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The safety catch (also known as the “spring ring” clasp) was introduced in 1921.Improvements and modifications made throughout the 20th century.Vintage jewelry hardware refers to the various types of clasps, pins, earring backs, rings, and other elements used to create jewelry.These are also called “findings.” Techniques and elements have evolved over time, so knowing the types of hardware used during various eras will help you to properly date your vintage and antique jewelry.You can read the other articles in this series here: Part 1: Vintage Jewelry Marks: Help for Dating Your Vintage Jewelry Part 2: Silver Jewelry Marks: Learn to Identify and Date Silver Jewelry Part 3: Vintage Jewelry Patents: Find and Use them to Date Vintage Jewelry So let’s get started learning about vintage jewelry hardware.The earliest type of brooch clasp is a simple hook, also known as the C-clasp, since the hook is shaped like the letter “C.” It was used well into the 1930s.The hook and box clasp (also called “fish hook” clasp) was commonly used on pearl necklaces or necklaces with gemstone beads.
A variation of this is the sport ring clap, which works the same way, but instead of a nub, it has a ridged end used to open the ring.
This is especially important when the jewelry has no hallmarks or maker’s marks.
NOTE: This is the final article in my four-part series on how to identify and date vintage jewelry.
The lobster claw clasp in use today is a fairly new design from the late 1970s, as is the toggle clasp.
The spring ring clasp, introduced in the early 20th century, is the most common vintage bracelet clasp.