Title:
Coin holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A coin holder (1) for carrying in a pocket or handbag comprises a base member (4), a pair of opposed plates (2,3) mounted one on either side of the base member in spaced apart relationship therefrom, recessed so as to define, in combination with one side of said base member, a plurality of coin-receiving pockets (6) about the periphery of the holder accessible by slits (9). Through holes (7), each communicating with a respective one of the pockets (6) allow finger access to a coin (10) when stored therein, to push and slide the coin outwards from the pocket through the slit (9) for dispensing. Spring means (8a,8b) press against the coin from below and/or from its side edges to retain the coin within the pocket when not required for dispensing.



Inventors:
Newenham, Robin E. W. (Glanmire, IE)
Application Number:
10/862156
Publication Date:
12/09/2004
Filing Date:
06/02/2004
Assignee:
NEWENHAM ROBIN E.W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C1/10; G07D9/00; (IPC1-7): A45C1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FRANCIS, FAYE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Erwin J. Basinski (Santa Barbara, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A coin holder comprising; a base member, a pair of opposed plates mounted one on either side of the base member in spaced apart relationship therefrom, recessed so as to define, in combination with one side of said base member, a plurality of coin-receiving pockets about the periphery of each of said plates, each plate further defining a plurality of through holes each communicating with a respective one of said pockets to allow finger access to a coin when stored therein, to push the coin outwards from said pocket beyond the said periphery for dispensing, and means associated with each pocket for retaining a coin within the said pocket when not required for dispensing.

2. The coin holder of claim 1, wherein the coin retaining means is provided by spring means.

3. The coin holder of claim 2, wherein the spring means is adapted to press against one face of the coin.

4. The coin holder of claim 2, wherein the spring means is arranged to press against at least one edge of the coin.

5. The coin holder of claim 3, wherein the coin retaining means is provided by one or more spring arms incorporated in the base member so as to press against one face of the coin.

6. The coin holder of claim 5, wherein the base member extends to the periphery of the pair of plates, is of a plastics material, and defines at least one moulded spring arm extending to one side of the base member and at least one moulded spring arm extending to the opposite side of the base member, at each of the locations where the base member combines with the said pair of opposed plates to define a coin-receiving pocket.

7. The coin holder of claim 1, being of circular disc configuration.

8. The coin holder of claim 7, having ten equally sized coin-receiving pockets.

9. The coin holder of claim 5, being made of plastics material, wherein the base member is of a less stiff plastics material than the pair of plates.

10. The coin holder of claim 1, including male and female mouldings enabling the pair of opposed plates to be mounted one on either side of the base member in spaced apart relationship therefrom.

11. The coin holder of claim 1, in combination with a separate cup member, adapted to temporarily receive the coin holder, which cup member includes adhesive mounting means for mounting against a surface, such as a car dashboard.

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to a coin holder, and in particular to a coin holder that can be carried in a pocket, handbag, briefcase or indeed, anywhere on and about a user's presence.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] It is known to provide such holders for carrying coins and unfortunately, such holders are generally bulky and cumbersome.

[0003] Further, most prior art coin holders have a number of different sized receptacles each specifically adapted and designed for carrying one particular denomination of coin. Such coin-specific carriers may be adapted for holding multiple coins of different sizes or denominations includes holding areas/dispensing slits or slots sized and shaped for one specific size of coin. It would not be possible to put a larger size coin into a smaller slot and vice versa. These are generally designed to hold several small stacks of different size coins, with a spring to urge the stack upwards whereby the top coin may be dispensed from a side slit. See U.S. Pat. No. 6,302,777, U.S. Pat. No. 5,492,504, U.S. Pat. No. 5,026,321, GB-B-668,129.

[0004] Coin-specific holders are indeed very useful where, for example, people who are handling considerable amounts of money at relatively infrequent intervals require, available to them, coins of specified denomination in an easy and usable way. However, most people do not require this. All they want is to be able to retrieve one or more of the frequently used denominations of coins relatively easily and to avoid having to handle ten or so coins which are all loose within a purse or pocket when they require the right change, such as for example, and for putting into coin-released mechanisms of goods, dispensing machines, parking meters, payphones, and the like, or for payment of small purchases or paying for parking tickets, tolls, etc., most of which only require certain limited denominations of coins, in particular not the smaller denominations.

[0005] With the introduction of the Euro coinage in 2002, several pocket coin holders have been proposed which are designed to hold all eight denominations of Euro coins, (1 c, 2 c, 5 c, 10 c, 20 c, 50 c, 1 , 2 z,900 ) but again, all coin-dispensing slots are specific to one denomination or size of Euro coin. In some cases, the uppermost coin in a stack of same-sized coins may be dispensed by means of a finger recess for depressing and sliding the uppermost coin off an edge shelf. See EP-A-1,341,132, EP-A-1,331,610, EP-A-1,271,423, EP-A-1,254,613, WO-A-03/47383. A disadvantage of these Euro coin holders is that when fully loaded with five or six coins of each denomination, they are quite heavy and cumbersome to carry.

[0006] Instead of holding several of each coin denomination in stacks one above each other within the coin holder, others have sought to design a coin holder which is less bulky, in which similar coins are held in a flat channel shaped device, in a flat, overlapping coin stack, or in a row or flat end to end stack. U.S. Pat. No. 5,114,014 and FR-A-2,818,099 disclose examples of flat stack dispensers, the latter having eight individual channels for holding each of the Euro coins. Again, this type of arrangement is coin specific.

[0007] One type of coin specific coin holder is the cylindrical coin stack holder. This is basically a cylindrical container for holding a stack of coins of the one size, and the container must be opened to remove the coins. As such this is not a coin dispenser, allowing a single coin to be selected and dispensed. See U.S. Pat. No. 4,290,253 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,502,692. Such carriers are indeed very useful in commercial operations where, for example, cashiers and other people who are handling considerable amounts of money require, available to them, coins of specified denomination in an easy and usable way.

[0008] Rotary coin dispensers are cylindrical coin holders in which the top half rotates relative to the bottom half, permitting individual coin slots to be moved into register with an opening allowing the coin selected to be dispensed. This design differs from those described above in that it involves moving parts, which increases cost and makes it more prone to breakage. See U.S. Pat. No. 6,210,264, GB-B-1,246,100.

[0009] Yet another type of coin holder is the coin clasp or clip holder. Resilient tabs or ribs may be used to frictionally hold the coin in place in the holder, with a finger being used to slide a selected coin out from a perimeter slot. The coins are usually not stacked in the holder, on top of each other or in line.

[0010] In one type of coin clasp holder, the tabs hold the coin by its edge, but of course such a design is necessarily specific to a certain coin diameter, such that a coin of too small a diameter will not be clasped in place and will fall out. While compact and relatively lightweight, the disadvantage with this type of coin holder is that it is only designed to hold from one to six coins. See U.S. Pat. No. 5,499,710, U.S. Pat. No. 3,592,204, U.S. Pat. No. 2,553,257, U.S. Pat. No. 2,569,629, U.S. Pat. No. 2,083,117, GB-A-2,148,039, U.S. Pat. No. 986,158.

[0011] In a second type of coin clasp holder, a resilient rib or “detent” has to be pushed down, under the coin, to eject the coin from the holder. This is exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 2,147,016, which is also a flat stack dispenser.

[0012] In the U.S.A., as only four different denominations of coins are in common circulation, the penny (1 c), nickel (5 c), dime (10 c), and quarter (25 c), many of the coin holders proposed in the prior art for use in that country have been of a simpler design, but are still coin-specific, or are designed specifically to hold quarters only, as these are the most frequently used coins in coin-freed mechanisms.

[0013] However, there still remains a need for a coin holder which is easy to carry in a pocket, which is not bulky or too heavy when fully loaded with coins, in which different sized coins or all the same sized coins are equally easy to accommodate and is therefore not of a coin specific design, and which while meeting the requirement of compact design, still may be used to store a useful number of coins (about 10), and which conveniently allows each one of the coins to be selected and dispensed separately, not being held in a stack or row.

[0014] It is an object of the present invention to provide such a coin holder.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0015] According to the present invention, there is provided a coin holder comprising; a base member, a pair of opposed plates mounted one on either side of the base member in spaced apart relationship therefrom, recessed so as to define in combination with one side of said base member, a plurality of coin-receiving pockets about the periphery of each of said plates, each plate further defining a plurality of through holes each communicating with a respective one of said pockets to allow finger access to a coin when stored therein, to push the coin outwards from said pocket beyond the said periphery for dispensing, and means associated with each pocket for retaining a coin within the said pocket when not required for dispensing.

[0016] In one embodiment of the invention, the coin retaining means is provided by spring means. The spring means is preferably adapted to press against at least one face of the coin, but may in addition be arranged to press against at least one edge of the coin. In another embodiment, the coin retaining means is provided by one or more spring arms incorporated in the base member so as to bear on one face of the coin. In a preferred embodiment, the base member extends to the periphery of the pair of plates, is of a resilient material, and defines at least one moulded spring arm extending to one side of the base member and at least one moulded spring arm extending to the opposite side of the base member, at each of the locations where the base member combines with the said pair of opposed plates to define a coin-receiving pocket.

[0017] The coin holder of the present invention is preferably of a circular disc configuration with ten equally sized coin-receiving pockets.

[0018] In a further embodiment a separate cup member is provided, adapted to temporarily receive the coin holder, which cup member includes adhesive mounting means for mounting against a surface, such as a car dashboard.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a coin holder in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention,

[0020] FIG. 2 is a detailed plan view of the coin holder of FIG. 1,

[0021] FIG. 3 is a cross-section viewed along the line A-A of FIG. 2,

[0022] FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the circled portion shown in FIG. 3,

[0023] FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of a coin holder in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention,

[0024] FIG. 6 is a plan view from above of the bottom plate of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0025] FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the bottom plate of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0026] FIG. 8 is a plan view from below of the bottom plate of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0027] FIG. 9 is a cross-section viewed along the line B-B of FIG. 8,

[0028] FIGS. 10 and 11 are enlarged views of the circled portions shown in FIG. 9,

[0029] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the base member of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0030] FIG. 13 is a side elevation of the base member of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0031] FIG. 14 a plan view from below of the base member of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0032] FIG. 15 is a cross-section viewed along the line C-C of FIG. 14,

[0033] FIG. 16 is an enlarged view of the circled portion shown in FIG. 15,

[0034] FIG. 17 is a plan view from above of the top plate of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0035] FIG. 18 is a side elevation of the top plate of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0036] FIG. 19 is a plan view from below of the top plate of the coin holder of FIG. 5,

[0037] FIG. 20 is a cross-section viewed along the line D-D of FIG. 19,

[0038] FIGS. 21 and 22 are enlarged views of the circled portions shown in FIG. 20,

[0039] FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a separate cup member,

[0040] FIG. 24 is a front elevation of the cup member of FIG. 23,

[0041] FIG. 25 is a cross-section viewed along the line D-D of FIG. 24,

[0042] FIG. 26 is a plan view from above of the cup member of FIG. 23,

[0043] FIG. 27 is a front elevation of the combination of the coin holder of FIG. 5, when assembled and placed in the cup member of FIG. 23,

[0044] FIG. 28 is an end elevation of the combination of FIG. 27,

[0045] FIG. 29 is a rear elevation of the combination of FIG. 27, and

[0046] FIG. 30 is a plan view from below of the combination of FIG. 27.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0047] Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4 of the drawings, there is provided a coin holder, indicated generally by the reference numeral 1. The coin holder 1 comprises three parts assembled in a sandwich configuration; an upper plate 2, a base member 4, and a lower plate 3. There is defined around the perimeter of the holder 1, a plurality of coin receiving pockets 6, preferably ten in number. Each pocket 6 is defined by a recess formed in the plate 2, 3 extending to its periphery, and by the base member 4, which between them define a slit 9 at the perimeter of the holder for ingress and egress of a coin to and from the pocket 6.

[0048] Adjacent each pocket 6, in the respective plate 2 and 3, there is provided an oval through hole 7 for finger access to a coin 10 when inserted in the pocket.

[0049] The base member 4 incorporates a pair of smaller spring arms 8a extending into the pocket 6a to one side thereof, in between which a single larger spring arm 8b extends into the pocket 6b to the opposite side thereof, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The spring arms 8a, 8b are integral with the base member 4, which is moulded from a resilient plastics material.

[0050] The three parts 2, 3, 4 are separately moulded plastics components, and are assembled together as shown in FIG. 3 by means of a tight snap fit between a series of ribbed bosses 11 fitting into corresponding sockets 12 formed by the plates 2, 3, while being spaced by and sandwiching the base member 4. Between the slits 9, downwardly depending flanges 13 in the plates 2, 3 abut the base member 4 at the perimeter of the holder, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, to form a circular disc configuration.

[0051] In use, when a coin 10 is inserted into a pocket 6, the coin 10 will bear against the springs 8a or spring 8b and will be retained within the pocket by the spring mechanism, pressing against the coin on one face thereof to urge the coin against the plate 2 or 3 on its opposite face. When coins are placed correctly within the pocket 6 with the denomination of the coin exposed to view through the hole 7, the user can decide which coin is required. The coin can then be accessed by simply pressing down on the exposed portion of the selected coin with the user's finger or thumb and pushing the coin out of the pocket 6, as seen in FIG. 1, where it can easily be pulled clear of the holder 1. The oval hole 7 is chamfered for ease of finger access and for sliding the finger across the hole. Ten pockets 6 are provided, thus up to ten coins of any denomination may be stored with the coin holder 1.

[0052] Coins of any denomination up to a maximum size can be placed and retained in any of the pockets 6, which are of equal dimensions, defining the maximum coin size. The coin holder of the present invention is therefore not coin specific. However, coins of the very smallest size, such as 1 c and 2 c Euro coins, may not be suitably held in place with this embodiment of the invention, as they could move from side to side and fall from the hole 7. It is presumed, in fact, that most people would not wish to store 1 c and 2 c Euro coins which are little used.

[0053] However, it should be noted that there is a slight distinction between the pockets 6b on one side of the holder, which have a single, centrally located, spring arm 8b, and the pockets 6a on the other side of the coin holder, which have a pair of spaced spring arms 8a. This arrangement can be seen in FIG. 2, but is more clearly seen in the embodiment shown with reference to FIGS. 5-22, in particular in FIGS. 12-16. Thus, the smallest diameter and thinnest coins (e.g. 1 c Euro coin, 10 c U.S. $ coin) may be more readily held in place in the pockets 6b which have the single spring arm 8b, as opposed to the pockets 6a which include the pair of spring arms 8a. However, the spring arms 8a, 8b are preferably of a convex profile (see FIG. 16) as opposed to the flat profile (see FIG. 4) and of sufficient resilience to press the coin firmly against the roof of the pocket to hold the coin in the pocket when inserted therein, so as to resist any sideways movement of the smallest coins which could cause them to fall out of the finger hole 7. The spring arms may include ridges on their coin-bearing surface, or be otherwise adapted to specifically resist sideways slippage of the smaller size coins. This does not matter with the larger diameter coins, the edges of which may even touch the sides 5 of the pocket, or have a small degree of clearance with the sides 5 of the pocket, and thus be incapable of falling from the finger hole 7.

[0054] Alternatively or additionally, spring arms (not shown) projecting inwardly from the sides 5 of the pockets 6, or deformable sides 5 bearing on the side edges of the coin may be provided as a means for retaining a coin in the pocket, if desired.

[0055] The base member 4 is preferably moulded from a less stiffer plastics material such as polypropylene, while the top and bottom plates 2, 3 may be moulded from a more resilient plastics material such as ABS. This results in spring arms 8a, 8b with good yield strength.

[0056] A flat circular area 14 at the centre of the coin holder 1 on each side thereof, or the entire flat surface area on each side may be used to advantage to display advertising indicia, company logos, or the like. Further, the coin holder 1 can be made in any colour plastics material, and thus will provide a useful marketing tool for companies.

[0057] Another embodiment of the invention is shown with reference to FIGS. 5 to 22 of the accompanying drawings. This varies from the embodiment shown with reference to FIGS. 1-4 in constructional detail, and so like parts are referenced by like reference numerals.

[0058] The arrangement of bosses 11 and sockets 12 is different, with a lesser number required about the periphery for assembly of the parts, but with a larger central boss and socket, 11a, 12a (See FIGS. 8, 10, 19, 21). Preferably, the parts are secured together by ultrasonic welding, as opposed to a snap fit. The convex profile of the spring arms 8a, 8b is preferred, as described above, and with reference to FIGS. 12-16. FIGS. 8 and 19 show more clearly the internal shape of the five pockets 6, on each side of the coin holder 1, which have parallel side walls 5, adjacent the opening slit 9 of the pocket, tapering together towards the centre. As more clearly seen in FIGS. 5, 12 and 14, the bosses 11 pass through appropriately spaced holes 15 in the base member 4, when fitting the parts together.

[0059] FIGS. 23-25 show a separate cup member 16 for use in holding and mounting the coin holder 1 against a mounting surface, such as the dashboard of a car. A double sided adhesive pad or a Velcro® pad (not shown) may be used to secure the cup member in place. The coin holder 1, when loaded with coins and when not in a user's pocket, may be placed in the cup member 16, as shown in FIGS. 27-30, for example when driving for easy access for coins for road tolls.

[0060] In a U.S. context, the coin holder of the invention described above is particularly suited to holding quarters (25 c), the most frequently used coin in the USA for coin freed vending machines, parking meters, payphones, road and bridge tolls, etc. but may if desired be used to hold dimes (10 c), nickels (5 c) and pennies (1 c). Although less commonly found in circulation in the USA, the half dollar coin and dollar coin may also be accommodated, including the Sacagawea golden dollar coin issued in 2000.

[0061] In this specification, the terms “comprise, comprises, comprised and comprising” or any variation thereof and the terms “include, includes, included and including” or any variation thereof are considered to be totally interchangeable and they should all be afforded the widest possible interpretation and vice versa.

[0062] The foregoing description has been presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will readily be apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. While the particular devices and methods as herein shown and disclosed in detail are fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that they are merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.