Enjoy our glossary of findings. There are so many different kinds to learn about and use.
A bail enables you to turn a bead into a pendant and hang it from a chain or cord when the bead has a hole going across the top (instead of through the center). A click bail has a hinge mechanism that allows the bail to open and close around the bead. Other bails have prongs that are squeezed together to secure the bead. Another type has a simple coiled shape that goes through the bead.
Cones conceal knots, crimp beads, or chain ends and connect the beadwork to the clasp or other finding. Cones are especially useful when you are merging multiple strands toward a single clasp.
Bead tips (also called knot cups) conceal and secure knots tied with silk cord or other stringing materials and connect the cord to the clasp. In addition to hiding the knot, bead tips protect the cord from friction, making the connection between the cord and the clasp stronger.
Box clasps are a beautiful way to finish necklaces or bracelets. The smaller side of a box clasp slides into the larger and locks into place. Available in single- or multi-strand designs, this clasp will bring a delicate, classic look to any of your pieces.
Cord ends are used to fasten leather and fabric cords or beading chain. To attach, slip the end of the cord or chain into the hollow cord end, then crimp firmly with chain nose pliers.
Crimp beads are small tubular or round beads that are used to secure a clasp to flexible beading wire or other stringing material that cannot be knotted. Crimp beads can also be used on each side of a “floating” bead to hold it in place on flexible beading wire (such as Soft Flex or Beadalon), transparent beading thread or cord. When crimped with a crimping tool, a crimp bead will have smooth, rounded edges and will be most securely attached.
Crimp Bead Cover
Crimp bead covers conceal crimp beads, adding a polished, professional touch to your jewelry. Use pliers to gently squeeze the two sides of a cover together over a crimp bead. Check out our Beading Technique page for step-by-step instructions.
End Bar Link
End bar links serve as a transitional finding for single- and multi-strand designs. They can also connect multi-strand pieces to other findings. These links usually have one loop on one side and multiple loops on the other.
Eye pins are similar to head pins except the wire ends with a small loop instead of a head. The loop can be attached to another eye pin, head pin, clasp or other finding. Links can then be connected to form chains or long dangles. Eye pins come in different gauges (usually 20-26 gauge) and lengths.
Head pins are straight pieces of wire with a flat, round or decorative end. Slide one or more beads onto a head pin and form a wrapped or simple loop on the open end. The head keeps the beads from sliding off. You can connect these dangles to other findings or chain to create earrings, necklaces or bracelets. Head pins come in different gauges (usually 20-26 gauge) and lengths.
Hook and Eye Clasp
A hook and eye clasp looks like its name. Attach the hook to one end of your jewelry and the eye to the other. To fasten, catch the eye with the hook. This clasp can be simple, ornate or even hidden by a decorative piece. Hook and eye clasps are available for single- or multi-strand designs. This clasp style is best used with heavier necklaces so that gravity will keep the clasp from releasing unintentionally.
Jump rings are small rings of wire used to attach wire elements or charms to other elements. They can also be used as a catch for clasps such as lobster claw and S clasps. Open jump rings can be opened and re-closed with pliers. Closed jump rings are stronger because they have been soldered, forming a continuous circle.
Lobster Claw Clasp
Lobster claw clasps are among the most popular clasp choices. Available in many sizes, styles and materials, lobster claw clasps use tension from a spring-loaded mechanism to keep the clasp securely closed. The claw catches a jump ring, loop or piece of chain on the other end of a bracelet or necklace.
Multi-strand clasps are available as toggles, hook and eyes, slide bars and box clasps. These clasps work the same way as single-strand clasps except that they have multiple loops available to attach to more than one strand of wire or thread.
S clasps are similar to hook and eye clasps except that an eye catches each side of the S clasp. Chain links can also be used as a catch for the S clasp.
Spacers separate the strands of a multi-strand design so that they drape elegantly. Spacer bars have multiple holes along the length. Spacer beads, many of which are embellished with decorative designs, have multiple holes going through them.
Split rings, which resemble tiny key rings, have a double loop of wire, which makes them more secure than jump rings. You will want to be careful not to spread the two rings too far apart when attaching a split ring; a split ring plier can be very helpful.
Spring Ring Clasp
Similar in function to a lobster claw clasp, a spring ring clasp is round with a spring-loaded mechanism that closes around a loop or jump ring.
Another popular choice, toggle clasps are an easy-to-fasten, secure way to finish a necklace or bracelet. Attach the toggle bar to one end of your jewelry and the toggle ring to the other. To fasten, simply pivot the bar so that it can slip inside the ring, then pivot the bar again to secure it. The bar is longer than the diameter of the ring to keep the clasp secured. Toggles are available for both single- or multi-strand designs.
Tube Bar Clasp
Tube bar clasps are ideal for multi-strand necklaces and bracelets. One side of the tube bar is grooved and the other is slotted. Slide the two pieces together, and they lock into place. Some tube bar clasp styles include a magnetic feature, making closure even more secure.
- Findings Glossary | Fusion Beads