When people first begin to consider jewelry making and design, they usually start by thinking about the beautiful components, such as the intricate beads, the delicate chains, the perfect pendants and the sparkling Swarovski style crystals. However, there are some key components of the jewelry making process which are far less glamorous, but which are just as important: the jewelry findings. Without the use of jewelry findings, even the most beautiful pieces of jewelry just wouldn’t cut it.
Clasps and catches are some of the most important jewelry findings in use today. These items allow people to put on and take off their jewelry, without hurting themselves or damaging the jewelry. Without clasps or catches, people would only be able to wear jewelry which they could fit over their hand or head, or jewelry which they could tie on! This would prevent people from wearing delicate chain jewelry or other similar styles, as it would just not be feasible!
Without jewelry findings, earrings would not exist in the same form that we are used to today! These findings ensure that earrings are comfortable and hygienic for the wearer, and that they can be slotted through the piercing without doing any damage to the wearer’s ears. Without jewelry findings, there would be no way for earrings to stay in place! These findings also help to ensure that the earrings hang in the correct way, meaning that they will look as beautiful as the designer intended.
Other findings, such as jump rings are used to attach components together. For example, a jump ring can be used to attach a pendant to a necklace. Without jump rings or other findings, designers would be able to create beautiful pendants, but they would not be able to attach these pendants to a necklace or bracelet. They would not even be able to turn these pendants into beautiful brooches instead, because badge pins and brooch pins are both types of jewelry finding too!
In fact, cabochon settings and other types of settings on which pictures, gemstones or designs may be set are also another type of jewelry finding! Whilst these settings seem to make up an aesthetic part of the finished jewelry, the settings also play a practical role and are therefore considered to be findings!
It is fair to say that jewelry findings are an essential part of the jewelry making process. Without these important pieces of jewelry making equipment, the jewelry which we wear would be completely unrecognizable. If you are ever lucky enough to visit a museum of jewelry, it is possible to see some of the styles of jewelry which were popular before many modern jewelry findings were invented. Whilst these pieces of jewelry are beautiful in their own rights, there was less potential for creativity, because the findings which we rely on now as jewelry makers had not been invented! Thankfully, it is now possible for amateur jewelry makers to get hold of hundreds of different types of findings for their jewelry designs.