Findings are refer to those parts of jewelry other than gemstones, beads, or stringing material. These include earwires, clasps, head pins, decorative drops, etc.
The term findings probably originated from a time when jewelers had to make every component they needed for a piece of jewelry. The system we know today with retail sales and wholesale manufacturing as separate entities was not yet in place.
Styles of findings can be thought of in terms of what kind of jewelry each is used in.
Earring findings can be divided into those used for pierced-ear earrings, primarily ear wires, ear threads, and posts, and those used in non-pierced earrings.
Necklace findings include both the stringing materials ranging from various kinds of chain to specialized beading wire or cable and cords and any parts used to affix beads or charms and pendants to the necklace. Another key type of necklace finding is clasps, which appear in numerous types including toggle clasps, lobster clasps, spring-ring clasps, pearl clasps, and more. Connectors and links are also highly popular findings for necklaces as well as for other uses.
Bracelet findings include both stringing materials and clasps used to fasten the ends of the bracelet together. To be included in the category of bracelet findings are leather cuff ends, which “snap” together.
Miscellaneous other findings are found in countless varieties, reflecting the infinite range of jewelry-making possibilities. Among these are cuff link findings, shoe-clip findings, suspender clips, beadable bookmarks, beadable pens for writing, and lighter covers for cigarette lighters, to name only a few.
The trend in specialization has continued to the present day, and now anyone can purchase finished findings that are ready to use. This is a real boon to both the professional jeweler as well as the part time jewelry artist or crafter. Your local craft or bead shop has a variety of such components readily available to be assembled into unique pieces of wearable art.