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 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/461,939, filed Apr. 11, 2003.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to a lanyard which can be attached to an identification badge and worn around one's neck. More particularly, the present invention relates to a lanyard which is made from modular sections and which can be attached to an identification badge and worn around one's neck, or converted into jewelry.
 2. Description of Related Art
 Medical personnel and many other employees worldwide are required to wear identification badges while on the job throughout their career. Clothespin type clamping devices or lanyards are generally used as devices for displaying an identification badge on one's person. Clothespin type clamping devices are often difficult to attach to some clothing. Medical personnel, for example, frequently wear hospital scrubs which do not have pockets or collars. Without pockets or collars, it is difficult to attach a clothespin type clamping device to an article of clothing in an appropriate manner.
 Identification badges which are attached to a lanyard, however, can be worn and removed regardless of the type of garment worn. By simply placing the lanyard around a person's neck, the identification badge may be properly displayed. Conventional lanyards, however, are often closed chains which are not detachable. As such, the conventional lanyard can be harmful to the user if it is inadvertently snagged by an object while being worn around the user's neck. Additionally, the conventional chain presents some difficulty to employees who also wish to wear jewelry around their necks, since jewelry chains frequently become tangled with the identification badge lanyard. Consequently, employees who spend a significant amount of time in the work place and are required to wear an ID badge lanyard are rarely ever able to wear the desired jewelry around their necks.
 A lanyard which is itself an item of jewelry would offer a solution to these problems. Until now, however, lanyards for identification badges have been primarily limited to the conventional chains as previously described. Additionally, while jewelry convertible to other uses is known, there is no jewelry item which can easily be converted into a lanyard for identification badges.
 U.S. patent Publication No. 2002/0078707, published Jun. 27, 2002, discloses a method and system for providing a configurable jewelry closure to hold single or multi-strands of jewelry. The configurable jewelry closure comprises a series of common jewelry fasteners on links. The fasteners can be used to attach jewelry strands of varying color, number and length to provide the wearer with a customizable piece of jewelry.
 U.S. patent Publication No. 2002/0148251, published Oct. 17, 2002, discloses a jewelry finding that enables a flexible bracelet to be worn as a necklace. Locket clasps are provided at the ends of the neck accessory to provide secure interconnection of the bracelet clasp ends with the neck accessory, while at the same time enclosing and obscuring from view the connection hardware.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,334,413, issued Jun. 15, 1982 to P. Gaston, discloses an adjustable necklace of a type in which a length of chain has first and second ends which are each anchored in one of a pair of adjustment elements with a segment adjacent the other end passing through the adjustment element to be resiliently held in position to effect a given adjustment.
 Other related patents and published patent applications include U.S. patent Publication No. 2001/0010160, published Aug. 2, 2001 (adjustable jewelry assembly); U.S. patent Publication No. 2002/0059809, published May 23, 2002 (necklace); U.S. patent Publication No. 2002/0144514, published Oct. 10, 2002 (chain having ends with means to fasten the ends and close and secure the chain); U.S. Pat. No. 4,974,429, issued Dec. 4, 1990 to C. Ferrara (combined bracelet and pendant); U.S. Pat. No. 5,007,252, issued Apr. 16, 1991 to S. Mochizuki (combination necklace that can be assembled in different configurations from separate necklaces of different or equal lengths); U.S. Pat. No. 5,341,634, issued Aug. 30, 1994 to C. Straight (interlocking link chain); U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,260, issued Mar. 3, 1998 to J. Mangano (reversible jewelry clasp for necklaces and/or bracelets and interchangeable jewelry assembly employing same); U.S. Pat. No. 6,014,871 issued Jan. 18, 2000 to T. Romano (jewelry system); U.S. Pat. No. 6,055,802, issued May 2, 2000 to P. DiVietri (fishhook jewelry); U.S. Pat. No. 6,401,488 B1, issued Jun. 11, 2002 to M. Cousin et al. (pop beads having elongated necks); U.S. Pat. No. 6,446,466, issued Sep. 10, 2002 to T. Headley (interchangeable jewelry system with invisible coupling device); U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,708, issued Oct. 29, 2002 to S. Green (adjustable bracelet and method of adjustment); Japanese Patent No. 10-155529 published Jun. 16, 1998 (clasp tool for connection); European Patent No.1,038,463, published Sep. 27, 2000 (necklace convertible into a bracelet); and European Patent No. 1,116,453, published Jul. 18, 2001 (a device capable of regulating the length of the string of a necklace.
 None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.
 The present invention is a lanyard convertible into jewelry. In one embodiment the lanyard includes a flexible, Y-shaped neckpiece having two opposing ends which can be detachably secured together to form a loop and a short segment having an end to which an ID badge holder, a jewelry pendant, or other item may optionally be attached. The lanyard further includes a plurality of centerpieces, including, a hook attachment, a ring attachment, a drop down pendant, and a pen attachment for this purpose. The hook attachment and ring attachment each provide a support from which an identification badge can be hung when a user is required to display an identification badge. The lanyard may also be provided with one or more extension pieces having two opposing ends. The flexible neckpiece and the extension pieces are preferably jewelry components. The opposing ends of each extension piece can be detachably secured to one another to form bracelets, or they can be detachably inserted between the opposing ends of the neckpiece to facilitate enlarging the loop formed by the neckpiece. When a user is not required to display an identification badge, the lanyard may be easily converted into a necklace simply by replacing the hook, ring, or pen attachment with the detachable drop pendant.
 In an alternative embodiment, the lanyard includes a flexible, linear neckpiece instead of a Y-shaped neckpiece. The linear neckpiece includes two opposing ends which can be detachably secured together to form a loop. A slide attachment is further provided, which may be hung from the linear neckpiece. The slide attachment has an end to which the centerpieces, described above, may optionally be attached.
 In a preferred embodiment, the various segments of the lanyard are fastened together by magnetic catches. Magnetic catches are particularly advantageous as they can be easily engaged and disengaged when detaching the lanyard or converting the lanyard into an item of jewelry. Additionally, if the lanyard is snagged or entangled with another object while being worn around the user's neck, the lanyard will simply detach without causing significant harm to the user or to the lanyard itself. Another benefit of using magnetic catches as reclosable fasteners is that pairs of magnetic catches, even when fastened, can be held together by virtue of the combined magnetic forces of the fastened pairs. This tendency allows a user to configure the lanyard into an even greater number of creative styles. Furthermore, use of the magnetic closures may prove medically useful, as magnets are being increasingly used for medical therapy.
 Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a lanyard for displaying identification badges.
 It is another object of the invention to provide a lanyard for displaying identification badges which can be easily converted into a necklace.
 It is a further object of the invention to provide a lanyard for displaying identification badges which can easily by converted into a necklace and one or more bracelets.
 Still another object of the invention is to provide a lanyard for displaying identification badges which is easily unfastened when pulled or snagged.
 It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
 These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
 Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
 The present invention is a lanyard convertible to jewelry. In one embodiment, depicted in
 As can be seen in the configuration shown in
 Also provided are a plurality of detachable centerpieces including, but not limited to, a hook attachment
 If a user attaches the detachable hook attachment
 If a user attaches the drop down pendant
 In an alternative configuration, depicted in
 In yet another configuration, depicted in
 In another configuration, depicted in
 The configurations described above are only exemplary, as the lanyard
 It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.