Lori: Sorry to be remiss in answering your post but I had not
gone into my e-mail for some days.
You could try to get some hard silver (I think Rio Grande calls
it “Spring-Finish”) to use. I know that there have been pieces
of silver floating around for decades with no harm to their
clasps. If you have a kiln, you would also work harden it that
The only thing that you might want to use the nickel silver for
is the hinge-pin. If the clasp will rest against one’s neck, I
think it could cause allergies. Also, if you are going to make
your own clasp, I would think it should be in silver so as not
to cheapen the piece.
Iris in Baltimore