I’ve been using toggle clasps on my jewelry designs ever since I started designing jewelry in 2006.
My introduction to toggles, though, was not the best. Many years ago I purchased a necklace with a toggle clasp and the salesperson said that the clasp was very safe and the necklace would not fall off. She was wrong; it fell off my neck the first time I wore it. Luckily, I was near the department store where I had purchased it and I took the necklace back for a refund the same day. I didn’t wear a toggle clasp for many years until I started designing my own jewelry.
When taking jewelry classes I was at first adamantly opposed to toggles but my teachers won me over by explaining the difference between a well-designed toggle and a poorly-designed toggle. I understood and I was toggled; my first necklace was made with a toggle clasp.
There are a wide range of toggle clasps out there both in price and style. I’m sure I could spend hundreds of dollars on a toggle and I could also spend a dollar or two on a toggle. I leave the two extremes to others. I tend to purchase the toggles that allow me to sell necklaces and bracelets in the price range I’ve set for my jewelry.
For many years I’ve used a sterling silver swirl toggle, but with the cost of sterling silver findings (including toggles) climbing very steeply in the past year, I can only use this toggle now with necklaces using finer beads and gemstones.
Lately, I found this silver-plated over brass toggle clasp that’s bright and shiny. I like the round balls on the ends of the bar which makes the toggle doubly safe. It’s good for bracelets as well.
Often toggle clasps have unusual designs, especially natural designs including flowers. I find many customers are fond of flowers, and nature in general, and enjoy wearing nature-inspired motifs. One findings company has quite a selection of wonderful flowers, stars, and other nature-inspired toggles.
Most toggles should be worn so they can be seen. I have a simple, long chain necklace I made and wear with one of my favorite plain toggles and I always wear it so the toggle can be seen. The toggle looks great to either the right or left and adds interest to a plain top and chain.
One pretty toggle is made by TierraCast and as you can see it’s lovely. There’s only one problem with it is that the hole in the round part is rather small and care must be taken to make sure the bar part with its jump rings, beads, and chains can easily pull through the hole without the wearer having to struggle getting the bar, etc., to quickly lay flat. So, each time I use this particular toggle I make sure it works well with the necklace it’s being used with. It’s also a nice toggle to use to the side because of its lovely sunburst design.
Toggles, too, can be worn directly in front, either alone or with additional chain or charms added to the circle part of the toggle. Now, when worn in the front, I must admit that there is more of a chance for the toggle bar to work its way out of the toggle round. Because of this I definitely want a longer bar than usual or additional charms and chains attached to the round part of the toggle. Charms can also be attached to the jump ring on the bar part to add some additional weight to the bar.
There’s nothing wrong with mixing metal colors in the toggle, especially if you are doing the same with the beads in the necklace or bracelet itself.
The longer I design jewelry, I find almost anything goes, as long as the pieces work well together and don’t cause the toggle clasp to fail.