Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brooch Clasp Types

C Clasp

A C clasp is a piece of metal or plastic in the shape of a C that catches the pin on a brooch. Most C Clasps were used pre-1900 as the rollover or safety clasp was invented and in use by 1910. The use of a C clasp usually indicates an older piece of jewelry, especially when the pin part also overhangs the side of the brooch. However, because c clasps are still occasionally used (usually in plastic), you should not rely on the clasp alone when dating a piece of vintage jewelry.

Safety Clasp

A safety clasp (AKA rollover clasp or locking C clasp) is essentially a C clasp but has an additional metal piece that rolls over the opening to lock in the pin. Rollover clasps became popular around 1910 and are still used today.

Trombone Clasp

A trombone clasp has a piece of metal on one end that slides in and out, like a trombone, to secure the pin. Trombone clasps are primarily found in European jewelry and have been in use since the 1850's.


  1. Thank you ~ Your information was very helpful about the different pin clasps : ) Lori ~

  2. I appreciated this article as I'm always at a loss as to what to call a clasp. Jennifer

  3. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my website.
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  4. I have an old metal mesh bow pin with an original plastic c- this pre 1900???

  5. What about the t-bar type clasps? I know they are Victorian, but not sure about the exact dates . Thanks for your help! And great page! I actually found it cause I needed the dates for the rollover clasps, so thanks again.