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A type of fastener made of two parts, usually a hook on one piece and a slot on the other. It is used to fasten a girdle or a belt, and smaller ones to fasten a bracelet or necklace, the parts being attached to opposite ends of the piece to be joined. The hook and the slot are usually placed on the back so as not to be visible.
Some clasps for a belt are not attached by a slot but have a hook(s) that is fitted into a hole(s) in the other end of the belt.
On some valuable jewelry there is an added safety clasp of various types that is closed after the main clasp has been fastened.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson