring ring is particularly popular as a clasp on necklaces, and is particularly small and unobtrusive. In contrast to the carabiner, the spring ring is completely round. The spring-loaded arm slides inside the spring ring when pressure is applied to the opening mechanism, and the ring can then be threaded into an eyelet.

This offers a secure hold on a par with the carabiner clasp, but is rather more fragile, on account of which this type of clasp is not so frequently used for bracelets or chains. 

The box clasp

Ideal for wider bracelets, there is a small, flat slide on one side, known as a tongue, which is pushed into the corresponding counterpart, the box, where it spreads apart and locks into place. Doe to its width, a box clasp can even be set with precious stones without any difficulty.

In order to ensure that the box clasp does not open if inadvertently knocked, with high-quality pieces of jewellery an additional folding safety catch is attached to the side, which hooks into side of the lock.

A very secure and unobtrusive clasp, which can also be integrated into a rigid bangle, for example. The disadvantage lies partly in the handling, as a box clasp is not as easy to open as other bracelet clasps.

The magnetic clasp

Ever since the discovery of neodymium (NdFeB) magnets, which are much stronger than normal magnets, these have been increasingly used as clasps for jewellery such as bracelets. Due to their size and lack of subtlety it can be difficult to incorporate these clasps into the design of an elegant piece of jewellery. For this reason, magnet clasps are used more for rustic bracelets and costume jewellery, and less frequently for classic jewellery made of precious metals.

Its major advantage is the affordable price. With modern magnet clasps the risk that the magnets will accidentally come loose is relatively low, as the magnets can rarely be pulled apart, but rather can only be opened by sliding them over one another.

The clasp is perfectly suited for bracelets with a design that incorporates larger spherical beads, with the magnets integrated into two half-spheres, meaning that the clasp is completely invisible when closed.

The ladder clasp

Strictly speaking, the ladder clasp is not a clasp at all, as the bracelet is permanently closed. It is flipped open, hooked on at the appropriate point on the ladder, and then closed again. This type of clasp is most commonly found on high-end watches with a metal or precious metal strap, with the clasp only rarely used on bracelets on account of its size.

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The toggle clasp

At first glance the toggle clasp appears very insecure, with a horizontal rod at one end, and a round or oval eyelet at the other. The rod is inserted through the eyelet, with the chain of the bracelet running parallel. Once pulled through and made taught, the rod positions itself horizontally and can no longer slip through the eyelet.

The security of this clasp when used for bracelets depends on the correct ratio of the length of the rod to the size of the eyelet. The latter should be only just large enough for the clasp to close comfortably, without leaving space through which the clasp could open unintentionally.

The bolo clasp

A clasp that is fixed on two strings used to close the tops of rucksacks or duffle bags. Two cords, or in the case of bracelets, two loose ends with pieces on the end to stop them slipping through, run together through the clasp. The bracelet can be tightened or made narrower by pulling the clasp, which is usually round. It is generally only possible to move the clasp in the opposite direction when also pressing on the mechanism.

A very secure clasp is striking and therefore must always fit in as part of the overall design. Very elegant and unusual, the hanging ends may become annoying when worn day-to-day. 

Are you interested in a high-quality bracelet with diamonds? The experts at BAUNAT look forward to providing you with some free, no-obligation advice. Contact us now.
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