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.It had two scissor-like hooks that opened in the middle, then overlapped each other when closed. Monet had a patented, rounded sister clasp used in its jewelry in the 1950s and 1960s.As with bracelets, commonly used vintage necklace clasps include ring clasps, foldover clasps, and box clasps.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.In 1894 the screw-back earring was invented, allowing women without pierced ears to wear earrings.The earring clip was patented in 1934 and by the 1940s became the preferred earring style for women without pierced ears.
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 clasp (also called shepherd’s hook) was very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, when chunky multi-strand bead necklaces and sparkling rhinestone necklaces were very popular.Usually, the necklace had a chain that allowed the hook to use any of the chain links, making the necklace length adjustable.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 safety catch (also known as the “spring ring” clasp) was introduced in 1921.