Dating vintage clasps
The hook and box clasp (also called “fish hook” clasp) was commonly used on pearl necklaces or necklaces with gemstone beads.Often oval shaped, the long hook was inserted and locked into place.They are commonly found on hand made brooches from the mid-20th century era, such as painted wooden brooches from Russia or micro mosaic brooches from Italy.The clasps used on bracelets depend on the type of bracelet.On older brooches (around the turn of twentieth century) you’ll see that the pin extends well beyond the clasp. Although mostly seen on older brooches, some inexpensive brooches are made with C-clasps even today.The trombone clasp, patented in Europe in 1850, was named after the musical instrument as it had a tube with a round top. These were used in the latter half of the 19th century into the 1950s, mostly by European jewelers.
As with bracelets, commonly used vintage necklace clasps include ring clasps, foldover clasps, and box clasps.It eventually evolved into the modern locking clasps in use today.Safety pin clasps were also popular and were used from the late 1800s until the early 1900s, and are still used on some hand made pieces today.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.