Title:
Pendant having multiple gemstones on a rotatable wheel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A jewelry piece having a selectable display of gemstones and/or decorations is provided. The jewelry piece includes an integrated selectable display of gemstone. In one embodiment, the jewelry piece comprises a housing comprising a face plate and a back support, the face plate having a display opening; a carousel rotatably disposed between the face plate and the back support; a plurality of decorations disposed on the carousel; and a handle disposed through the housing and connected to rotate the carousel to selectively position at least one of the plurality of decorations in a viewable position through the display opening of the face plate.



Inventors:
Fernandes, Don (Turlock, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/834678
Publication Date:
10/17/2002
Filing Date:
04/13/2001
Assignee:
FERNANDES DON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C17/02; A44C25/00; (IPC1-7): A44C17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RODRIGUEZ, RUTH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomason, Moser & Patterson, L.L.P. (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A jewelry piece, comprising: a housing comprising a face plate and a back support, the face plate having a display opening; a carousel rotatably disposed between the face plate and the back support; a plurality of decorations disposed on the carousel; and a handle disposed through the housing and connected to rotate the carousel to selectively position at least one of the plurality of decorations in a viewable position through the display opening of the face plate.

2. The jewelry piece of claim 1 wherein the handle includes a decorative jewel.

3. The jewelry piece of claim 1 wherein the carousel comprises a carousel plate having the plurality of decorations disposed on one surface of the carousel plate.

4. The jewelry piece of claim 1, further comprising: an upper index member disposed on the housing; and a lower index member disposed on the carousel, wherein the upper index member is disposed in selective mating engagement with the lower index member.

5. The jewelry piece of claim 4 wherein the upper index member and the lower index member comprise corresponding saw tooth ends.

6. The jewelry piece of claim 4 wherein the upper index member and the lower index member comprises corresponding bumps and indentations.

7. The jewelry piece of claim 1 wherein the carousel includes a plurality of index notches, and further comprising: a bail disposed on a top portion of the housing, the bail having an index tip disposed in selective mating engagement with one of the index notches.

8. The jewelry piece of claim 1 wherein the carousel includes a plurality of index notches, and further comprising: a bail disposed on a top portion of the housing; and an index arm pivotly disposed on the housing, the index arm having an index tip disposed in selective mating engagement with one of the index notches.

9. The jewelry piece of claim 1 wherein the carousel includes a plurality of index notches, and further comprising: an index arm disposed on the housing, the index arm having an index tip disposed in selective mating engagement with one of the index notches.

10. A jewelry piece, comprising: a housing means having a display opening; a carousel means rotatably disposed in the housing means; a plurality of decorative means disposed on the carousel; and a handle means disposed through the housing means and connected to rotate the carousel means to selectively position at least one of the plurality of decorative means in a viewable position through the display opening of the housing means.

11. The jewelry piece of claim 10 wherein the carousel means comprises a carousel plate having the plurality of decorative means disposed on one surface of the carousel plate.

12. The jewelry piece of claim 10, further comprising: an index means for selectively indexing the carousel means.

13. The jewelry piece of claim 12 wherein the index means comprises: an upper index member disposed on the housing means; and a lower index member disposed on the carousel means, wherein the upper index member is disposed in selective mating engagement with the lower index member.

14. The jewelry piece of claim 13 wherein the upper index member and the lower index member comprise corresponding saw tooth ends.

15. The jewelry piece of claim 13 wherein the upper index member and the lower index member comprise corresponding bumps and indentations.

16. The jewelry piece of claim 12 wherein the indexing means comprises: a plurality of index notches disposed on the carousel means; and a bail disposed on a top portion of the housing means, the bail having an index tip disposed in selective mating engagement with one of the index notches.

17. The jewelry piece of claim 12 wherein the indexing means comprises: a plurality of index notches disposed on the carousel means; a bail disposed on a top portion of the housing means; and an index arm pivotly disposed on the housing means, the index arm having an index tip disposed in selective mating engagement with one of the index notches.

18. The jewelry piece of claim 12 wherein the indexing means comprises: a plurality of index notches disposed on the carousel means; and an index arm disposed on the housing means, the index arm having an index tip disposed in selective mating engagement with one of the index notches. housing comprising a face plate and a back support, the face plate having a display opening;

19. The jewelry piece of claim 10 wherein the housing means comprises a face plate and a back support, the face plate having the display opening.

20. The jewelry piece of claim 10 wherein the decorative means comprises one or more decorations selected from gemstones, precious metals, engravings, inlay designs, photographs, enameled glass, and combinations thereof.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention generally relates to jewelry having selectable display. More particularly, the invention relates to a jewelry piece having a rotatable carousel for selectively displaying jewels and/or other decorations, such as engravings, inlay designs, photographs, enameled glass, and other decorative features.

[0003] 2. Background of the Related Art

[0004] Typical jewelry designs involve fixed gemstones and/or precious metal decorations. For example, a typical pendent includes a gemstone fixedly set on a decorated housing made from one or more precious metals, such as platinum, gold, and/or silver, or from other materials, such as bronze, brass and other costume metals. When a particular gemstone color is desired, for example, to match the color scheme of the clothing of a person wearing the jewelry piece, a specific jewelry piece having the desired gemstone color is selected to be worn. When a different gemstone color is desired, another jewelry piece is selected to be worn.

[0005] Some jewelry designs provide a base jewelry piece with a removable or exchangeable gemstone setting which allow a person to selectively place the desired gemstone onto the base jewelry piece. Thus, a person may be able to switch gemstone colors while wearing the same base jewelry piece. However, the removable/exchangeable gemstones may be easily misplaced or lost. Furthermore, a number of removable/exchangeable gemstones must be taken along with the base jewelry piece to provide the selection to the wearer whenever a different gemstone color is desired.

[0006] Therefore, there remains a need for a jewelry piece having a selectable display of gemstones and/or decorations. It would be desirable for the selectable display of gemstone to be integrated with the jewelry piece.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] A jewelry piece having a selectable display of gemstones and/or decorations is provided. The jewelry piece includes an integrated selectable display.

[0008] In one embodiment, the jewelry piece comprises a housing comprising a face plate and a back support, the face plate having a display opening; a carousel rotatably disposed between the face plate and the back support; a plurality of decorations disposed on the carousel; and a handle disposed through the housing and connected to rotate the carousel to selectively position at least one of the plurality of decorations in a viewable position through the display opening of the face plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] So that the manner in which the above recited features, advantages and objects of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings.

[0010] It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

[0011] FIG. 1 is a front view of a pendant according to one embodiment of the invention.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a front view of a pendant showing a carousel in phantom according to one embodiment of the invention.

[0013] FIG. 3 is a cross section view of a pendant according to one embodiment of the invention.

[0014] FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of a pendent showing a carousel according to another embodiment of the invention.

[0015] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a carousel and a back support showing an index according to another embodiment of the invention.

[0016] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a carousel in phantom and a back support showing an index according to another embodiment of the invention.

[0017] FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of a carousel and a back support showing an index according to another embodiment of the invention.

[0018] FIG. 8A-C are front views of a carousel and a back support showing alternative embodiments of an index according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019] FIG. 1 is a front view of a pendant according to one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 2 is a front view of a pendant showing a carousel in phantom according to one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a pendant taken along 3-3 of FIG. 2 according to one embodiment of the invention. Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the pendant 100 generally comprises a face plate 102, a back support 104, and a carousel 106. The carousel 106 is disposed between the face plate 102 and the back support 104. The faceplate 102 may be connected directly to the back support 104 at the peripheral portions. Alternatively, the face plate 102 may be connected to the back support 104 through a side portion or side wall 108 as shown in FIG. 3. The pendant 100 may also include a bail 110 disposed at the top portion of the pendant which facilitates hanging the pendant onto a chain or a strap. The carousel 106 includes a front surface having a plurality of jewel/decoration 112 disposed thereon. The jewel/decoration 112 may include a variety of designs involving gemstones, precious metals, engravings, inlay designs, photographs, enameled glass, other decorative features, and combinations thereof. For the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the carousel 106 includes four quadrants of jewel/decoration 112, and each quadrant of jewel/decoration 112 includes four gemstone settings.

[0020] The carousel 106 is rotatably disposed between the face plate 102 and the back support 104. A handle 114 is connected centrally to a central portion of the carousel 106 through a handle post 116. The handle post 116 extends through a centrally located hole 118 on the face plate 102. The handle 114 facilitates manual selection of the jewel/decoration 112 to be displayed through a display opening 120 on the face plate 102. The handle 114 may be decorated, for example, with a precious gemstone. The front surface of the face plate 102 may also be decorated with various designs. The side wall 108 and the bail 110 may also be decorated with various designs.

[0021] Referring now to FIG. 3, a support post 122 may be disposed centrally on the back support 104, and a spring 124 may be disposed around the support post 122. The carousel 106 includes a mounting tube 126 disposed centrally. The mounting tube 126 includes a hollowed central portion for receiving the support post 122 and spring 124. An index 134 comprising an upper index member 128 and a lower index member 130 is utilized to provide selectable positioning of the carousel 106 and the jewel/decoration 112 to be displayed through the display opening 122. The upper index member 128 may be disposed about the circumference of the hole 118 on the interior surface of the face plate 102, and the corresponding lower index member 130 may be disposed around the handle post 116 on the carousel 106. The upper index member 128 is disposed in mating engagement with the lower index member 130. For the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, corresponding saw tooth ends 132 from the upper and lower index members 128,130 form the mating engagement. For the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, four sets of corresponding saw tooth ends 132 are disposed on the upper and lower index members 128 and 130. In one embodiment, the number of sets of saw tooth ends 132 corresponds to the number of selectable positions of the carousel 106 and the jewel/decoration 112.

[0022] The spring 124 provides the force required to keep the carousel 106 and the lower index member 130 in contact against the upper index member 128. To rotate the carousel 106 and select a different jewel/decoration 112 to be displayed through the display opening 120, the handle post 106 may be pressed toward the face plate 102 to release the mating engagement between the lower index member 130 and the upper index member 128. Then, the decorated handle 114 may be rotated or turned to rotate the carousel 106. Once the desired jewel/decoration 112 is being displayed in the display opening 120, the user may release the handle 114, and the spring 124 forces the lower index member 130 against the upper index member 128 and retains the position of the carousel 106 and the jewel/decoration 112 displayed through the display opening 120. Alternatively, a user may simply manually rotate the handle 114 with sufficient force to cause the lower index member 130 to slide against the upper index member 128. For the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, sufficient clearance or space (shown as distance d1) is provided between a lower surface of the handle 114 and the upper surface of the face plate 102 to allow disengagement of the lower index member 130 from the upper index member 128. Similarly, a sufficient clearance or space (shown as distance d2) is provided between a lower surface of the mounting tube 126 and an interior surface of the back support 104. Also, a sufficient clearance or space (shown as distance d3) is provided between an inner surface of the mounting tube 126 and the support post 122, and the spring provided sufficient resilience to force the lower index member 130 against the upper index member 128.

[0023] FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of a pendent showing a carousel according to another embodiment of the invention. The pendant 200 includes a face plate 202 having a display opening (not shown) similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. A carousel 206 is fixably attached to a back support 204. A mounting tube 226 connects a central portion of the carousel 206 to a central portion of the back support 204. The carousel includes a centrally located hole 218, and a mounting post 222 that is disposed through the mounting hole 218 through the mounting tube 226 and is secured to a back side of the front face plate 202, for example, by a threaded end of the mounting post 222. The mounting post 222 may comprise of a threaded bolt or other fasteners. A spring 224 may be disposed in the mounting tube 226 against a flange 227 of the mounting post 222. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, an index 232 comprising a lower index member 230 and an upper index 228 is utilized to selectively display jewel/decoration through the display opening. The lower index member 230 comprises four bumps disposed peripherally on the carousel 206, and the upper index member 228 comprises four indentations disposed correspondingly on an inner surface of the face plate 202. The upper index member 228 and the lower index member 230 are disposed in mating engagement. To rotate the carousel 206, a user may rotate the back support 204 relative to the face plate 202. A slight force may be required to pull apart the mating engagement between the lower index member 230 and the upper index member 228. When the carousel 206 has been rotated to the desired position the user may release the back support and allow the lower index member 130 to engage or to become disposed in mating engagement with the upper index member 230.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a carousel and a back support showing an index according to another embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the index 300 comprises an index arm 302 disposed on a back support 304 and a plurality of index notches 306 disposed on a peripherally portion of a carousel 308. The carousel 308 may be disposed between the back support and the face plate similarly to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3. The index arm 302 is flexibly pivoted on the back support 304. When a sufficient force is applied to turn or rotate the carousel 308, the tip 303 of the index arm 302 is disengaged from one of the index notch 306 and contacts a peripheral edge 310 of the carousel 308 until another index notch 306 is rotated into mating engagement with the tip 303 of the index arm 302.

[0025] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a carousel in phantom and a back support showing an index according to another embodiment of the invention. For this embodiment, an index 400 comprises an index arm 402 disposed on a back support 404 and an index wheel 405 disposed on a lower surface of a carousel 408. The tip 403 of the index arm 402 is disposed in mating engagement with one of the index notches 406. The notches 406 are disposed on a peripheral region of the index wheel 405. Operation of the index 400 is similar to operation of the index 300 as shown in FIG. 5. As the carousel 408 is rotated or turned by a sufficient force applied to the handle attached to the carousel, the tip 403 of the index arm 402 becomes disengaged from one of the notches 406 and becomes in contact with the peripheral edge 410 of the index wheel 405 until the carousel has been rotated to the next position, and the tip 403 of the index arm 402 becomes engaged with another notch 406 on the index wheel 405.

[0026] FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of a carousel and a back support showing an index according to another embodiment of the invention. For this embodiment, an index 500 comprises a spring loaded index arm 502 disposed on the back support 504. The tip 503 of the index arm 502 engages one of a plurality of indentations or notches 506 disposed on a back surface of the carousel 508. When a sufficient force is applied to turn the carousel 508, the index arm 502 disengages a notch 506 and becomes in contact with the back surface of the carousel 508 until the carousel 508 has been rotated sufficiently for the tip 503 of the index arm 502 to engage another notch 506.

[0027] FIG. 8A-C are front views of a carousel and a back support showing additional alternative embodiments of an index according to the invention. For the embodiments shown in FIGS. 8A-8C, the carousel 608 is rotatably disposed between the back support 604 and a face plate (not shown). The carousel 608 includes a plurality of index notches 606 disposed on a peripheral edge 612 of the carousel 608. An index 600A-C comprises an index bail 610A-C and the index notches 606.

[0028] For the embodiment shown in FIG. 8A, a bail 610A is threaded and screwed into position on a top portion of the pendent and a tip 611 A of the bail 610A is disposed in mating engagement with one of the notches 606 on the carousel 608. To rotate the carousel, the bail 610A is unscrewed partially to free movement of the carousel 608. The carousel 608 is then rotated to the next desired position, and the bail 610A may be tightened against an index notch 606 to secure the carousel 608 in position.

[0029] For the embodiment shown in FIG. 8B, the bail 610B is spring loaded with a spring 613 such that the bail can be pulled away to release the carousel 608. After the carousel 608 has been rotated into the next desired position, the tip 611 B of the bail 610B may be released to become in mating engagement with one of notches 606 on the peripheral edge 612 of the carousel 608 to secure the position of the carousel 608.

[0030] For the embodiment shown in FIG. 8C, the bail 610C is connected to an index arm 614. The index arm 614 may be pivotally mounted at a central portion of the index arm to a peripheral portion of the back support 604. A spring 616 may be disposed between a tip 618 of the index arm 614 and an edge or side portion of the housing. The spring 616 provides a resilient force to the tip 618 to engage an index notch 606 on the peripheral edge 612 of the carousel 608 to secure the position of the carousel 608. When a sufficient rotational force is applied to the handle to turn the carousel 608, the tip 618 becomes disengaged with the notch 606 and contact the peripheral edge 612 until the carousel 608 has been turn to the next position, at which the tip 618 becomes in mating engagement with the next notch 606. Alternatively, the bail 610C may be pressed to release the tip 618 from the index notch 606, and the carousel 608 may be rotated to the desired position.

[0031] Although the above-described embodiments relate to a pendent having a selectable display, other jewelry pieces contemplated by the inventor includes, but not limited to, rings, earrings, broach, pins, lockets, cuff-links, key chains and necklaces with integrated pendant having selectable display.

[0032] While the foregoing is directed to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.