Dating brooch clasps dating a man who is recently separated
Hinged, or “leverback” ear wires have been in use since the 1880s, and are still quite popular today.
Up until the 1890s all earrings were made for pierced ears.
The hook and box clasp (also called “fish hook” clasp) was commonly used on pearl necklaces or necklaces with gemstone beads.
Until the late 1800s the typical style of earring used fish hook or “shepherd’s hook” style ear wires for pierced ears. This was a more sturdy and secure fastener, as the wire was secured with a hook at the bottom of the earring.
On older brooches (around the turn of twentieth century) you’ll see that the pin extends well beyond the clasp. Although mostly seen on older brooches, some inexpensive brooches are made with C-clasps even today.
The trombone clasp, patented in Europe in 1850, was named after the musical instrument as it had a tube with a round top. These were used in the latter half of the 19th century into the 1950s, mostly by European jewelers.
It eventually evolved into the modern locking clasps in use today.
Safety pin clasps were also popular and were used from the late 1800s until the early 1900s, and are still used on some hand made pieces today.