Title:
Jewelry apparatus and method of making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exemplary system and method for providing a jewelry setting is disclosed as comprising a first gemstone in an array of gemstones generally retained at a girdle by fasteners that hold the girdles of at least a second and a third gemstone of a plurality of gemstones that surround the first gemstone. Disclosed features and specifications may be optionally controlled, adapted or otherwise modified to improve the retention of gemstones in a variety of gemstone settings. Exemplary embodiments of the present invention generally provide improved aesthetic presentation and mechanical retention of gemstones in a gemstone setting.



Inventors:
Nevatia, Shishir B. (Sippayna Bunglow, IN)
Nevatia, Kapil S. (Sippayna Bunglow, IN)
Application Number:
11/053822
Publication Date:
09/01/2005
Filing Date:
02/09/2005
Assignee:
NEVATIA SHISHIR B.
NEVATIA KAPIL S.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C17/00; A44C17/02; A44C27/00; (IPC1-7): A44C17/02
View Patent Images:
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20050000246Method of faceting of gemstones to produce spiraling effectJanuary, 2005Brookshire
20100043492JEWELRY AND METHOD OF MAKING THE SAMEFebruary, 2010Scott
20070000283Structure for adjusting length of ornament chainsJanuary, 2007Murao et al.
20050241337Jewelry prong with an internal settingNovember, 2005Fouzailoff
20090090132JEWELRY APPARATUSApril, 2009Dholakiya
20050241336Jewelry connectorNovember, 2005Scharr
20070256452Diamond jewelry setting apparatusNovember, 2007Aghjayan
20080053149Jewelrey article and method of making the sameMarch, 2008Benos
20020162355Fashion braceletNovember, 2002Andersen



Primary Examiner:
REESE, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE NOBLITT GROUP, PLLC (SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A gemstone setting, comprising: a first gemstone; and a first girdle; said first gemstone substantially retained proximate to said first girdle by fasteners that each hold at least second and third girdles of at least a second and a third gemstone substantially disposed proximate to said first gemstone.

2. The gemstone setting of claim 1, wherein: said first gemstone fixedly mounts on a platform by the first girdle extending into each of a plurality of first bars substantially extending from the platform; and the girdle of said second gemstone extends into at least two bars of the plurality of first bars and into at least two bars of a plurality of second bars extends from the platform, spaced from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first bars.

3. The gemstone setting of claim 2, wherein the girdle of said third gemstone extends into at least two bars of the plurality of first bars, one of which is substantially in common with the second gemstone, and extending into at least two bars of the plurality second bars, one of which is substantially in common with the second gemstone.

4. The gemstone setting of claim 3, wherein the first bars and the second bars are at least one of substantially unitary with respect to the platform and substantially molded in one piece with the platform.

5. The gemstone setting of claim 3, wherein said first gemstone is substantially disposed near the center of at least one of a plurality of gemstones and an array of gemstones substantially comprising the second and third gemstones.

6. The gemstone setting of claim 1, wherein: said first gemstone fixedly mounts on a platform by the first girdle extending into each bar of a first plurality of bars extending from the platform; and the girdle of said second gemstone extends into at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are substantially in common with the first gemstone, and into each bar of a second plurality of bars substantially extending from the platform, spaced apart from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first plurality of bars.

7. The gemstone setting of claim 6, wherein the girdle of said third gemstone extends into at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are substantially in common with the first gemstone, and into one bar of the second plurality of bars that is substantially in common with the second gemstone.

8. The gemstone setting of claim 1, wherein: said first gemstone fixedly mounts on a platform by the girdle of the gemstone substantially retained by each bar of a first plurality of bars extending from the platform; and the girdle of said second gemstone is held by at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are in common with the first gemstone, and the girdle held by each bar of a second plurality of bars extends from the platform, spaced from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first plurality of bars.

9. The gemstone setting of claim 8, wherein the girdle of said third gemstone is held by at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are in common with the first gemstone, and held by one bar of the second plurality of bars that is in common with the second gemstone.

10. A gemstone setting of claim 1, wherein: said first gemstone substantially fixedly mounts on a platform by the girdle of the gemstone substantially retained by each fastener of a first plurality of fasteners mounted on the platform; and the girdle of said second gemstone is substantially retained by at least two fasteners of the first plurality of fasteners that are substantially in common with the first gemstone, and the girdle substantially retained by each fastener of a second plurality of fasteners mounted on the platform, spaced from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first plurality of fasteners.

11. The gemstone setting of claim 10, further comprising the girdle of said third gemstone substantially retained by at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are substantially in common with the first gemstone, and substantially retained by one bar of the second plurality of bars that is substantially in common with the second gemstone.

12. A method of setting a gemstone, said method comprising the steps of: providing a first gemstone; and providing a first girdle; retaining said first gemstone substantially proximate to said first girdle by fasteners that each substantially retain at least second and third girdles of at least a second and a third gemstone substantially disposed proximate to said first gemstone.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising the steps of: fixedly mounting said first gemstone on a platform by the girdle of the gemstone extending into each of a plurality of first bars substantially extending from the platform; and wherein the girdle of said second gemstone extends into at least two bars of the plurality of first bars and into at least two bars of a plurality of second bars extends from the platform, spaced from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first bars.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the girdle of said third gemstone extends into at least two bars of the plurality of first bars, at least one of which is substantially in common with the second gemstone, and extending into at least two bars of the plurality second bars, one of which is substantially in common with the second gemstone.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the first bars and the second bars are at least one of substantially unitary with respect to the platform and substantially molded in one piece with the platform.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein said first gemstone is substantially disposed near the center of at least one of a plurality of gemstones and an array of gemstones substantially comprising said second and third gemstones.

17. The method of claim 12, further comprising the steps of: fixedly mounting said first gemstone on a platform by the first girdle extending into each bar of a first plurality of bars extending from the platform; and wherein the girdle of said second gemstone extends into at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are substantially in common with the first gemstone, and into each bar of a second plurality of bars substantially extending from the platform, spaced apart from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first plurality of bars.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein: the girdle of said third gemstone extends into at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are substantially in common with the first gemstone, and into one bar of the second plurality of bars that is substantially in common with the second gemstone.

19. The method of claim 12, further comprising the steps of: fixedly mounting said first gemstone on a platform by the first girdle of the gemstone substantially retained by each bar of a first plurality of bars extending from the platform; wherein the girdle of said second gemstone is held by at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are in common with the first gemstone, and the girdle held by each bar of a second plurality of bars extends from the platform, spaced from one another, from the first gemstone, and from the first plurality of bars; and wherein the girdle of said third gemstone is held by at least two bars of the first plurality of bars that are in common with the first gemstone, and held by one bar of the second plurality of bars that is in common with the second gemstone.

20. A method of manufacturing a gemstone setting, said method comprising the steps of: constructing a master model of said setting; making a mold of the master model; injecting wax into the mold, and extracting a hardened wax piece from the mold; at least one of: disposing a first gemstone into a setting opening until a girdle of the gemstone engages the recess on at least one bar; disposing a second gemstone into a setting opening until a girdle of the gemstone engages the recess on at least one bar; disposing a gemstone axially into a setting opening until the gemstone at least contacts a sloped annular wall; and disposing a gemstone axially into a setting opening until the girdle of the gemstone is at a suitable height above a sloped annular wall and a pavilion is spaced from an opening wall; disposing the wax and gemstone piece into a container; adding investment material, said investment material suitably adapted to harden; heating the resulting assembly to about 600 degrees Celsius; eliminating the wax from the container; injecting metal and allowing the metal to harden; removing the molded piece from the container; and breaking away the investment material.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/543,118 filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Feb. 9, 2004 by Shishir B. Nevatia and Kapil S. Nevatia.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention generally concerns articles of jewelry; and more particularly, in various representative and exemplary embodiments, to methods of mounting and retaining gemstones on articles of jewelry.

BACKGROUND

The desirability to reduce the dependence of manufacturers of jewelry, having gems set in precious metal, on the high-priced labor of skilled gem-setters has long been recognized. One method utilizes a lost wax process for manufacturing jewelry by forming a rubber mold in which a wax model is cast to accommodate the gem and positioning the latter in the rubber mold prior to closing the mold and injecting the wax. The wax model bearing the gem set therein is thereafter removed from the rubber mold and encased in the investment so that, after replacement of the wax by precious metal in accordance with the lost wax procedure, the cast article is removed from the investment mold with the gem preset in the metal and thereby eliminating the step of setting the gem in cast metal.

A conventional method of melting and removing the wax model and curing the investment mold preparatory to casting the precious metal therein may be performed in an oven under reduced pressure and typically involves increasing the temperature by uniform increments to 700 degrees Celsius over 14 hours to substantially remove moisture and provide a hard, smooth interior mold surface against which the metal is cast. Other methods suggest that preheating or curing the investment mold may be accomplished in as little as 4 hours at temperatures generally not in excess of 500 degrees Celsius.

In attempting to achieve the result of eliminating the need for a skilled gem-setter to complete the manufacture of an article of jewelry, certain methods have been found to be inadequate in two respects, namely: (1) in the manner the gem is set in the wax model; and (2) the suggested procedure for curing the investment mold prior to casting the precious metal.

As to the first inadequacy, the step of positioning the gem as an insert in an open rubber mold and then closing the mold with a high degree of care, so as not to displace the gem prior to injecting the wax, has been found not only to be relatively time consuming, but also unreliable; particularly when the jewelry design utilizes several relatively small gems in each setting. Furthermore, any improper positioning of the gem during the molding of the wax model may not be apparent until after the model is removed from the mold. Other imperfections in the wax model generally require removal of the gems before discarding the defective model. Such complications contribute to what is generally regarded as an unacceptable efficiency rate at this stage of the manufacturing process.

As to the second inadequacy, by limiting the curing of the investment material to a period of 4 hours at temperatures not in excess of 500 degrees Celsius (generally promoted to prevent damage to the gems now retained in the investment mold after removal of the wax), the reduction in moisture content and hardening of the investment material has been found to be insufficient to enable the investment mold to withstand the injection of molten metal which damages important areas of the mold, thereby resulting in defective and unacceptable castings.

The prior art is replete with descriptions of jewel configurations for holding a plurality of gemstones in a way that provides the appearance of larger or more gemstones than are in the array. One design fastens a plurality of gemstones around and over the edge of the crown of a larger gemstone to give the appearance of one large stone. This is generally visually effective, but risks damage to the contacting edges of the gems. Accordingly, there is a need to provide nearly the same visual effect that may be generally obtained utilizing smaller stones while protecting the stones by holding their edges with material that is generally softer than the gemstones.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In various representative aspects, the present invention provides a jewelry setting in which a first gemstone in an array of gemstones is substantially retained at a girdle by fasteners that each substantially retain the girdles of at least two other gemstones of a plurality of gemstones that surround the first gemstone. Advantages of the present invention will be set forth in the Detailed Description which follows and may be obvious from the Detailed Description or may be learned by practice of exemplary embodiments of the invention. Still other advantages of the invention may be realized by means of any of the instrumentalities, methods or combinations particularly pointed out in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Representative elements, operational features, applications and/or advantages of the present invention reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereafter depicted, described and claimed—reference being made to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout. Other elements, operational features, applications and/or advantages may become apparent in light of certain exemplary embodiments recited in the Detailed Description, wherein:

FIG. 1 generally illustrates a front view of a gemstone or jewel in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 generally depicts a front and top perspective view of a jewelry apparatus in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 generally illustrates a top schematic view of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 2, in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 generally illustrates a front and top perspective view of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 2 without the gemstones, in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 generally illustrates a cross-section schematic view of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 3 containing only the center stone (taken along 5-5), in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 generally illustrates a front and top perspective view of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 2 containing only the center stone, in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 generally illustrates a front view of a portion of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 3 (taken along and confined to 7-7), in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 generally illustrates a cross-section schematic view of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 3 containing the center stone, two side stones that are forward of the center stone, the front side stone not shown (the stones not in cross-section, taken along 8-8), in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 generally illustrates a front and top perspective view of the jewelry apparatus generally depicted in FIG. 2 containing the center stone and side stones (taken at the same angle of view as generally depicted in FIG. 6), in accordance with a representative and exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Elements in the Figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the Figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help improve understanding of various embodiments of the present invention. Furthermore, the terms “first”, “second”, and the like herein, if any, are generally used for distinguishing between similar elements and not necessarily for describing a sequential or chronological order. Moreover, the terms “front”, “back”, “top”, “bottom”, “over”, “under”, and the like, if any, are generally employed for descriptive purposes and not necessarily for comprehensively describing exclusive relative position or order. Any of the preceding terms so used may be interchanged under appropriate circumstances such that various embodiments of the invention described herein, for example, are capable of operation in orientations and environments other than those explicitly illustrated or otherwise described.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

The following descriptions are of exemplary embodiments of the invention and the inventors' conception of the best mode and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the following description is intended to provide convenient illustrations for implementing various embodiments of the invention. As will become apparent, changes may be made in the function and/or arrangement of any of the elements described in the disclosed exemplary embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

As generally depicted in FIG. 1, gemstone 20 typically comprises table 24, crown 26, girdle 28, pavilion 30, culet 32, upper facets 34 above the girdle, and lower facets 36 below the girdle.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, center gemstone 40 and six side gemstones 20 may be mounted on platform 44 of apparatus 50. Gemstone 40 is generally larger than gemstone 20.

With reference to FIGS. 2-8, girdle 52 of gemstone 40 generally extends substantially radially outward from axis 54 into substantially radially inward open recesses 56 in bars 58, which generally extend vertically from platform 44. Recesses 56 may be optionally shaped complimentary to the girdle so that they closely fit the girdle. Walls 60, 62 are generally angled to fit portions of the crown and pavilion so that walls 60, 62 on the six bars 58 substantially retain gemstone 40 and prevent removal of stone 40 from the platform and rattling of the stone 40 on the platform.

Bars 58 may be optionally unitary and/or molded in one piece with platform 44. In a preferred representative embodiment of the present invention, recess 56 generally positions the stone so that the coulet and lower portion of the pavilion generally extends into opening 68 that generally extends through platform 44, and the pavilion is typically concentric and in effective contact with sloped annular wall 66 and is suitably spaced from cylindrical wall 70 of opening 68 in platform 44. This may be more easily seen, for example, in FIG. 5, where wall 62 of recess 56 is substantially continuous on a straight line with sloped annular wall 66.

In another arrangement, in which bar 58 is spaced substantially radially outward from sloped annular wall 66, wall 62 of the groove is substantially discontinuous with sloped annular wall 66 so that the pavilion of the stone effectively contacts walls 62 and is suitably spaced from wall 66.

Each gemstone 20 may be generally mounted on the platform in the same way as the other gemstones 20. For brevity, the instant description generally refers to one gemstone 20 mounting, but may be suitably adapted to provide a system and method for the mounting of a plurality of gemstones.

Girdle 28 of gemstone 20 generally extends substantially radially outward from axis 72 into recesses 76 in two bars 58, and generally extends substantially radially outward from axis 72 into recesses 78 in two bars 80. Bars 80 may be preferably unitary and/or molded in one piece with platform 44. Recesses 78, walls 82, 84 and the walls of recess 76 may be preferably suitably angled substantially parallel to portions of the crown and pavilion so that they closely fit the girdle. Recess 76 and 78 generally retain the stone and prevent rattling and removal of gemstone 20 from the platform.

Bar 58, comprising at least two recesses 76, may be spaced 100 substantially radially outward from sloped annular wall 96 of opening 94. Bar 80 may be disposed at the edge of sloped annular wall 96. The depths of grooves may be varied so that the gemstone is generally retained by the grooves substantially concentric with opening 94 that generally extends through platform 44 and is suitably spaced from cylindrical wall 98 of opening 94.

As generally depicted, for example in FIG. 8, girdles 28 and 52 may be configured for disposition in the same plane 104. Table 106 of gemstone 40 may be generally higher than tables 24 of gemstones 20. Gemstone 40 generally extends lower in cavity 108 formed by opening 68 and the stone, than gemstones 20 in cavities 110 fanned by openings 94 and gemstones 20.

With reference now to FIG. 3, looking at the top of apparatus 50 having the stones mounted, one can see bars 58. Each stone is generally retained so that it may not be removed regardless of how many stones or which other stone is mounted on the platform.

With reference to FIG. 7, viewing the cluster of mounted gemstones from one side, outer gemstone and bars 80 and 58 are apparent. Each bar 58 typically retains a portion of the center stone and portions of at least two outer stones.

In a preferred exemplary and representative embodiment, the platform and bars containing the stones may comprise precious metal. Such precious metals may generally include, but are not necessarily limited to: gold, platinum, silver, and combinations thereof. One bar, or any number of bars 58 and 80, may be mounted on the platform by pinning, brazing, screwing or such other methods now known, or otherwise hereafter described, in the art for fastening a bar to a platform. Fasteners including clips and prongs that can grip more than one gemstone around a substantially vertical axis of the fastener may also be used to at least partially retain tile gemstones in the arrangements described vide supra. The tops of the bars or fasteners may be tinted or highly polished so that they reflect light and enhance the radiance of the gemstone.

A preferred representative and exemplary method for making an apparatus in accordance with the present invention generally includes the steps of:

    • a. constructing a master model of the apparatus less gemstones;
    • b. making a rubber mold of the master model;
    • c. injecting wax into the rubber mold, and extracting the hardened wax piece from the rubber mold;
    • d. disposing gemstone 40 into opening 68 until girdle 52 of the stone engages recesses 56 on bars 58;
    • e. disposing the six other stones 20 into openings 94 until girdle 28 of the stone engages recesses 76 of two bars 58, and recesses 78 of two bars 80;
    • f: putting the entire wax and stone piece into a container and adding investment material which hardens;
    • g. heating to about 600 degrees Celsius, eliminating the wax from the container;
    • h. injecting metal, allowing the metal to harden, removing the molded piece from the container, and breaking away the investment material.

In another representative and exemplary method for making apparatus 50, one may omit the recesses which could be introduced by the master model, or which could be cut in the wax piece, and using a wax that is resilient, replace steps d, and e, with:

    • i. disposing the gemstones substantially axially into openings 68 and 94 until the stones contact the sloped annular wall.

In another representative and exemplary method for making apparatus 50, one may omit the recesses which could be introduced by the master model, or which could be cut in the wax piece, and, using a wax that is resilient, replace steps d, and e with:

    • j. disposing the gemstones substantially axially into openings 68 and 94 until the girdle of the stone is at some predetermined height range above the sloped annular wall, and the pavilion is suitably spaced from the opening wall.

In yet another exemplary and representative method for making apparatus 50, the piece may be cast in metal without synthetic gems, and the gems engaged into recesses 56, 76 and 78 on the cleaned and polished piece.

In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments; however, it will be appreciated that various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims below. The specification and Figures are to be regarded in an illustrative manner, rather than a restrictive one and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined by the claims appended hereto and their legal equivalents rather than by merely the examples described above. For example, the steps recited in any method or process claims may be executed in any order and are not limited to the specific order presented in the claims. Additionally, the components and/or elements recited in any device claims may be assembled or otherwise operationally configured in a variety of permutations to produce substantially the same result as the present invention and are accordingly not limited to the specific configuration recited in the claims.

Benefits, other advantages and solutions to problems have been described above with regard to particular embodiments; however, any benefit, advantage, solution to problems or any element that may cause any particular benefit, advantage or solution to occur or to become more pronounced are not to be construed as critical, required or essential features or components of any or all the claims.

As used herein, the terms “comprises”, “comprising”, or any variation thereof, are intended to reference a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, composition or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements recited, but may also include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, composition or apparatus. Other combinations and/or modifications of the above-described structures, arrangements, applications, proportions, elements, materials or components used in the practice of the present invention, in addition to those not specifically recited, may be varied or otherwise particularly adapted by those skilled in the art to specific environments, manufacturing specifications, design parameters or other operating requirements without departing from the general principles of the same.