We all love the look of a finished piece of jewelry, whether it’s the beautiful glass beads or an intricate chainmaille pattern. But have you ever thought about what holds the materials together?
Jewelry findings (clasps, wire, pins, and more) are very important in jewelry making, but often overlooked/not talked about as much. But jewelry findings are what holds your jewelry together. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to wear your jewelry.
Findings don’t always have to serve as a functional item but they can be decorative in your jewelry making process as well. Another bonus about findings is they come in all metal types including gold, silver, gunmetal, and antique brass.
Here’s a breakdown of the common types of findings that you see in jewelry:
Bail - Premade component that’s most common in necklaces; attaches pendant or stone to a necklace.
Bead Caps - Gives variation to bead design. Can be attached to each end or one end of a bead. Caps can be used in earring, necklace, and bracelet designs.
Clasps - Used to connect both ends of a necklace or bracelet. Common clasp types are lobster and spring ring. Toggles are also clasps but they usually come in a design and are handmade. Toggles are a clever way to finish your jewelry.
Crimp Beads/Covers - Used to secure ends of beading wire to other findings such as jump rings and clasps.
Ear Wires - The link between the earring and ear.
Jump Rings - Can be a stand alone in jewelry media (Chainmaille) but also used to join jewelry components (chain to clasp).
Pins - Headpins (flat bottom) or Eye pins (has round loop to connect to other findings) can be used for earrings necklace designs (bar necklace, wirework). Comes in short and long lengths.
Wire - Used to thread beads. Alternatives to bead threading: strings, cords and elastic.
As you can see, there are many types of jewelry findings. Some have argued that findings shouldn’t be separate from the jewelry because it’s a part of jewelry. There is truth to that statement but it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge findings separate from jewelry because let’s be for real, when someone is complimenting you on your jewelry, no one is in awe of the findings.
“Wow that string is just stunning!” or “where did you get those ear wires?” asked no one ever. Now if someone asked the latter, it was from a fellow crafter.
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