Findings: What does that mean? Are you looking to FIND something? Is it like a treasure hunt? What will we find? We like treasure hunts! We consider each and every finding we carry a special little treasure.
Actually the term "findings" as used in the jewelry industry is a noun that means "small tools and supplies used by an artisan (as in dressmaker, jeweler, or shoemaker)." So really, findings are the things you use to make the stuff.
Thank you Merriam-Webster!
According to Sessin Durgham (Tech Team member and all around fabulous jeweler), findings are split into three categories:
- The ones you can’t find.
- The ones you are looking for.
- The ones you’ve found but aren’t available in the size you want.
So, let’s find the findings. You’re looking for them, you need them, you want them, but which ones do you need and want? Let’s see…
What’s the Difference Between a Jump Ring and a Split Ring?
- Jump rings are made with a single loop of wire. The majority of the jump rings we carry have an opening that allows the ring to be attached or "jumped" off of another component. We also have jump rings that are soldered closed.
- Split rings are also made of wire but there are two loops of wire overlapping each other. Just about everyone we know owns a split ring—just take a look at what you have your keys attached to!
What Clasp Should I Use? There Are So Many to Choose From!
- We like variety. It makes things spicy…or something like that.
- Clasps can be chosen for functionality or beauty, or both.
- To choose a clasp you need to consider the design of your piece—it’s all about balance. The clasp should compliment your design. A large 25mm clasp would probably look strange if it was used on a strand of 3mm beads. Or if you have a chunky necklace made out of large turquoise beads a mini toggle clasp probably isn’t your best choice.
- The most functional clasps (but not the prettiest) are spring rings. These clasps are very secure because there is a spring mechanism inside that allows the clasp to be opened and closed.
- Lobster clasps are one of the most popular choices. They are prettier than the spring rings and come in all sorts of styles and sizes.
- Toggle clasps and hook and eye clasps are great if you are looking for functionality AND design. Check out Rio's clasps to see the huge variety we offer.
- When shopping for a clasp keep in mind that the pictures in our catalog are actual size. This really helps when you’re trying to visualize your best choice.
Speaking of Lobster Clasps…
- Most clasps don’t like to be soldered. If you must solder near one, choose a lobster clasp that doesn’t have a jump ring. This way you can attach a larger jump ring—the larger the ring the farther way the flame will be from the clasp.
- And as for spring rings…they also don’t like being soldered. When in doubt, It’s a good rule to not solder any clasp that has a spring. The heat from the torch can diminish the hardness of the spring.
- If you have a laser welder or a welding machine like the PUK your clasps should be safe.
And Speaking of Soldering…Are There Other Findings That Can’t Be Soldered?
- Most of our cuff links (including our Tuxedo Stud Backs) have springs in them. So, same rule applies—heat will damage the spring, making it, well, less springy. So, what you need to do is bury the finding in heat shield to protect the spring. Then use easy or extra easy solder. Or if you don’t want to mess around with heat shield you can use a low temp solder.
- Some pin catches require soft solder (like Solderfast or Tix). This is because the rotor (the part that opens and closes the catch) is loose. If heat was applied the catch would become too loose and would not stay shut.
- Also, don’t solder any findings that have been plated. The plating will burn away.
What Are Head Pins and Eye Pins Used For?
- Both head pins and eye pins are used to string beads.
- Head pins have a length of wire with a head on one end. The head can be flat (like a nail head) or domed (like a mushroom) or balled (like a ball). The head is there to act as a stopper when beads are strung onto the wire. Also, the head gives the piece a finished look.
- We also have all sorts of super cool decorative headpins.
- Eye pins also have a length of wire but there is an eye, or a loop at one end. This loop is used as a connection point. Hey! You can attach the loop of an eye pin to a jump ring!
What is a Clutch?
A clutch is:
A) Part of a car's transmission
B) A heavy metal band from Maryland
C) A finding that is used to hold an earring in place
D) All of the above
- The answer is D, all of the above. But right now we’re just concerned with answer C.
- Earring clutches are also known as earring backs or friction ear nuts.
- These earring backs have a hole in the center for the post to pass through. The hole needs to be large enough to accommodate the post. But the real action is in the back of the clutch. The wings of the ear clutch hold the post in place through friction. Pretty cool.
- There are also other styles of clutches that have a rubber insert inside. This rubber insert is what holds the earrings steady.
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