Title:
Necklace extension
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An extension for joining opposite ends of jewelry, especially necklaces. The extension including a central region joining opposed spiral regions. Each of said spiral regions being descending spirals of approximately one and one half revolutions and decreasing in radius by about one half for each one half revolution. The spiral regions are reverse mirror images. The extensions can be utilized individually or as multiples to modify the length of the jewelry.



Inventors:
Mcmahon, Sherre S. (Kansas City, MO, US)
Application Number:
10/778963
Publication Date:
08/18/2005
Filing Date:
02/13/2004
Assignee:
MCMAHON SHERRE S.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/3.1, 63/3.2, 63/3
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C5/20; A44C15/00; A44C25/00; (IPC1-7): A44C25/00; A44C5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REESE, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John C. McMahon (PO Box 30069, Kansas City, MO, 64112, US)
Claims:
1. An extension for use with a necklace comprising: (a) a body with a center region with a pair of opposed spiral regions extending from opposite ends of said center region; each of said spiral regions spiraling inwardly with a continuously decreasing radius for greater than one full revolution.

2. The extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) said spiral region include at least one and a half revolutions.

3. The extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) said spiral regions are reverse mirror images of one another.

4. The extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) each spiral region includes an intermediate loop that is adopted to operably engage a selected end of a structure to be joined thereby.

5. The extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) each of said intermediate loops has a radius of about one quarter of an inch.

6. The extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) each of said spiral regions terminates in an end that in opposite directions and generally parallel to said center region.

7. The extensions according to claim 2 wherein: (a) each of said spiral regions has a radius of about five sixteenths of an inch were at a respective spiral region joins with said center region.

8. The extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) each of said spiral regions decrease generally uniformly in radius by approximately one half over each one half revolution.

9. The Extension according to claim 1 wherein: (a) said extension is constructed of wire having a generally uniform cross section.

10. The extension according to claim 9 wherein: (a) said wire has a radius of about one thirty-second of an inch.

11. A method of extending a necklace comprising the steps of: (a) providing a necklace with connectors at opposite ends thereof: (b) providing a first and a second extension; (c) joining a first end of said necklace; (d) joining a second end of said first extension to a first end of said second extension; (e) joining a second end of said second extension with said necklace second connector.

12. The method according to claim 11 including wherein: (a) providing said extensions with opposed decreasing spiral regions having an intermediate engagement portion; (b) joining said first and second extensions at respective engagement portions thereof; and (c) providing each of said engagement portions with sufficient radius to allow said extensions to lie relatively flat with respect to one another, when joined.

13. The method according to claim 12 including: (a) providing said radius that is at least approximately five sixteenth of an inch.

14. The method according to claim 11 wherein: (a) said second extension includes a plurality of discrete extension units.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present application is directed to a necklace or jewelry extension that allows a user to adjust the length of a necklace to accommodate different situations where the jewelry is worn.

Necklace extension devices provide an economical and efficient manner in which to alter the length of a necklace. Although jewelry stores and the like make available services for professional alterations that extend or shorten and otherwise alter the length of a necklace, these services are fee-based permanent changes, which may be contrary to the desires of consumers who desire a swift and economical means to alter jewelry lengths and allow variable lengths to fit different occasions. It may be especially desirable to only alter the length of the necklace temporarily for various reasons, such as for use of the necklace by different users or with different ensembles. Such uses are often dependent on individualistic styles, which vary from user to user and from day to day.

A principal advantage of a removable necklace extension is that it allows non permanent variance in the length of the necklace. Conventional necklace extensions are often connected to the necklace via hook-like openings on either side of the device that may consist of spring-loaded clasps or similar locking devices. For instance, one end of the necklace will engage one hook of the extension device while an opposite end of the necklace engages an opposite end of the extension device. Many conventional necklace extensions have such a spring-loaded clasp, which is biased in a closed and locked position, is very small and must be manually manipulated in a manner wherein the user applies a small amount of force to a very small extension in order to open the clasp in order to engage or disengage the necklace extension from the necklace. Other designs eliminate the spring-loaded clasps to provide a more simplistic design that accommodates users who lack sufficient dexterity or strength or have another condition that prevents easy manipulation of necklace extensions that are equipped with spring-loaded clasps.

Some necklace extension users find it desirable to join two or more necklace extensions together in order to further increase the length of the necklace. This feature and common use of necklace extensions adds flexibility as multiple extensions can be joined to accommodate the desired use of the user. However, a problem inherent with the prior art necklace extensions is that they join in such a way that prevents both from laying flat. That is, if the necklace connection is flat or parallel to the skin of the user, then the extender extends outwardly perpendicular to the skin or vice versa. This problem can cause discomfort to the user and/or produce an unattractive outward projection. Furthermore, while the appearance alone draws unwanted attention, the problem is aggravated if the extensions are underneath clothing, which is then also unable to lay flat and also juts outward.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a necklace extension device for use with a necklace having an S-shaped body with inwardly spiraling outer ends and having a center axis with a reversed mirrored configuration on opposite sides of the axis wherein two opposed sides extend from the center axis and progressively spiral in opposite directions having a first end and a second end. The first and second ends have first and second engagement points that further extend the spiral positioning the points in an inward direction toward the center axis so as to provide a natural locking configuration in order to lock the necklace into an engagement configuration with the extension device and to avoid inadvertent ensnaring of clothing, earrings or other foreign objects that can become caught on the necklace extensions. The spiral ends preferably having one and a half complete loops or revolutions (or about 440°) with each spiral section decreasing in radius progressively at about a rate of fifty percent during each half loop (or about 90°). The spiral loops have an initial radius that is many times the radius of a jewelry connector with which it is used and preferably a radius of at least five-sixteenths of an inch, such that extensions, when joined in series, lie generally flat side by side. The initial radius of the spiral loops is also much greater than a radius of the wire from which the extension is made and which is generally uniform in cross section throughout the entire extension. In particular, each entire extension is preferably constructed by bending a single, unitary and elongate length of wire. The necklace extension forms a secure connection with the necklace and is not easily separated from the necklace, even by strenuous physical activity.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the objects of the present invention include: providing an improved necklace extension for extending and otherwise varying the length of a necklace or other like jewelry; providing such an extension device free of spring-loaded hooks and other clasp-type devices requiring very good eyesight and a high degree of manual dexterity; providing such an extension that has engagement members that are configured in a manner that deters inadvertent disengagement with the necklace; providing such an extension that has engagement members or inwardly spiraling loops that are configured in a manner that deters inadvertent engagement with foreign objects such as earrings and clothing; to provide such an extension that can be easily used in multiples to provide extensions of different lengths that lay substantially flat in use; to provide such an extension that is economical to manufacture, lightweight and compact, easy to use and especially well-suited for its intended usage.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention.

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a necklace extension in accordance with the present invention joined to opposite ends of a necklace.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary front elevational view of a first necklace extension joined to a second necklace extension with both first and second extensions joined to opposite ends of the necklace.

FIG. 3 is a reduced scale front elevational view of the necklace illustrated in use with a user wearing a relatively high-cut ensemble.

FIG. 4 is a reduced scale front elevational view of the first necklace extension joined to the second necklace extension with both first and second extensions joined to the necklace and in use with a user wearing a relatively low-cut ensemble.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

FIG. 1 illustrates a necklace extension identified generally by the reference number 1, which attaches to a necklace 2. The necklace extension 1 has an elongate center region 3 joining opposed reverse mirrored spiral regions 5 and 6 that extend in opposite directions from the center region 3. The spiral regions 5 and 6 spiral in opposite directions in a pattern of decreasing radius and have first and second inner loops 9 and 10. The first and second inner loops 9 and 10 terminate in respective first and second tails or initial necklace engagement ends 12 and 13 such that the spiral regions 5 and 6, which are located at or near the ends 12 and 13, are directed to be somewhat parallel to one another and the center region 3. The engagement ends 12 and 13 point in opposed directions, so as to provide a natural disengagement deterrent or securing configuration in order to secure the necklace 2 into an engagement configuration with the necklace extension device 1. The spiral regions 5 and 6 include one and a half revolutions or 540 degrees with the radius of the spiral decreasing by approximately one half with each half revolution or 90°. The initial radius of the spiral regions 5 and 6 where each joins with the central region 3 is preferably about five sixteenths of an inch. Preferably, extension 1 is constructed of a metal elongate wire having a generally uniform cross section and retaining the described and illustrated configuration after formation by bending or the like.

The necklace 2 has a clasp mechanism 15 and a clasp hoop 16 located on opposite ends of the necklace 2. The clasp mechanism 15 is designed to engage the clasp hoop 16 in order to connect the necklace 2 in use without the necklace extension 1, as is illustrated in FIG. 3. The clasp mechanism 15 typically contains a spring-biased clasp 17 to secure the clasp mechanism 15 in a closed configuration that can be used in combination with the clasp hoop 16. It is foreseen that the clasp mechanism 15 may or may not contain a spring-biased clasp 17 and that the necklace extension 1 will accommodate a necklace 2 that has a clasp hoop 15 on either end of the necklace 2, since the spring-biased clasp 17 is not required to use the extension but rather simply loops, as hoop 16 shown on the illustrated necklace 2.

The engagements ends 12 and 13 act as hooks and in use, the necklace extension 1 engages the necklace 2 by sliding the clasp mechanism 15 over either the first or second engagement end 12 or 13 while the clasp hoop 16 is slid over the empty first or second engagement end 12 or 13.

In use the clasp mechanism 15 and hoop 6 rest at intermediate loops 20 and 21 respectively, as seen in FIG. 1. Both the clasp mechanism 15 and clasp hoop 16 are slid around respective ends 12 and 13, along inner loops 9 and 10 and finally to intermediate loops 20 and 21, as seen in FIG. 1, when only a single extension 1 is used, to deter inadvertent disengagement.

It is foreseen that given a necklace with links of a sufficient inner diameter to accommodate the outer diameter of the necklace extension device 1 so that the extension 1 can penetrate any of the links along the necklace, that it would be possible to utilize the necklace extension device 1 to also shorten the length of the necklace. That is, a user can choose to attach one end of the extension 1 to a selected link situated at a selected distance along the length of the necklace while attaching the other end of the extension 1 to another link similarly situated causing the necklace to have a decreased length. This type of usage may be desirable to accommodate certain individualistic styles, certain clothing and smaller necks such as for use with children. Notably, in this configuration the unused clasps 15 and 16 can be attached leaving an excess portion of the necklace 2 to form a loop or the unused clasps 15 and 16 can be unattached leaving the excess to drape down the back of the user.

In many situations, the user may want to lengthen the chain only by one extension 1 or preferably about one and a quarter inches. However in certain uses, the desired extension of the chain is greater and multiple extension 1 can be ganged used cooperatively to do so. To connect one necklace extension 1 to a second necklace extension 1 in order to form a combined necklace extension 24, such as is illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, a procedure similar to that described above is followed. Preferably, the radius of the spiral intermediate regions 20 and 21, that interlock when multiple extensions 1 are joined, each have an approximate radius of or greater than a quarter of an inch, which combined with a wire size of about one sixteenth of an inch or less for the overall extension 1, allows opposed spinal regions 5 and 6 of each respective necklace extension 1, to lay almost flat relative to each other and against the user. That is, the spiral regions 5 and 6 slideably join in such a manner as to enable the combined extension 24 to lay almost flat so as not disrupt overlaying clothing and to provide a relatively low profile if there is overlying clothing.

It is to be understood that while certain forms of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not to be limited to the specific forms or arrangement of parts described and shown.