Findings Terms for Jewelers

Bookmark this jewelry findings glossary for quick reference the next time you across a term you’re unfamiliar with.

Last edited: 11/12/2019
An assortment of findings made by Rio Grande

Why are there so many types of clasps? And what’s the difference between a ring and a ring shank? Jewelry making is a discipline that has its own language that is full of specialized terminology. We are here to help. Bookmark this jewelry-making findings glossary for the next time you come across a term you’re unfamiliar with.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B


Bail
Sterling Silver Snap-on Pendant Bail
A metal component used to attach a pendant onto a chain or necklace.
Ball/Bead Clasp
Gold Round Ball Magnetic Clasp
A bead or pearl containing a hidden fastening mechanism that provides a decorative closure which flows with the design of a necklace or bracelet.
Bangle
Sterling Silver Oval Hinged Twist Bangle Bracelet
A rigid bracelet made of solid or hollow metal, usually without a clasp, meant to hang loosely.
Barrel Clasp
Silver Magnetic Barrel Clasp
A small barrel or torpedo-shaped closure that fastens two ends together through a screw, box or hook insert mechanism.
Barrette
Stainless Steel Barrette Assortment
A bar-shaped clip or ornament for the hair.
Basket Setting
Oval Basket 4-Prong Setting
A metal, open-sided prong setting that allows the lower part of the gemstone to be visible.
Bead
Opal Beads
A small piece of metal, glass, stone or similar material pierced for threading on string or wire used in the making of a necklace or bracelet.
Bead Cap
Sterling Silver Bead Cap
A metal bell or cap-shaped ornamental piece placed on a bead used to either accentuate the bead or or to conceal any type of damage or defect to the hole.
Bead Cone
Sterling Silver Bead Cone
A cone shaped piece of metal with a wide base that tapers to a pointed end used to secure and conceal multiple strands of beading wire or cord.
Bead Tip
Sterling Silver Double-Cup Bead Tip
A metal jewelry finding with a concave cup on one side and small hook on the other. It is used to conceal a beading thread knot inside the concave cup and attach to a clasp with the hook portion.
Bezel
Sterling Silver Round Gallery Wire Bezel Cup
Usually a metal rim on a piece of jewelry in which an ornament such as a gemstone is set.
Bezel Cup
Bronze Gallery Wire Bezel Cup Setting
A type of setting on a piece of jewelry designed to hold flat-back stones or ornaments. The metal on the edge of this setting is burnished over the stone or ornament to hold it securely in place.
Bolo Slide
Locking Bolo Back
A device to which a bolo ornament is affixed either with glue or soldering. The other side has two rolled tubes that allow leather or cord to slide through creating a neckpiece.
Bolo Tip
Sterling Silver Bolo Tip with 3mm Bead
Conical shaped findings in various lengths that are glued and/or crimped to the end of a bolo cord to prevent fraying as well as add another ornamental component to the piece.
Box Clasp
Sterling Silver Rectangle Box Clasp with Safety Catch, 2-Strand
A two-part clasp with a wide, hollow box and a spring-tensioned tongue that slides into the box and snaps in place to securely close the clasp.
Brooch
An ornament fastened to clothing with a hinged pin and catch.
Bullet Clutch
Sterling Silver Bullet Clutch
A small barrel-shaped clutch with a rubber insert used for gripping a stickpin or earring posts.
Button Loop Tie Holder
Sterling Silver Button Loop Tie Holder
A piece of metal with an indentation in the middle used to slip over the button sitting behind a tie. This component also has a loop on each side for attaching a chain that goes around the front of the tie.

C


Catch
Universal Pin Catch
A piece of hardware designed to hold, close-in and lock a top wire or pin stem.
Chain Extender
Gold Rope Chain Extender
A short length of chain that attaches to the clasp of a necklace, bracelet or anklet allowing for the piece to vary in length.
Chain Tag
Sterling Silver 'Sterling' Stamped Chain Tag
A small piece of metal with a hole on one or both ends to provide an easy attachment point to a jump ring or clasp and used to carry the quality stamp or trademark of the manufacturer.
Chandelier Component
Sterling Silver Scrolled Component
A decorative drop or drops that hang from an earring and dangle like a chandelier.
Channel Setting
zzz
A setting where stones are fitted in between two parallel walls of metal.
Charm
Sterling Silver Moonrise Over Mountains Charm
A small ornament worn on a necklace, bracelet or earring.
Charm Holder/Hanger
Sterling Silver Bead and Charm Holder Pendant
A component attached to a necklace, chain or cord where the bottom portion is either open or can be opened to add various charms.
Choker
Sterling Silver Rhodium-Plated Choker-Style Necklace
A short necklace that is worn higher up on the neck, approximately 14".
Cinch Mount/Wrap-Tite®
Sterling Silver  Wrap-Tite Component Mounting
A mounting that captures only the girdle of a faceted stone or the rim of a cabochon.
Clasp
Bronze Flat-End Toggle Clasp Set
A fastening device used to hold two or more parts together in a bracelet or necklace.
Clutch
Sterling Silver Ear Post and Clutch Set
A component with a hole that accommodates an earring post, tie tack, or stick pin and holds it securely in place.
Clutch Back
Aluminum Comfort Clutch
A clutch with a hole that allows an earring to be attached so it sits securely on the earlobe.
Clutch and Bar
Tie Tac Clutch with Bar and Chain
A tie tack clutch with a small chain attached to a bar. The bar passes through a button hole to secure it in place.
Cocktail Ring
A sculptured, ornate ring that holds a variety of stones.
Comfort Disc
LuxLock Bullet Clutch with Comfort Disc
A plastic disc that fits over an earring post before the ear nut is put in place. This helps to distribute the weight of an earring, making them more comfortable to wear.
Corrugated Bead
Sterling Silver Corrugated Saucer Beads
A hollow bead with a surface that has been molded into alternating furrows and ridges.
Crimp Bead
Silver Tube Crimp Beads
A very small piece of metal tubing in the form of a ball or tube used to secure beading wire when finishing off a strand of beads.wh
Cross
Sterling Silver Cross Pendant
A religious component symbolizing the resurrection, which can be either plain or ornate. It's called a crucifix if it includes the crucified figure of Christ.
Cuff/Cuff Bracelet
Sterling Silver Concave Cuff Bracelet
A wide bracelet that spans the wrist but is open in the back.
Cuff Link Action/Back
The hinged, functional component of a cuff link that can be turned 90 degrees after inserting through the button hole on a shirt cuff to hold the cuff link in place.

D


Dapped
A descriptor for texture on chain and other jewelry findings.
Dog Tag
Stainless Steel Dog Tag Pendant
An identification tag traditionally used by military personnel worn around the neck.
Dome
A rounded half-ball form.
Drop
Sterling Silver Long Bar Drop Earrings
An ornament, made of metal or stone, attached to a piece of jewelry; also: an earring with such an ornament.

E


Earring
Sterling Silver Labradorite-Set Post Earring
A piece of jewelry worn on the earlobe or edge of the ear.
Earring Back/Earring Clutch/Ear Nut
Yellow Gold Lightweight Friction Ear Nut
A clutch with a hole that accommodates an ear post to secure an earring to an ear lobe.
Earring Cushion/Pad
Brass Yellow Gold-Plated Half-Ball Screw-Back Earring with Cushion and Open Ring
A rubber or silicone insert that fits into or over the clip portion of a clip earring for greater comfort.
Earring Jacket/Enhancer
Sterling Silver Five-Ray Earring Jacket
A decorative component that can be added to an earring to create a variety of looks.
Ear Clip
A style of earring that is ideal for customers without pierced ears. Ear clips close around the earlobe using mechanical pressure to hold the earring in place. Also called clip earrings.
Ear Post
Ear Post with Nut
A pin-like finding attached to the back of an earring that passes through a pierced earlobe and is secured with some type of clutch.
Ear Screw
14K Yellow Gold Ear Screw Pearl Mounting
A U-shaped ear wire with a threaded back that clamps earrings to un-pierced ears.
Ear Threads
Gold-Filled Box Chain Ear Thread
An earring component made up of a small metal post attached to a short piece of chain that fits through a hole in the ear and dangles some type of an ornamental piece.
Ear Wire
White Gold Ear Wire
A formed, non-closing wire that passes through a pierced earlobe. The most common of these is the French ear wire, also sometimes called "fishhook" or "shepherd's hook."
Enhancer Bail/Clip-on Bail/Necklace Enhancer
Stainless Steel Click-In Necklace Enhancer
A bail-like finding that is either solid or hinged and slips over a strand of pearls or beads. They are used to temporarily connect pendants to a necklace as well as easily change them out.
Eye Pin
Sterling Silver Eye Pins
A component made up of a straight wire that has a loop on one end where decorative beads or stones can be attached.
Eyelets
Brass Eyelets
A metal ring or short tube (grommet) for reinforcing a small hole or perforation in leather or metal, thereby providing a smooth surface for wire or cord to run through.

F


Festoon
Sterling Silver Arched Festoon Pendant with Bars and Rings
A plain or decorative pendant with rings (or holes) on both sides that suspend the pendant between two lengths of chain or cord.
Fleur-de-Lis
Black Agate Fleur-de-Lis Cameo
An iris shaped ornament, the insignia of French royalty.
Floating Glass Locket
Stainless Steel Round Floating Glass Locket Pendants
A glass locket that holds loose charms inside, giving the appearance the charms are floating.
Fob
A chain attached to a pocket watch for carrying in a pocket. Also see Watch and Loupe Chain.
Fold-Over Clasp
Copper Fold-Over Clasp
A hinged clasp that is formed to fold over itself on one end and lock in place.
French Hook/French Ear Wire
Yellow Gold French Ear Wire
A non-closing ear wire similar to a hook that has a loop on the front that can be opened for adding a decorative finding, drop or gemstone.
French Wire
Brass Yellow-Finish French Wire
A fine coil of wire used to conceal beading thread/wire next to crimps and clasps.
Friction Clasp
Sterling Silver Friction Clasps
A clasp made of two parts of tubing where one side fits over the other and provides enough friction between the two parts to securely hold a necklace in place.
Friction Earring Back/Nut
Sterling Silver Friction Ear Nut
The most common type of earring back. It consists of a flat or patterned plate with a center hole that fits the earring post snugly, yet is still easily put on or take off. It slides onto the post and against the earlobe holding the earring in place.
Fusion Post
Stainless Steel Fusion Ear Post
A finding resembling a normal pin or ear post but has an initiating nib at the end for fusion welding instead of soldering.

G


Glass Locket
Sterling Silver Hexagon Antique Glass Locket Pendant
A glass pendant that opens, allowing pictures or small ringless charms to be inserted between the front and back glass sections.
Glue-On Bail
Sterling Silver Teardrop Glue-On Pendant Bail
A pendant bail with a textured front surface that creates a stronger adhesion between the bail and a decorative piece such as a stone or glass.
Guard Chain
See Safety Chain.

H


Half-Drilled Bead
Amethyst Half-Drilled Teardrop Bead
A bead with a hole drilled only half way through, usually used as a drop in pendant and earring designs.
Hat Pin
A long, straight, metal pin with an ornamental bead or head attached at one end; the pin end is passed through the hat and hair, fastening the hat securely in place.
Head Pin
Sterling Silver Rose Gold-Plated Head Pins
A wire of varying length and gauge with a flat or domed end that is a slightly larger diameter than the rest of the wire. Head pins are used in jewelry assembly to help connect the components that make up a finished jewelry piece.
Heishi
Silver Heishi Beads
A bead made out of small disk-shaped shells, turquoise, coral or silver tubes.
Hidden Screw Clasp
White Gold Hidden Screw Clasp with Swivel
A necklace fastener consisting of two short barrels with screws that connect. The clasp is partially buried in the bead or pearl, giving the necklace a streamlined look when screwed together.
Hinge
A two- or three-component assembly for joining; permits motion of a finding to complete its function as a piece of jewelry. Consists of a joint, top wire and catch.
Hinge Joint
The pin that fits through pieces of metal tubing to create the hinge used for lockets, cases, boxes, etc.
Hook & Eye Clasp
Sterling Silver Hook & Eye Clasp
A simple clasp used to fasten bracelets and necklaces together. It consists of two parts—a hook-shaped side with an attach ring and an eye (eyelet) or jump ring into which the hook fits and securely joins the two ends of the jewelry piece together. A hook & eye clasp relies on the piece having enough weight to keep the clasp securely closed.
Hoop Earrings
Sterling Silver Endless Hoop Earring
Hoop earrings circle the ear from front to back. They are available in a variety of shapes and not necessarily a complete circle.

I


Identification/I.D. Bracelet
Sterling Silver I.D. Bracelet
A bracelet usually made of metal links, featuring a curved metal plate that can be engraved with the name, monogram or medical information of the wearer.
Illusion Setting
Silver, 4-Prong Illusion Pendant Mounting
A type of prong setting with a shiny, faceted metal plate that is used to surround the girdle of a gemstone or diamond, making the stone appear larger and more brilliant.
Initial/Monogram Ring
A personalized ring with the wearer’s initial(s) raised, engraved, cut out, or set into a contrasting piece of metal or stone. Also see Signet Ring.
Insignia Jewelry
Jewelry personalized with the wearer’s emblem, crest, fraternal symbol, etc.
Invisible Setting
A variation of the pavé look, this mounting that holds multiple stones side-by-side where the setting itself is not prominent. It is designed to hide the metal around each stone, giving the appearance that the stones are held by nothing. Usually the stones are square or princess cut in shape.

J


Jewelry Findings
All the parts used to join jewelry components together to form a completed piece of jewelry.
Joint
The support on which a pin stem pivots.
Jump Ring
14K Rose Gold Round Jump Rings
A wire ring of any size, usually round or oval in shape, and used for attaching jewelry parts. It is made by bringing two ends of wire together without soldering and is slightly open for quick connections.

K


Key Ring
Sterling Silver Flat-Wire Split Key Ring
A larger metal split ring, screw and ball device, or spring-loaded holder onto which keys can be attached and kept together.
Kidney Wire
Sterling Silver Kidney Ear Wire
An ear wire formed into a kidney shape onto which dangling components are attached. It closes securely but is a more affordable, lightweight and simple design than a standard ear wire or lever-back ear wire.

L


Lanyard Hook
Swivel Lanyard Hook
A component that is narrow at one end and wide at the other. It opens inward with thumb pressure and is held closed by the spring or temper of the wire. Lanyard hooks can be shaped like a lobster clasp and have an attached swivel at one end.
Lever-Back Ear Wire
Lever-Back Ear Wire with Loop
An earring made for pierced ears with a hook-shaped or curved ear wire that is hinged and has a spring-loaded closure at the base of the hook. The hook portion passes through a hole in the earlobe and latches securely behind the ear.
Link
A decorative component with loops or rings on each end for linking together with connectors or jump rings.
Lobster Clasp
Silver Teardrop Lobster Clasp with Closed Ring
A clasp, often shaped like a lobster’s claw, with a lever under tension by an internal spring mechanism used to open and close the clasp.
Locket
A small ornamental case, typically made of gold or silver, worn around a person's neck on a chain and used to hold things of sentimental value, such as a photograph or lock of hair.

M


Medallion
A piece of jewelry in the shape of a medal, typically worn as a pendant, often commemorating someone or an event, usually with a head or figures cast or stamped on the face of the pendant.
Memory Wire
Beadalon® Stainless Steel Bracelet Memory Wire
Flexible steel wire with a hard temper to hold its shape. Used for stringing beads, it is sold in coils that are sized for making rings, bracelets and necklaces. Memory wire does not require a clasp.
Mesh
Mesh is crafted of very fine wire woven to produce chain that has a fluid, fabric-like flexibility. It is used in chains, necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Money Clip
Stainless steel money clip
A folded spring metal device typically used to hold cash or credit cards in a very compact fashion for those who do not wish to carry a wallet.
Message Jewelry
Jewelry that conveys stories of the past, commemorates an event or celebrates a milestone with a word or phrase.
Monogram
A combination of letters arranged in a pleasing and artistic form and engraved onto jewelry, watches, silverware, etc.
Mounting
High-Wall Bezel Pendant Mountings
An unfinished piece of jewelry such as a ring, pendant, bracelet or earring with a setting attached to hold a gemstone in place. Also see Setting.

N


Neck Chain
Sterling Silver Margherita & Box Chain Choker-Style Necklace
A chain worn around the neck used to hang a variety of ornaments such as pendants, crosses and beads. It varies in length, width, style and metal type.
Necklace/Chain Extender
14K Yellow Gold Chain Extender
A short length of chain or another necklace material with a connector on one end and a jump ring on the other, used to extend the length of a necklace.

O


Omega Chain
Gold-Plated Round Omega Neck Chains
A wide chain comprising small, wide metal plates aligned next to one another and crimped to an underlying mesh substructure to create a bright chain with lots of surface area but limited flexibility.
Omega Clip
Omega Pearl Ear Clip Mounting
A wire clip earring finding shaped like the Greek letter "Omega." The omega wire pivots in one end of a joint attached to the earring.
Opera-Length Necklace
A necklace 26 to 36 inches long that can be worn as a single strand or doubled to create a fashionable two-strand choker.

P


Pavé Setting
Comes from the French word "to pave," as in paved with diamonds. Closely set small diamonds have minimal visibility of the tiny metal beads or prongs holding the stones in place, giving the effect of continuous sparkle.
Pearl Cup
A metal cup on a piece of jewelry designed to hold a pearl secured by adhesive. It sometimes has a small peg that inserts into the half-drilled hole of a pearl for added security.
Pearl Drop
A single genuine or imitation pearl with a metal ring attached for suspension from a piece of jewelry such as a necklace or earrings.
Pearl Shortener
Gold Necklace Shortener Clasp with Safety Catch
A small, sometimes "figure-8" style, device that locks onto two sides of a single strand of pearls; used to shorten a strand of pearls by a few pearls or a few inches.
Peg Setting/Pearl Mounting
Gold peg setting
A peg set into a metal cup/setting on a piece of jewelry; used to secure a half-drilled pearl or bead using adhesive or jeweler’s epoxy.
Pendant
Stainless steel pendant
An ornamental piece of jewelry that hangs from a chain worn around the neck.
Pin Back
Nickel One-Piece Narrow Pin Back
A one-piece joint, catch and pin stem assembly that can be attached to a piece of jewelry by gluing or soldering.
Pinch Bail
Silver Pinch Pendant Bail
A metal finding partially folded in half with short prongs on the inside of each end. When pinched together, the metal prongs fit into the hole of a top drilled bead or a pendant, allowing it to hang from a chain or cord.
Pin Stem
Nickel Pin Stem
A sharply pointed piece of metal with a base fashioned into a hole or T-shape to facilitate connection with the pin joint. It is used to fasten, support or attach things to clothing.
Prong Setting/Prong Mounting
Silver 4-Prong Setting
A setting or mounting consisting of a series of prongs that hold a stone in a piece of jewelry.
Push Clasp
Sterling Silver Swivel Push Clasp
A clasp with a one-way, spring-loaded hinged opening. Opens by pushing against it from the outside.

Q


Quality Tag
Sterling Silver Stamped Quality Tag
A small flat piece of metal, usually square or rectangle shaped, with a hole on the end. It is used to carry the quality stamp or trademark of the manufacturer of a piece of jewelry.

R


Rabbit Ear Bail
White Gold Rabbit-Ear Pendant Bail
A two-loop bail that looks like a “V” from the front.
Ring
A piece of jewelry that is worn on the finger.
Ring Blank
A plain band that can be modified.
Ring Shank
A ring that is commonly open and is ready for adding a setting or other embellishment.
Ring Guard
White Gold Ladies' Ring Guard
A device, usually metal, attached to the inside of a ring band used to tighten/reduce the inside diameter of a ring that is too large.
Roundel/Rondelle
Sterling Silver Roundel Beads
A donut or squatted disk-shaped bead that can be used as a spacer or accent in bead stringing.

S


Safety Catch for Pin Stem
A catch that incorporates a sliding piece that locks the pin-stem in the closed position, preventing accidental release.
Safety Chain
Sterling Silver Safety Chain
A small chain, usually 2 to 3 inches, that has one end attached to the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, the other to a loop or link on the opposite end of the piece. It is used as a fail-safe in case the clasp opens.
Safety Clasp/Pearl Clasp
Sterling Silver Bead Safety Clasp
A two-part closure that secures in two different ways to help prevent loss. A hook catches a small bar inside one side of the clasp. The clasp then pushes together and locks into place creating extra security.
Screw Back
An ear nut or clutch that screws onto a threaded post.
Screw Back Ear Clip
An ear clip with a threaded screw that tightens an earring against a non-pierced earlobe for tension adjustment.
Screw Clasp
A fastener consisting of two short barrels with screws that connect.
Screw Eye
Sterling Silver Screw Eye
A short wire with a ring and sometimes also a cup at one end, used to insert into a pearl or bead to convert it into a drop.
Semi-Mount
Sterling Silver Semi-Mount Engagement Ring
A partially set mounting that usually has small side stones, but no main or center stone.
Setting/Head/Mounting
Round Serrated Bezel Cup Setting
A metal form into which a stone is set using prongs, a bezel, or any other means of holding the stone.
Shank
See Ring Shank.
Shepard's Hook
An ear wire with a longer shaft, shaped like a shepherd’s crook. Also known as ear wire, French ear wire, and French hook.
S-Hook Clasp
Silver S-hook Clasp
A one-piece clasp shaped like the letter “S” that hooks onto the end rings of the necklace or bead strand design.
Signet/Seal Ring
Sterling Silver Signet Rings
A ring that has been around since the days of the Old Testament, where it was used as a personal signature or symbol used to impress a wax seal for identification of letters or documents. This ring is engraved with the wearer’s coat of arms, initial(s) or crest. Also see Initial/Monogram Ring.
Spacer/Separator Bar
A flat metal component with holes used to keep strands of beads separate or from getting tangled in a multi-strand bracelet or necklace.
Sport Ring
An over-sized spring ring that is usually used to attach a watch to a belt loop.
Split Ring
Sterling Silver Split Rings
A metal ring with two spiral turns, such as a key ring.
Spring Ring
Sterling Silver Spring Ring Clasp with Attach Ring
A round, hollow, tubular metal fastener used for necklaces and bracelets. Works by using a spring-loaded inner piece that retracts when you pull the trigger to open and close.
Stamping
Rose Gold-Filled Disc Stamping
A metal part generally formed by die striking into various shapes such as ovals, squares, rounds, hearts, rectangles, etc., used frequently for engraving or hand stamping.
Swivel
A coupling between two parts enabling one to revolve without turning the other, often used to attach watches to chain.

T


Tassel
Light-Gray Nappa Italian Leather Tassel
An ornamental tuft of threads, cords or chains of equal or graduated lengths that hang loosely from the knot that ties them together, often hung from a chain or cord.
Threaded Ear Nut/Back
Sterling Silver Threaded Ear Nut
A more secure type of earring back used on larger, more expensive earring studs. The back has a hole in the center to fit a threaded post. It screws onto the ear post acting like a nut and bolt to secure/lock the earring in place.
Threaded Post
Gold Threaded Ear Post
A threaded ear post that adds extra security to earring designs. Requires the use of a threaded ear nut.
Tie Bar/Clip
A spring clip that opens when pinched at the handle end. It is used for holding a necktie on a shirt.
Tie Tac Clutch/Military Grip
Brass Tie Tac Clutch
A clutch that grips a grooved post, usually with two wings that are squeezed to release the post.
Tie Tac Post
Brass Tie Tac Post
A short pin that is soldered or fused to an ornamental top to create a tie tac or lapel pin; requires a clutch to hold in place.
Toggle Clasp
Sterling Silver Swirl Toggle Clasp
A two-part clasp consisting of a ring and a bar that is usually used on a necklace or bracelet. The bar is inserted through the ring to fasten the jewelry together.
Tuxedo Stud Back
Sterling Silver Tuxedo Stud Back with Pad
A usually springy metal bar with a small pad onto which a decorative finding is soldered. The back is fed through a button hole on a formal shirt to hold the tuxedo stud together.

V


V-Slide Bail
See Rabbit Ear Bail.

W


Watch and Loupe Chain
Sterling Silver Diamond-Cut Watch and Loupe Chain
A wide chain with a swiveling clip on one end and a sport ring on the other, usually kept in a pocket and used to secure a watch or jeweler's loupe.

Y


Y-Style Necklace
A chain or cord necklace with a long pendant or drop that creates a "Y" shape when worn.