After a certain amount of time and study, we can all become a little complacent about our knowledge base. I know I’m guilty of this. So when an unfamiliar technology, gemstone or word is used in the context of the jewelry industry, it’s a useful reminder of how much I really don’t know.
This morning while catching up on some back issues of trade magazines, I read Jennifer Heebner’s piece in JCK about carabiners, a term completely unfamiliar to me. Reading further, I understood that a carabiner is actually something I’d always referred to as a necklace extender. These are nifty devices that enable a wearer to loop long necklaces or combine several necklaces into one piece. A long carabiner as in this image can also enable a collector to use an long endless necklace as a belt.
The above is an image of a carabiner created by jeweler Marla Aaron. The design obviously reflects the jeweler’s interest in locks, but you can readily see how much versatility it can add to a jewelry collection.
When I ran the gallery, clients sometimes asked about necklace extenders and I kept a bag of commercially available extenders in the back so I could provide them if requested. (I always just gave them to clients since they were extremely inexpensive.) I love the idea of an artist designed extender and you can easily envision the possibilities.
In any event, whether you call them carabiners or necklace extenders, they’re important for pearl and bead stringers to know about. And, if you can pick some up inexpensively, it’s not a bad idea to have a few on hand.