Charm Fittings

findingsThere are many ways of attaching charms to bracelets or necklaces. This article should guide you to make the best choice when choosing your findings (fittings).

Open Jump Rings
Most commonly when you purchase a charm it will be supplied with an ‘open’ jump ring. This is a small round ring of silver or gold that goes through a loop in the charm and through the link of the chain. It is easily attached by bending the ends of the ring sideways, slipping on the charm and chain and bending the ends back to touch. Always bend the link apart sideways so it looks like a small part of a spring, NEVER open it so the link looks like the letter ‘C” (it’s really hard to make it round again). It is however not secure and it should be soldered closed by a jeweller. If you don’t have it soldered, it may open if it gets caught on your clothing and you may lose your charm. Normally a jeweller will charge around $5 or $10 to do this for you.

Link Locks
If you are only buying one or two charms, it may be cheaper to use a link lock, rather than visiting a jeweller. These are an Australian invention that replace normal jump rings and can be fitted easily at home. Link locks open into a ‘C’ shape and are fitted to the chain and charm in the same way as a jump ring. The centre section has a small locking tab that holds the link lock closed securely and they are as strong as a soldered jump ring. At only 5.5mm long they suit small to medium chains. As they are quite small you may need a magnifying glass or better yet for hands free working, a pair of +4 reading glasses from the local chemist. There are simple instructions and diagrams on our website to help you.

Parrot Clasps
Sometimes you may wish to move your charms around on your bracelet or onto another charm bracelet. We can supply any of our charms with miniature parrot clasps, soldered to the charm. This is a secure way of connecting your charms and the easiest way to move them from chain to chain when the whim takes you. Of course you could clip them to your phone or anything else you want to add a little bit of bling to.

Sliders
A few years ago a number of companies (including Pandora) began selling snake chains that were designed only to take their own style of charm. These charms took the shape of a bead that the chain slid through and some chains had a number of small sections with thread so that some of the charms could be locked in place. Normal charms can’t be joined to these bracelets with jump rings as the links in the chain are not suitable. Sliders solve this problem, the charm is soldered to the slider and the slider joins onto the snake chain in the same way you would fit a bead shaped charm.

Closed Jump Rings
Many of the charms we have in our store also make great pendants to be worn on a necklace. As the jump ring on the pendant slides along the length of the chain and not through a link, a closed jump ring would be selected when the charm is purchased. Having the link soldered closed prevents the pendant (charm) from leaving chain unexpectedly. Generally the jump ring will be fine for small to medium chains up to around 4mm or 5mm thick. Please let us know if you have a larger chain so we can supply a larger size of ring to suit.

Earring Hooks
Many of the charms in our range of over 4600 different designs would make great earrings. It would be best to choose from charms that weigh less than 2 or 3 grams (a 5c piece weighs around 2.8g) so they are not too heavy. To create earrings from any of our charms, you can use Shepherds hooks. We have two sizes of hooks in both silver and gold to choose from.