Title:
Body jewelry clasp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A body jewelry clasp apparatus having a securely interlocking closure capable of securely and comfortably locking an article of jewelry to a pierced body position, thereby enabling the body worn display of fine jewelry, such as, for exemplary purposes only, gold or platinum hoops or wires having diamonds or gemstones set thereon, without risk of accidental loss thereof.



Inventors:
Godsey, Anna (Kennesaw, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/123003
Publication Date:
11/28/2002
Filing Date:
04/15/2002
Assignee:
GODSEY ANNA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C7/00; A44C15/00; (IPC1-7): A44C5/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HO, THOMAS Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Myers & Associates Intellectual Property Law, PC (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A clasp device for body jewelry, comprising: a shaped member having a first end and a second end; an arm having a first end and a second end, said first end of said arm pivotably carried by said first end of said shaped member; and a hollow-bore latching means having a first end, a second end, a peripheral wall and an inner surface, said first end of said latching means permanently and rotatably carried by said second end of said shaped member, and said peripheral wall of said latching means defining a first arm receptacle therethrough, said first arm receptacle positioned proximate to said second end of said latching means, wherein a first user-selected rotational positioning of said hollow-bore latching means aligns said first arm receptacle with said second end of said arm, thereby enabling removable placement of said second end of said arm therein, and wherein a second user-selected rotational positioning of said hollow-bore latching means prevents alignment of said first arm receptacle with said second end of said arm, thereby preventing removal of said second end of said arm therefrom.

2. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, wherein said shaped member is a substantially arcuate member.

3. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, wherein said shaped member is a geometrically angled member.

4. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, wherein a maximum dimension of said arm is defined proximate to said first end thereof and a minimum dimension of said arm is defined proximate to said second end thereof, and wherein said dimension of said arm incrementally decreases between said first end and said second end thereof.

5. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, wherein said second end of said shaped member defines a second arm receptacle therein, said second arm receptacle dimensioned to receive said second end of said arm therein, wherein said first arm receptacle is alignable therewith.

6. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 5, wherein said second end of said arm defines a male key member, said first arm receptacle of said peripheral wall of said latching means defines a corresponding key receptacle therethrough, and said second arm receptacle of said second end of said shaped member defines a corresponding female key receptacle therein.

7. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 5, wherein said second end of said arm defines a geometrically shaped male member, said first arm receptacle of said peripheral wall of said latching means defines a corresponding geometric receptacle therethrough, and said second arm receptacle of said second end of said shaped member defines a corresponding geometrically shaped female receptacle therein.

8. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, wherein said inner surface of said hollow-bore latching means is threaded and said said shaped member is correspondingly threaded proximate to said second end thereof.

9. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 8, wherein said threading proximate to said second end of said shaped member defines a barrier means, said barrier means preventing removal of said hollow-bore latching means from said shaped member.

10. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, further comprising at least one mounting member.

11. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 1, further comprising at least one extended loop member.

12. A body jewelry device, comprising: a shaped member having a first end and a second end, said second end having an arm receptacle and a latch pin receptacle defined therein; an elongated member having a first end and a second end, said first end of said elongated member pivotably carried by said first end of said shaped member; a slidably operable latching means carried proximate to said second end of said elongated member, said latching means having a latch pin longitudinally positioned therein and a user-accessible latch control, wherein a first user-selected latch control position of said slidably operable latching means retracts said latch pin into said second end of said elongated member, thereby enabling removable placement of said second end of said elongated member into said arm receptacle of said second end of said shaped member, and wherein a second user-selected latch control position of said slidably operable latching means launches said latch pin from said second end of said elongated member, thereby enabling insertion of said latch pin into said latch pin receptacle of said second end of said shaped member and preventing removal of said second end of said elongated member from said arm receptacle of said second end of said shaped member.

13. The body jewelry device of claim 12, wherein a maximum dimension of said elongated member is defined proximate to said first end thereof and a minimum dimension of said elongated member is defined proximate to said second end thereof, and wherein said dimension of said elongated member incrementally decreases between said first end and said second end thereof.

14. The body jewelry device of claim 12, wherein said second end of said elongated member defines a first key member and said arm receptacle of said shaped member defines a corresponding second key receptacle therein.

15. The body jewelry device of claim 12, wherein said second end of said elongated member defines a geometrically shaped male member and said arm receptacle of said shaped member defines a corresponding geometrically shaped female receptacle therein.

16. The body jewelry device of claim 12, further comprising at least one mounting member.

17. The body jewelry device of claim 12, further comprising at least one extended loop member.

18. A body jewelry device, comprising: a shaped member having a threaded first end and a threaded second end, wherein said first end and said second end are not in direct contact with each other; a latching means rotatably positioned on at least one said threaded end of said shaped member, said latching means having an outer surface and a central bore, and said latching means having dimension to span at least from said first end of said shaped member to said second end of said shaped member; wherein rotation of said latching means into a first position onto said threaded second end of said shaped member exposes said first end of said shaped member, thereby enabling access thereto, and wherein counter-rotation of said latching means into a second position onto said threaded first end of said shaped member prevents exposure of said first end of said shaped member and said second end of said shaped member, thereby preventing access to said shaped member.

19. The body jewelry device of claim 18, wherein said central bore of said latching means is threaded and said latching means is a bead.

20. The body jewelry device of claim 18, wherein a first said threaded end limits rotation of said latching means, thereby preventing said latching means from seating fully thereon and preventing exposure of a second said threaded end.

21. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 18, wherein said outer surface of said latching means carries an ornamental feature.

22. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 18, further comprising at least one mounting member.

23. The clasp device for body jewelry of claim 18, further comprising at least one extended loop member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] To the full extent permitted by law, the present application claims priority to and the benefit as a non-provisional application to provisional patent application entitled “Body Jewelry Clasp” filed on Apr. 13, 2001, having assigned Ser. No. 60/283,810, wherein said application is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates generally to jewelry and, more specifically, to a jewelry clasp having a securely interlocking closure, thereby preventing accidental loss of hoops and other wire jewelry. The present invention is particularly useful in, although not strictly limited to, body jewelry applications wherein an individual desires to wear an article of fine jewelry in his or her pierced navel, such as, for exemplary purposes only, gold or platinum hoops or wires having diamonds or gemstones set thereon.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] In recent years, body piercings have become increasingly popular. Multiply pierced ears are commonplace. Pierced navels are also very much in vogue. Other popular body piercings include the nose, eyebrow, tongue and labret. Body piercing, however, is not a recent development. History documents that individuals have decorated their bodies with precious metals and gems since long ago.

[0004] Early piercings were fashioned from bone, wood or ivory. As cultures have developed, the types and styles of jewelry have expanded. Today's pierced jewelry offers an endless selection of shapes and designs. One shape that remains very prevalent is the circle, or hoop shaped ring. A closed circle shape provides for gapfree closure, enabling movement within the pierced position without loss of the jewelry.

[0005] Any loop intended to be body worn, however, must include an opening or access point to allow placement thereof. The accessible, closed loop design is often accomplished by utilizing a resilient curved member, wherein an opening in the hoop is accessed by bending or prying a female tip out of and away from a male receiving end. With repeated use, however, disadvantageous distortion of the intended shape can occur, thereby jeopardizing the security of the closure and enabling loss of the jewelry.

[0006] Another design relies on a substantially straight, hinged post that passes through a piercing hole and interlocks on the exterior of a curved portion to form a closed loop. The protruding exterior clasp of this design is disadvantageous for some piercing positions, such as the navel. Other hinged styles incorporate an internal clasping slot or groove, wherein a male extension pin snaps or fits therein. Unfortunately, these styles can become unhinged when they are worn in a piercing area frequently subjected to pressure or contact from clothing, and are thus disadvantageous for navel display.

[0007] Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a body jewelry clasp apparatus having a secure locking mechanism capable of preventing accidental loss of body jewelry and enabling comfortable wearing thereof, thus preventing the above-discussed disadvantages.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages, and meets the recognized need for such a device, by providing a body jewelry clasp device enabling comfortable, long-term wear of body piercing jewelry without risk of accidental loss thereof.

[0009] According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention is a body jewelry clasp apparatus capable of securely and comfortably locking an article of jewelry to a pierced body position, thereby enabling the body worn display of fine jewelry, such as, for exemplary purposes only, gold or platinum hoops or wires having diamonds or gemstones set thereon, without risk of loss.

[0010] More specifically, the present invention is preferably a metal “C-shaped” ring with a locking arm hingedly carried on a first end thereof. The locking arm extends from the hinged first end of the ring to a second end of the ring, wherein a grooved latch mechanism receives the distal end of the locking arm to complete the closure of the ring. The grooved latch mechanism includes a rotationally mounted cylinder externally positioned on the second end of the ring. The second end of the ring also has an aperture defined therein, wherein user-controlled rotation of the external cylinder positions a groove defined therein, thus enabling alignment of the cylinder groove and the ring aperture. Positioning and removal of the locking arm is enabled when the cylinder groove and the ring aperture are aligned. The arm remains locked within the ring aperture following user rotation of the external cylinder, wherein passage of the arm through the non-aligned cylinder groove is prevented.

[0011] A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a device to provide a body jewelry clasp device that is capable of preventing accidental loss of body jewelry.

[0012] A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a device to enable the comfortable wearing of secured body jewelry.

[0013] A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a device to provide a body jewelry clasp enabling the routine wearing of hoops and wire jewelry in alternative body piercing locations, such as, for exemplary purposes only, the navel.

[0014] A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a device to provide a body jewelry clasp enabling an individual to wear an article of fine jewelry in his or her pierced navel, such as, for exemplary purposes only, gold or platinum hoops or wires having diamonds or gemstones set thereon, without risk of loss thereto.

[0015] A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a device to provide a body jewelry clasp enabling reversible positioning options for pierced body jewelry.

[0016] A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a device to provide a body jewelry clasp enabling long-term wear of fine body piercing jewelry without risk of accidental loss thereof.

[0017] These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

[0019] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a body jewelry clasp apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, showing a navel ring with an unlocked clasp therein.

[0020] FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the body jewelry clasp apparatus of FIG. 1.

[0021] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a body jewelry clasp apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing a navel ring with a locked clasp therein.

[0022] FIG. 4a is a cross-sectional perspective view of the body jewelry clasp apparatus of FIG. 3, showing a locked clasp wherein a locking pin is extended.

[0023] FIG. 4b is a perspective view of the body jewelry clasp apparatus of FIG. 3, showing an unlocked clasp wherein a locking pin is withdrawn.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a body jewelry clasp apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing a navel ring with a locked ball clasp, a fixed solid mount and an extended charm holder thereon.

[0025] FIG. 6a is a perspective view of a body jewelry clasp apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing an unlocked clasp having a keyed locking pin.

[0026] FIG. 6b is a perspective view of a body jewelry clasp apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing an unlocked clasp having a geometrically shaped locking pin.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

[0027] In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in the figures, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

[0028] Referring now to FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment of the present invention is a body jewelry clasp device 10 comprising ring 20, locking arm 40 and latch 60. Preferably, body jewelry clasp device 10 is precious metal, such as, for exemplary purposes only, gold, platinum, silver, titanium, or a combination thereof. However, while precious metal is preferred, a combination of precious metals, other materials or combinations thereof could be utilized, such as, for exemplary purposes only, plastic, wood, ivory or steel, either independently or in combination with at least one other material.

[0029] Preferably, ring 20 is substantially cylindrical and defines a “C” shape having first end 22 and second end 24. While a substantially cylindrical configuration is preferred, ring 20 could have other geometric configurations, such as, for exemplary purposes only, rectangular, square or polyhedral. Also, while the preferred shape of ring 20 is a “C” shape, other shapes could be utilized, such as, for exemplary purposes only, a substantially triangular, rectangular or square shape or a freeform shape.

[0030] As best seen in FIG. 2, second end 24 of ring 20 preferably carries hinge 26, wherein hinge 26 is preferably elongated pin 28 carried within recessed aperture 30. First end 42 of locking arm 40 is hingedly carried by pin 28 of hinge 26, wherein pin 28 preferably extends substantially across recessed aperture 30 and recessed aperture 30 is dimensioned to permit pivotal movement of locking arm 40 therein. Preferably, arm aperture 44 is defined in first end 42 of locking arm 40, wherein arm aperture 44 is dimensioned to receive pin 28 therethrough with pivotal movement of locking arm 40 therearound.

[0031] Locking arm 40 has second end 46, wherein second end 46 of locking arm 40 is dimensioned to be received by latch 60. Locking arm 40 preferably gradually and incrementally decreases in dimension from first end 42 to second end 46, such that second end 46 is smaller than first end 42. While it is preferred that second end 46 is smaller than first end 42, locking arm 40 could have a substantially constant dimension.

[0032] Latch 60 is positioned on second end 24 of ring 20. First grooved aperture 62 is defined proximate to second end 24 of ring 20, wherein first grooved aperture 62 is dimensioned to receive second end 46 of locking arm 40 therein. Preferably, locking sleeve 64 of latch 60 is positioned on second end 24 of ring 20, wherein locking sleeve 64 is preferably substantially cylindrically shaped. Preferably, second grooved aperture 66 is defined within locking sleeve 64, wherein second grooved aperture 66 is dimensioned to receive second end 46 of locking arm 40 therein.

[0033] Preferably, inner surface 68 of locking sleeve 64 is threaded and outer surface 30 of ring 20 is correspondingly threaded proximate to second end 24 thereof, wherein locking sleeve 64 is rotationally fixed into a user selected position on second end 24 of ring 20. Preferably, threaded outer surface 30 of ring 20 defines a stop ridge 32, wherein removal of locking sleeve 64 from ring 20 is prevented. Locking sleeve 64 is rotated to align second grooved aperture 66 thereof with first grooved aperture 62 of ring 20, whereby second end 46 of locking arm 40 may be placed into latch 60 or removed therefrom. second end 46 of locking arm 40 is placed into latch 60 and locking sleeve 64 is rotated to prevent alignment of second grooved aperture 66 thereof with first grooved aperture 62 of ring 20, whereby second end 46 of locking arm 40 is effectively locked within latch 60.

[0034] In one alternate embodiment, as best seen in FIGS. 3, 4a and 4b, latch 70 of body jewelry clasp device 10 could be positioned on second end 46 of locking arm 40. Locking pin 71 of latch 70 could be centrally positioned within locking arm 40, proximate to second end 46 thereof, wherein latch button 72 could control longitudinal movement of locking pin 71. Second end 24 of ring 20 could have a centrally positioned pin receptacle 32, wherein pin receptacle 32 could be dimensioned to receive locking pin 71 therein. Locking pin 71 could be retracted into second end 46 of locking arm 40, whereby second end 46 of locking arm 40 could be placed into first grooved aperture 62 of ring 20 or removed therefrom. Locking pin 71 could be extended from second end 46 of locking arm 40 into pin receptacle 32 of second end 24 of ring 20, whereby second end 46 of locking arm 40 could be effectively locked within first grooved aperture 62 of ring 20.

[0035] In one alternate embodiment, as best seen in FIG. 5, body jewelry clasp device 10 could be formed without locking arm 40, wherein the “C” shape of ring 20 could be extended and first end 22 and second end 24 of ring 20 could be positioned proximate to each other. Latch 75 could be movably positioned on second end 24 of ring 20, wherein latch 75 could be locking bead 76. In this alternate embodiment, locking bead 76 has a first end 77 and a second end 78. Inner surface (not shown) of locking bead 76 is threaded proximate to first end 77 thereof and outer surface 30 of ring 20 is correspondingly threaded proximate to first end 22 thereof. Inner surface of locking bead 76 is threaded proximate to second end 78 thereof and outer surface 30 of ring 20 is correspondingly threaded proximate to second end 24 thereof, wherein threaded second end 24 of ring 20 is dimensioned to substantially receive locking bead 76 thereon, thereby exposing first end 22 of ring 20 without permitting removal of locking bead 76 from ring 20. Locking bead 76 is rotated to expose first end 22 of ring 20, whereby placement of ring 20 within a body piercing location is enabled. Locking bead 76 is rotated onto first end 22 of ring 20, whereby first end 22 and second end 24 of ring 20 are effectively locked within latch 75.

[0036] In one alternate embodiment, as best seen in FIG. 6a, second end 46 of locking arm 40 could carry keyed locking pin 80 and second end 24 of ring 20 could define correspondingly shaped key receptacle 82, wherein key receptacle 82 could be dimensioned to receive and retain keyed locking pin 80 therein.

[0037] In one alternate embodiment, as best seen in FIG. 6b, second end 46 of locking arm 40 could carry a geometrically shaped locking pin 84 and second end 24 of ring 20 could define correspondingly geometrically shaped receptacle 86, wherein geometrically shaped receptacle 86 could be dimensioned to receive and retain geometrically shaped locking pin 84 therein.

[0038] In one alternate embodiment, as best seen in FIG. 5, ring 20 of body jewelry clasp device 10 could carry solid mount 90, wherein at least one diamond, gemstone or other decorative fixture could be displayed.

[0039] In one alternate embodiment, as best seen in FIG. 5, ring 20 of body jewelry clasp device 10 could carry extended loop member 92, wherein at least one charm, ring, mounted stone or other dangle-type fixture could be displayed.

[0040] In one alternate embodiment, ring 20 of body jewelry clasp device 10 could carry both solid mount 90 and extended loop member 92, wherein at least one diamond, gemstone or other decorative fixture could be displayed and a charm, ring, mounted stone or other dangle-type fixture could also be displayed.

[0041] In use, ring 20 of body jewelry clasp 10 is preferably inserted into selected body piercing position, such as, for exemplary purposes only, the navel, wherein second end 46 of locking arm 40 is removed from latch 60. Locking sleeve 64 is user rotated to align second grooved aperture 66 thereof with first grooved aperture 62 of ring 20, thereby enabling placement of second end 46 of locking arm 40 into latch 60. Locking sleeve 64 is then user rotated to prevent alignment of second grooved aperture 66 thereof with first grooved aperture 62 of ring 20, thereby locking second end 46 of locking arm 40 within latch 60.

[0042] Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.