17 January 2012
Author: Jary Riolo
Findings are jewelry making components that provide structure for a jewelry design. Often metal, they are the parts that link beads in a jewelry piece. This introductory findings glossary will help you understand the essential components.
Usually metal, bails are used to connect a pendant to a necklace.
- Ice Pick or Pinch bails have two prongs that meet when closed through the cross-drilled hole of a pendant.
- Slider bails are tube beads that have a loop at the bottom from which a hanging pendant is attached.
Cupped metal caps placed at one or both ends of a bead to protect or accentuate the bead.
Decorative drop components that include areas for attaching bead embellishments. They may also be used as a connector finding.
Small decorative elements that dangle from bracelets, necklaces or earrings. Charms are often grouped by theme or they may depict a favorite hobby, interest or memory.
Fasteners that open or close a necklace or bracelet. There are many styles of clasps. Each consists of two ends that hook together in a variety of ways.
- Box clasps have a tab on one end that slides into a slot in a hollow box on the other end.
- Fold over clasps have a hinged piece on one end that is inserted and folded over a loop on the other end. Some fold over clasps snap shut, while others have magnets that secure the closing.
- Hook and eye clasps have a loop on one end and a hook on the other. The hook connects over the loop. This clasp doesn’t snap tightly closed. It is best used on a necklace where position and weight of the beads of the necklace hold it closed.
- Lobster claws hook to a link or ring. The “lobster” end has a spring that activates a lever which opens the clasp allowing it to connect to a jump ring or other link to form the closure.
- Magnetic clasps have strong magnets in each end that pull and lock the two sides together.
- S Hook clasps are shaped like an “S” and have a ring on each curved end. One ring slides on the end of the ”S” curve to close the clasp or slides off the end to open it.
- Toggle clasps consist of a bar and a ring. The bar slips through the ring to create the closure. Toggle clasps are quite versatile and very popular.
Longer versions of bead caps. They are used to bring multiple strands of a jewelry project together at one point, attaching them to a clasp or as a part of the jewelry design.
A finding that is used to connect or string jewelry components together.
- Single strand connectors or links have one eye loop on either side
- Multi strand-to one connectors have multiple eye loops on one side and only one eye loop on the other side. These are used to connect multiple strands to a single strand clasp or as part of the jewelry design.
Metal findings used to finish off the ends of cords.
Small, large-holed, seamless metal tubes. These are designed to be flattened or “crimped” to hold wires together tightly and securely.
Used to hide crimp beads or knots.
Decorative metal pieces, similar to charms that attach to and enhance a jewelry design. Many drops are double sided. Some have loops to attach other beads.
A metal earring finding that swings below the ear lobe; also known as fish hooks. Many have loops that allow beads or drops to be attached.
A metal earring finding that consists of a straight post and a back nut. Many have decorative beads attached to the post, some with a loop used to attach beads or drops.
A piece of wire with a round loop on one end. They are used to thread beads on. When a loop is created on the straight end, eye pins can be used as connectors or links.
A piece of wire with a flat or decorative end resembling a thick sewing pin. They are used to thread beads on. When a loop is added on one end, they can be used as drops or charms.
A wire circle or oval used for attaching jewelry parts together.
- Open Jump rings have a split in the wire so they can be opened. These rings are be used to connect jewelry parts.
- Closed Jump rings are soldered together so there is no split in the wire; often used as connectors.
Non-Pierced Earring Components:
Used for creating or converting pierced earrings for people with out pierced ears. Screw on, clip on or levers back are examples of non-pierced earring findings.
Decorative items that are the focal point of a jewelry piece.
A connector bead, usually with two holes. Can be strung on elastic or wire.
A metal bar with two or more holes. They are used to hold multiple strands of beads in alignment, preventing them from tangling.
Placed between other beads to fill a space, separate beads, or accentuate a bead. These can be made of a variety of materials including metal, crystal, glass, or gem stones.
A double loop wire resembling a tiny key ring. These rings are a very secure way of attaching charms or connecting other jewelry parts.
The findings in this Findings Glossary represent the basics. They are what you will use when creating your jewelry design. You should keep them on hand in your jewelry making supplies.