Taco Dinner Delayed by Crappy Clasps!
Does wrestling with frustrating chain clasps drive you to drink?
Who hasn’t had an issue with a chain clasp from hell? I’ve had lots of them. There’s nothing more frustrating than rushing to get dressed for dinner at your favorite taco place, and then wasting time trying to put on your necklace with a clasp that just won’t work! Argh!
Somehow, the hook thingy just won’t fit into the tiny ring on the other side. What’s up with being saddled with a crap clasp?
You Deserve Better!
I replace chain clasps regularly on chains, necklaces, and bracelets. It’s one of the most common fixes I do. I’ve had lots of practice! So I’m jumping up on my soap box to discuss clasps gone bad and giving you advice on what to do about it!
Aging and Chain Clasps That Are Too Small
The most frequent problem with clasps—and the rings they hook into—is that they are too small. The average human female finger can’t manipulate clasps the size of a grain of rice or end rings the size of the head of a pin. And yet they sell them to us. This is so wrong.
As we age, our fingers tend to become less dexterous. Tiny clasps that we were able to cope with when we were seventeen, may not be as easy at sixty.
I recommend replacing your tiny clasps and end rings with larger ones. What good is your necklace, if you can’t put it on or take it off comfortably and easily with your smile intact?
Clasps if Your Dexterity is Challenged
Many of my client’s with barely there or weak fingernails find pulling open a traditional clasp too difficult or painful.
My dexterity challenged clients find these push open style choices a welcome alternative to regular clasps.
They offers a nice and easy way to open a clasp.
Another option is some sort of hook style which doesn’t require much manual dexterity.
If your dexterity is truly beyond these suggestions and you like fine jewelry there are 14kt gold magnetic clasps available
Why Do They Make Undersized Clasps?
You may be thinking: why put undersized clasps on chains to begin with? I think the reason is cost. Less gold goes into creating a 4mm long clasps than 6mm long clasps—especially if you’re making thousands of them.
Attaching the 4mm clasp to the chain will cost significantly less than attaching a bigger one. The fact that you’ll rediscover cussing while trying to put it on isn’t in their budgetary considerations.
Clasps That Don’t Work With Your Acrylic Nails
Another problem women run into all the time with clasps is the very low opener tabs on lobster and spring ring clasps.
I’ve seen some that were almost flush with the body of the clasp, making it all but impossible to hook a fingernail on it and pull it back.
Possibly the Worst Clasp Design of All Time
Another clasp from hell and possibly the blue ribbon winner, is the barrel clasp. It’s round in shape and lightweight, that’s good. But using it is a nightmare.
Trying to line up the two pieces, so the fin slides into the invisibly-tiny-line-opening on the barrel, is predictably, the biggest challenge for me.
That safe looking safety catch drew me in. Then after having and struggling with it for a year, having my hair get caught in the safety and then finding the safety flopping unconnected later in the day I asked myself, “why am I putting up with this awful clasp?”
Like their name suggests box clasps are often rectangular and like a box. They have a tongue that slides into the box and locks with an audible click. The generally have a safety clasp along the side.
When clasps have an angular shape like the pictured box clasp, they are much easier to use. Finding the line for the fin to go into is much easier to do without looking.
Having a figure eight safety clasp is a pretty wonderful thing as well. I do want to warn people with long, especially fine hair, that the box clasp with its figure eight safety clasp offers two different opportunities for your hair to get caught.
Bad Box Clasp Tongues
This results in clasp malfunctions and your precious bracelet ends up lying in the gutter or falling onto the asphalt between cars in big parking lots!
If that tongue doesn’t have an audible snap when you close it, don’t wear it. Fix that clasp!
When you are buying a chain or bracelet with a box clasp, make sure it gives an audible click when closed so you’ll always be able to listen for it. That click is how you know that your tongue is OK and holding on and locking properly.
I Love the Lobster Clasp For Chains
Everyone has their favorite clasp style. Mine is a squarish lobster clasp.
The squarish style is more stable when you are holding the sticky-uppy thing back while putting it behind your neck.
I also like it to have a sticky-uppy thing that’s high enough to easily feel and pull back with my nails. (Don’t you love it when I talk technical?)
Go Big or Stay Home; Get Larger End Rings!
Sometimes your clasp is fine, but feels problematic because the end ring you need to hook it to is too small.
If you are in doubt about getting a larger clasp, try getting a larger end ring first.
Bombproof Bracelet Clasp (From Hell)
My client Marta’s daughter was given a bracelet and she wanted to wear it all the time. Marta had seen how her seven year old fussed with things and took old toasters apart and she wanted a strong reliable clasp that would be such a pain to remove that little Dessa would leave it along.
The sister clasp is such a clasp. It is sometimes used on medic alert bracelets. It is such a challenge to line up the curving pieces so they both open at the same time to release the link, that I’d never give it to someone unless they intended to wear that bracelet daily.
Wear It, Don’t Warehouse It!
The moral of this story is; you don’t have to live with the clasp that came with your necklace or bracelet. Clasps from hell have ruined many a piece of jewelry for women I know.
A better chain clasp was all they needed to wear and love their previously irritating chain or bracelet. It’s an easy fix to get a bigger or different style clasp.
Ask for a larger end ring too! As I always say: “Wear it, Don’t Warehouse it!”
Your Personal Jeweler,