Findings, Clasps and Semi-Finished Components

4 Minute Read

By Katja PoljanacMore from this author

Small and intricate, they contribute significantly to easing the workload of the goldsmith. From classical ball clasps for the repair of Grandma's chain of pearls to the modern clip mechanism of designer jewelry - manufacturers and producers of findings react specifically to the various requirements of their demanding customers.

Semi-Finished Components

Various findings and clasps, SUMA Werner Malok GmbH

Friederike Glück, "Mattscheibe" brooch, silver, matt acrylic glass

Friederike Glück, stick pins "Vorder-gründig gespiegelt" an "Hinter-gründig gespiegelt", silver, gold, plated, mirror

Ornamental parts for traditional costume jewelry, Karl Fischer GmbH

Ornamental parts for traditional costume jewelry, Flume Technik

A plethora of drawers, divided up into compartments, filled with a wide range of findings - a typical image in a goldsmith's workshop. The repertoire comprises all replacement and mounting parts, accessories and tools for goldsmiths and watchmakers.

The most significant field of application for these little helpers is that of repairs and alterations as an important customer retention service. These are part of the daily routine and are often time-consuming, seldom very profitable. A significant aid in this is the reasonably-prized replacement of finished components such as lever backs, cuff link parts or catches and joints, the individual manufacture of which would be much too time-consuming and expensive. Traditional components such as bell tips, pearls clasps or stone bails, some of which are also ornamented with classical decoration, are commonly found in the ranges of manufacturers. The jewelry sector is currently rediscovering garlands and oak leaves again. Previously popular as traditional costume jewelry, the ornamental elements are now finding ironic or romantic expression. Charming and witty, they provide a contrast to the matt Plexiglas surface of a brooch by the jewelry designer and gallery owner Friederike Glück.

In the production of individual pieces and small series the goldsmith is assisted by high quality functional parts such as bracelet snaps, clip mechanisms and pin stems. The high demands on precision and functionality cannot always be achieved economically using standard craft methods. Therefore, industrial manufacturers are constantly working on the development and further development of functional parts, together with their adaptation to modern designs. Intelligent clasp systems such as the Snapfix System of J. Köhle GmbH & Co KG or wonderfully uncomplicated magnetic clasps are an example of this. Their use adds value to the jewelry and helps to win the customer over with pleasant ease of handling.

Snapfix System, J. Köhle GmbH

Double hook fastener, Rohm GmbH & Co KG

Spring ring, Leach & Garner

Clasp encrusted with gemstones, MRO-Rochlitzer

Earring components, Karl Fischer GmbH

Omega clip, SUMA Malok GmbH

Men's stud or stick pin, Flume Technik

Pin stems, catches and joints, Karl Fischer GmbH

Various safety catches, Beco-Technic, Birkenstock & Co. GmbH

The elegantly formed Omega clip mechanism not only provides a secure grip for the often-heavy ear clip, it also guarantees a perfect fit, even for voluminous ear studs. Safety mechanisms for stick pins with incredibly tiny sprung mechanisms offer a high degree of wearing comfort and significantly better protection against loss of the expensive jewelry.

The basis for the manufacture of high quality individual pieces or small series is often ring blanks, clip creoles, tie slides and other semi-finished components. These also serve to rationalize work processes in the workshop. Jointless ring profiles, such as those from the renowned wedding ring producer Albert Wörner GmbH fulfill all customer requirements, with even different colored metal combinations possible.

Chaton settings, Karl Fischer GmbH

Florian Weichsberger, brooch 2005, rhinestone settings, laminate

Crocodile clip for tie holder, Flume Technik

Ring blanks, Flume Technik

Ring blanks, Flume Technik

Clip creoles, Gebr. Ott GmbH

Ring blank, Gebr. Ott GmbH

Ring blank, Gebr. Ott GmbH

Two-tone wedding rings, Albert Wörner GmbH

Bezel or claw settings, the nightmare of all apprentice goldsmiths, can be purchased ready-finished and employed as required. The standard sizes for classic stone cuts are supplied in a variety of qualities as semi-finished products, already equipped with a high gloss finish. The jewelry artist Florian Weichsberger was inspired to an unusual design approach by pressed strass settings, combining them together to create a gracefully balanced image.

Achieving a balance of specific material characteristics such as high rigidity with simultaneous elasticity is only possible with modern high-tech production procedures. In addition to the range of standard fineness values for precious metals, some producers, such as the American company Leach & Garner, are producing their own alloys for their products, promising even better results as a consequence. Demand for platinum is declining. Many products are not made of this, but they can be requested and produced in small series at a number of producers, such as Suma W. Malok GmbH. However, this is the exception. As a rule, it is not possible to order directly from the manufacturer. Despite this, it is worth inquiring at a local dealer. Not only findings manufacturers, also tool traders such as R. Flume Technik, Gebr. Ott GmbH or K. Fischer GmbH offer a wide range. The growing internet presence of the suppliers conveys an initial impression of the range. Catalogues may also be downloaded as PDF files, enabling the direct comparison of prize and quality.

Gold balls, ornamental components for pearl or stone chains, MRO-Rochlitzer

Extension chain, Karl Fischer GmbH

Pearl spacers, MRO-Rochlitzer

by Katja Poljanac

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Katja Poljanac

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