The size transition from bulk conducting metals to insulating nanoparticles and eventually to single atoms passes through the relatively unexplored few-atom nanocluster region. With dimensions close to the Fermi wavelength, these nanoclusters demonstrate molecule-like properties distinct from bulk metals or atoms, such as discrete and size-tunable electronic transitions which lead to photoluminescence. Current research aims to elucidate the fundamental photophysical properties of metal nanoclusters made by different means and based on different encapsulation agents. Here, we report the study of the photophysical properties, including quantum yields, lifetimes, extinction coefficients, blinking dynamics and sizes, of silver and gold nanoclusters synthesized using oligonucleotides, a protein (bovine serum albumin) and a Good's buffer molecule (MES, 2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid) as encapsulation agents. We also investigate the change of photoluminescence as a function of temperature. Furthermore, we show that the fluorescent metal clusters can be used as a donor in forming a resonance energy transfer pair with a commercial organic quencher. These new fluorophores have great potential as versatile tools for a broad range of applications in biological and chemical detection.