In the world of jewelry design and creation, lobster clasps are some of the most basic supplies around. They’re among the more common jewelry fasteners because they’re easy to operate, good-looking and simple for designers to add to their creations. They are also a great way to add security when you don’t want to risk jewelry opening unintentionally.

Lobster clasps differ from spring rings, another very common type of spring-loaded clasp, in that they are typically oval-shaped and do not have a round tube like spring rings do. Lobster clasps also include more metal and are therefore often heavier and more durable.

silver clasp

At Beads of Cambay, we strive to help makers bring their original ideas to life with top-quality jewelry-making supplies as well as resources and tips that make jewelry processes simpler and more enjoyable. Today, we’re getting fundamental with an inside look at everyone’s favorite jewelry clasp!

What is a Lobster Clasp?

Let’s get basic. If you’re new to jewelry-making, let us introduce you to this handy little mechanism. What is a lobster clasp, exactly? Also known as lobster claws, bocklebee clasps or lobster hooks, lobster clasps are self-closing fasteners that attach to a piece of jewelry and allow it to open or close. They are called “lobster” clasps because they look and perform similar to a lobster’s claw and feature a pinching motion that is easily triggered with a small lever. Each one is equipped with a durable spring-latch mechanism that allows it to open securely and smoothly with slight pressure from a finger or fingernail.

Lobster Clasp Tricks and Tips

If you’ve never worked with a lobster clasp before, fear not! These tiny components are easy to incorporate into jewelry designs and are a simple way to add some style and personality to your one-of-a-kind creations. Crafty makers might want to consider the following tips and tricks to help make working with lobster clasps a total breeze.

  • Know a Thing or Two about Sizes — Lobster clasps come in a wide range of sizes measured in millimeters, from 9 to 23 millimeters in length. Size should be considered with regard to aesthetic — obviously, you might prefer the look of a smaller clasp with a specific piece versus a larger one — but also note that you will need to use larger, sturdier clasps to accommodate heavier designs.
  • Learn the Different Types of Lobster Clasps — There are a few variations on the basic lobster clasp. One of the more popular options is the swivel lobster clasp, which can swivel 360 degrees to make maneuvering it easier. These kinds of lobster clasps are favored in bracelets, anklets and other pieces of jewelry that move a lot during wear, as they help prevent tangles and knots. Regular lobster clasps are usually pear or oval shaped, but you may find some that are shaped like hearts, diamonds and even animals.

lobster clasps

  • Choose Material Wisely —Like any jewelry fastener, lobster clasps come in several different materials, including 22-karat gold, rose gold, sterling silver and others. If you aren’t sure which material is best for you, reference the International Gem Society’s Jewelry Metals Guide. You should choose fastener and finding metal the same way you choose the metals of your jewelry chains and charms — pick the highest-grade material within your budget. Ideally, you should match the clasp to the piece’s primary metal so that it will age and perform similarly.
  • Make Sure to Close the Jump Ring — Lobster clasps usually attach to a jump ring, the small ring that can be connected to the opposite end of your jewelry piece. Often, new jewelry designers forget to close the jump ring directly onto the stringing material when they’re beading. This can cause the lobster clasp mechanism to fail and make your piece fall apart. Be sure that you always close the jump ring during your jewelry crafting endeavors.

lobster clasps

As your go-to jewelry supply store, Beads of Cambay offers a wide range of jewelry fasteners, as well as gorgeous beads and finishes, to help you create exceptional works of art that suit your special artistic style. Trust us for all your high-quality sterling silver and gold lobster clasps the next time you create something breathtaking.