Title:
Ornamental beads and method of manufacture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A set of ornamental beads and the method of making them. A bead can be customized by the use of an inner disk, which is made of plastic material and is about the size of a penny. Each inner disk has a through hole along its diameter. A customer selects whichever design, pattern, theme, pop culture items or logo, which is then applied to the face or faces of the disk, like stickers. The customization can take place over an E-commerce platform, where the customer can visualize various designs on screen, or in a store, where the sales clerk has a stock of such design stickers, ready to be applied to the inner disk. After the customer selects the requisite number of disks and their designs, if the beads are not already in stock, each of the disks is placed in a mold, which will be filled with liquid poly-gem material to form a bead-shaped object. The solidified poly-gem thus encases the inner disk to secure the design(s) on the inner disk within the bead-shaped poly-gem material. After the liquid poly-gem material cools down to a room temperature, the bead-shaped objects go through a grinding and polishing process to make them rounder and shinier. After the grinding and polishing process, the poly-gem beads are now ready to be strung into a bracelet, a necklace or any kind of personalized beads.



Inventors:
Ho, Joseph (Hacienda Heights, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/889486
Publication Date:
01/13/2005
Filing Date:
07/12/2004
Assignee:
HO JOSEPH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C11/00; (IPC1-7): A44C25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COZART, JERMIE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Walker IP Law (New Taipei City, TW)
Claims:
1. A set of ornamental beads, comprising: a plurality of transparent beads strung together by a string; a plastic inner disk enclosed within each of said beads, said inner disk having a top and bottom face for receiving a design sticker, said inner disk having a through hole alone its diameter for receiving said string.

2. A set of beads of claim 1, wherein said inner disk has a gradual thinning thickness from its center to its edges.

3. A set of beads of claim 2, wherein said bead is made of poly-gem material.

4. A method of making a set of ornamental beads, comprising: providing a plastic inner disk, said disk having a through hole along its diameter for receiving a string, said disk having a top and bottom face for receiving a design sticker; applying a design sticker to each of said top and bottom face of said inner disk; placing said inner disk in a bead mold; filling said mold with liquid poly-gem material, and forming a poly-gem bead enclosing said inner disk; grinding and polishing said poly-gem bead to make it rounder and glitter; string a plurality of poly-gem beads through the through hole of each inner disk into a set of ornamental beads.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein said inner disk has a gradual thinning thickness from its center to its edges.

6. A set of personalized beads, comprising: a plurality of transparent beads strung together by a string, each of said bead being made of poly-gem material; a plastic inner disk enclosed within each of said beads, said inner disk having a top and bottom face for receiving a design sticker, said inner disk having a through hole alone its diameter for receiving said string, said inner disk having a gradual thinning thickness from its center to its edges.

7. The set of personalized beads of claim 6, wherein said poly-gem material solidifies from its initial liquid state to secure the inner disk within itself.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims priority from provisional applications, Application No. 60/486,604, entitled “THE BUSINESS IDEA OF DESIGNING, MANUFACTURING, MARKETING OF THE NEW CUSTOM JEWELRY BRACELET WHICH CONSIST OF A STRING OF BEADS CHARACTERIZING WEARER'S PERSONAL INTERESTS, IDENTITY AND FAVORATE SUBJECT, SO-CALLED ‘I.D. BEADS’ OR ‘IDENTITY BEADS’ UNDER WEB SITE NAME ‘BEADSFAIRY.’ THIS PRODUCTS IS DESIGNED TO BE AN INTERNET MARKET ITEM,” filed on Jul. 11, 2003. The provisional application is hereby incorporated into this application by reference as if fully set forth herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to ornamental jewelry, and more particularly relates to a set of beads, such as a bracelet or necklace, that can be customized and personalized by a customer from bead to bead.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional fashion beads and bracelets are typically sold to consumers, as a finished product, either in a store setting, or by mail order. The consumer cannot customize or alter the design of the beads, nor the bracelet, other than specifying the consumer's wrist size. As the consuming public, particularly the gen-X and Y population, become ever more focused on individuality and personal identity, such uniformity or conformity becomes very undesirable to the would-be consumers. If anything, they would want to be able to customize or alter the design of the beads, or the bracelet, so that they can display their own personality, hobby, favorite pop icon, sports etc. Such individual customization is quite cost-prohibitive, especially at a bead-by-bead level, since the individual beads forming a bracelet or necklace can only be mass produced by the factory.

Some conventional beads have been described in issued U.S. Patents. U.S. Pat. No., D413,421 by Shoening, Jr., discloses a set of religious beads with religious pendants connected in-between. U.S. Pat. No. D410,866 by Philipson, et al., discloses a set of jazz beads with some beads simulating various jazz instruments. U.S. Pat. No. D446,148 by Kelly discloses a set of sports beads, where the beads take on the shape of a football, baseball, or basketball, depending on the user's selection. None of them allows a consumer to customize or individualize the designs from bead to bead.

Therefore, it is desirable to have ornamental beads and bracelets that can be customized based on the consumer's design and choice.

It is desirable to have such ornamental beads and bracelets that allow the consumers to specify the design or pattern on each bead, on an individual bead-by-bead basis, before the beads are strung together as a bracelet or necklace.

It is further desirable to have such ornamental beads that enable the beads to be strung together without risking damages to the internal design if through holes have to be drilled through the beads after the beads are formed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A set of ornamental beads, as well as the method of making them, are disclosed. A bead can be customized by the use of an inner disk, which is made of plastic material and is about the size of a penny. Each inner disk has a through hole along its diameter. A customer selects whichever design, pattern, theme, pop culture items or logo, which is then applied to the face or faces of the disk, like stickers. The customization can take place over an E-commerce platform, where the customer can visualize various designs on-screen through a server connected by the Internet, or in a store, where the sales clerk has a stock of such design stickers, ready to be applied to the inner disks. After the customer selects the requisite number of disks and their designs, if the beads are not already in the inventory, each of the disks is placed in a mold, which will be filled with liquid poly-gem material to form a bead-shaped object. The solidified poly-gem thus encases the inner disk to secure the design(s) on the inner disk within the bead-shaped poly-gem material. After the liquid poly-gem material cools down to a room temperature, the bead-shaped objects go through a grinding and polishing process to make them rounder and shinier. After the grinding and polishing process, the poly-gem beads are now ready to be strung into a bracelet, a necklace or any kind of personalized set of beads.

Alternately, to adequately stock up the inventory and speed up the delivery time, the beads can be first manufactured with a variety of inner disk designs. As the customer selects a combination of designs, the factory or merchant only has to pick out the proper beads and string them into a bracelet or necklace. By having the beads pre-made in large quantities, delivery of the finished products can be expedited.

An ornamental bead of such construction has an inner disk encased inside a poly-gem bead with the through hole already in place for the final assembly into a bracelet or a necklace. No drilling is needed on the final poly-gem bead, thus avoiding any damage to the bead and its design within.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 (a)-(d) are simplified diagrams illustrating the inner disk 10.

FIGS. 2 (a)-(d) are simplified diagrams illustrating the inner disk 10 now enclosed in the poly-gem material 20.

FIGS. 3 (a)-(c) are simplified diagrams illustrating a bracelet 30 formed by the beads.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A set of ornamental beads and the method of making the same is disclosed. In the description that follows, for simplicity purposes, references will be made to a bracelet, or a necklace, of beads. However, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention is applicable to any set of decorative beads, which can be used to personalize a person's belongings, such as one's hair, clothing, cell phone, PDA, luggage, sports gear or car. FIGS. 1 (a)-(d) are simplified diagrams illustrating the inner disk 10, which is preferably made of plastic material. FIG. 1(a) is a perspective view of the inner disk with a through hole 12 already formed along its diameter. FIG. 1(b) is a front view of the inner disk. FIG. 1(c) is a side view of the inner disk 10, and a ninety-degree horizontal rotation from the front view shown by FIG. 1(b). FIG. 1(d) is a top or bottom view of the inner disk 10. Note that the profile of the inner disk 10 is gradually thinning from the center portion toward the edges as shown in FIG. 1(c). This gradual thinning produces a more aesthetic profile of the inner disk 10 when it is enclosed within the poly-gem bead with the design stickers, as will be described in connection with FIGS. 2.

After the designs (not shown) are applied to the surfaces of the inner disk 10, the disk is placed inside a poly-gem mold. The mold is then filled with liquid poly-gem material, which subsequently solidifies as it cools down to room temperature, forming the bead that encloses the inner disk. Further grinding and polishing is applied to the bead in order to increase its roundness and glittering. When all the beads are ground and polished, they are now ready to be strung into a bracelet or a necklace as a final product.

FIGS. 2 (a)-(d) are simplified diagrams illustrating the inner disk 10 now enclosed in the poly-gem material 20. At this stage, it should be noted that the inner disk 10 already has the design stickers applied to its surfaces, which are not shown in the drawings here for simplicity sake. FIG. 2(a) is a perspective view of the poly-gem bead 20 as it encloses the inner disk 10. FIG. 2(b) is a front view of the poly-gem bead 20 with the inner disk 10 within. FIG. 2(c) is a side view of the poly-gem bead 20 with the inner disk 10, where the opening of the through hole is visible. FIG. 2(d) is a top or bottom view of the poly-gem bead 20 with the inner disk 10.

FIGS. 3 (a)-(c) are simplified diagrams illustrating a bracelet 30 formed by the beads strung together. At this stage, each bead has already been customized by the inner disk within, where the inner disk is applied with design stickers (not shown). The size of the bracelet 30, of course, is determined by the consumer's wrist size. FIG. 3(a) shows a perspective view of the bracelet 30. FIG. 3(b) shows a front view of the bracelet 30 and FIG. 3(c) shows a top view of the bracelet 30.

Transaction on an E-Commerce Platform

A customer's transaction of customizing and individualizing the beads and forming the bracelet may take place over an e-commerce platform, such as a site operated by Applicant, www.beadsfairy.com. The goal of Applicant's site, www.beadsfairy.com, is to provide a web site so that consumers, such as young girls, could come visit this web site and choose their own combination of beads-strung bracelet at their own preference. As can be appreciated, the platform can readily be applied to different groups of population based on their interests, hobbies, affiliations, schools, sports teams, etc.

The web site can readily be implemented by a server connected to the Internet, wherein the server is powered by operating and application software. The application software allows a consumer connected to a client to visualize each design before the consumer finalizes the decision. As each design is picked, a simulated picture with the selected design is displayed on screen, so that the consumer gets a visualization of the bracelet as it is being constructed, all before her very eyes.

A young girl's life and surrounding are filled with things that appeal to her interest or relate to her life, such as her horoscope, her favorite food, her favorite celebrity etc. Each of these themes can be expressed in either words or a photograph, which can be printed onto paper and applied to the inner disk. The designed printout is then inserted into the transparent poly-gem. Each one of www.beadsfairy.com's gem is unique and appeals to only a certain group of women. Our customer is able to use her computer pointer to select from our website a string of poly-gem to formulate a unique representation of her personality, hobbies, as well as identity.

There are currently hundreds of different themes on www.beadsfairy.com. Each theme is categorized into its own web page, further containing hundreds of different unique pictorial selections. For example, a horoscope contains twelve different signs with each sign having ten different clipart designs. Therefore, 120 different selections can be made from the horoscope alone.

After the customer selects her desired bracelet size, our website will help her determine the maximum number of gems allowed for that particular bracelet. Our customer can then easily navigate through the various gem categories on our website to construct the bracelet that is exclusively representative of her.

Also, prior to having our customer construct her bracelet, we have a tutorial session to demonstrate how to properly measure her wrist/bracelet size in order to render the proper bead count and maximum comfort.

The consumer has the option either to use “theme beads” to create a bracelet, or use any beads available in combination with the traditional glass, crystal, plastic, and custom jewelry to create a one of a kind bracelet.

Whether this bracelet is completely assembled with “theme beads” or with several decorating beads in-between to create a customized pattern, it all depends on each consumer's personal preference without any type of limitation. This is the type of individual creation that only www.beadsfairy.com can provide. Customer can pick from thousands different types of beads to create their unique bracelet, which is a service that the traditional retail store or mail orders cannot provide.

On this e-commerce site, aside from providing a personal browsing theme and a section for selecting beads, we have also created a frame that displays the current pattern of the beads based on selection. For example, when the customer selects a particular bead, this bead is automatically entered into this frame to show that this bead has been selected and how it would look in the bracelet. When the selection is completed, the screen will prompt the user with the option of selecting a theme bead, or a decorating bead. All beads being selected will show up on the frame that displays the customer's current process.

When the customer is done, the windows that display the current pattern of the beads will provide the full preview her design. If she is not satisfied, she can replace any existing bead in her design, rearranged the beads patterns, or swap any two beads positions.

Of course, beads is only one possible form of artistic representation. Other representations, such as inserting a metal pin, a metal plate, or a miniature 3D sculpture into the poly-gem, are all creative and valid for our business.

Once the customer has completed its checkout process, the server will forward the bead selections and pattern to the manufacturers where the bracelets will be assembled and shipped.

It should be pointed that the warehouse for the web site, or a merchant, may have beads with various designs already in stock. As such, delivery time can be expedited since the selected beads are ready for assembly as soon as the customer makes her selection. However, as can be understood by those skilled in the art, such pre-stocking may incur excess inventory of beads, where the beads are customized with designs that no customer wants.

Although the invention is described herein with reference to the preferred embodiment, one skilled in the art will readily appreciate that other applications may be substituted for those set forth herein without departing from the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the invention should only be limited by the claims included below.