Pin Stems and Clasps

I have a client that can not work the pin stem and clasp
findings. I am making a custom piece that needs a pin stem that
she can work. Any suggestions on a book or any other info? It
needs to be very easy to use but still secure. Thanks in
advance. Kirsten

This month’s Lapidary Journal has a wonderful article on how to
make a custom clasp and pin stem holder for a brooch. It’s
definitely worth checking out! Good luck.


My firm manufactures a Sterling silver safety pin. Construction
is 16 gauge (.050") round wire. 2 " long, item # 116-g2 approx.
$2.35 each 3" long, item # 116-g3 approx $2.85 each Indian
Jewelers Supply Co., Gallup New Mexico ph 1-800-545-6540 or

kirsten - my first thought of what to use for your client who
cannot work the regular pin stem clasp: what about soldering on
a pendant adapter to the pin? by soldering it in place the
usually removable ‘t’ apparatus would give her a ‘tab’ to
maneuver the pin with a thumb - good luck - ive

Kirsten, You could try a fibula or “safety pin” type pinstem that
is work hardened to have spring tension. For the catch end, you
could spiral a wire “catch” that the pinstem is guided into a la
safety pin action. You could make a wire “U” with beaded ends
that are slightly flared outward. The base of the “U” is slightly
filed to give a flat spot for better soldering contact. You
slightly tap it to work harden it after soldering. You would
snap your pinstem tip into it and operate it by friction. The
spiral option has more safeguard against releasing the pinstem
accidentally, though.>

Good luck, Donna

Hello Kirsten!

In reference to your need of an easy mechanism. Imagine a bolt
action on a single shot rifle. You need not be to familiar to
conjure up the general principal. I have ordered this type of
assembly from Frei & Borel. As I recall there are 3 sizes
available. They are not cheap, but reasonable when considering
the labor required. If you are interested in making it yourself,
consider these 4 authors: Oppi Untracht, Harold O’Connor, Tim
McCreight, Philip Morton. All have authored more than one book.
All have quite ingenious, as well as standard clasps, hinges,