Title:
Hands-free jewelry
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Hands-free jewelry is provided. To adorn the jewelry pressure is applied to the center of the opened jewelry, causing the jewelry to close around a wrist or finger. The clasp comprises a tab and slot arrangement such that when the tab is inserted into the slot, it locks into place, securely holding the jewelry in a closed configuration. To open the jewelry, a button is provided that, when pushed against a surface, disengages the clasp and opens the jewelry for removal.



Inventors:
Rissin, Joseph B. (Baldwin, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/864649
Publication Date:
12/08/2005
Filing Date:
06/08/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/3, 63/3.1, 63/10, 63/15, 63/15.3, 63/15.4
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C5/20; A44C9/00; (IPC1-7): A44C5/00; A44C9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030074918Method of making jewellery goods and wearable multicolor ornamental articles manufactured with such productsApril, 2003Disegna
20080245105BRACELET FORMED OF HINGED LINKSOctober, 2008Elbe et al.
20080110204Adornment Assembly Linked by Clasp MembersMay, 2008Suen
20100043492JEWELRY AND METHOD OF MAKING THE SAMEFebruary, 2010Scott
20080256980SEGMENTED PENDANTOctober, 2008Bennett
20090100866Jewelry for Infant TeethingApril, 2009Creel
20040206113Method of making jewelry incorporating used parts of a musical instrumentOctober, 2004Coughlin
20050188722Jewelry apparatus and method of making sameSeptember, 2005Nevatia et al.
20020108398Diamond etchingAugust, 2002Smith et al.
20050235694Necklace/bracelet extenderOctober, 2005Hunter
20050229635Appendage attachmentOctober, 2005Peterson



Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FELDMAN LAW GROUP, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. An item of jewelry comprising: a first section; a second section movably connected to the first section; a first lever connected to the first section; a second lever connected to the second section; wherein said levers are constructed and arranged so that a body member inserted between said first and second sections is able to move at least the first lever to rotate the first section into contact with the second section.

2. The jewelry of claim 1 wherein the jewelry is a bracelet.

3. The jewelry of claim 1 wherein the jewelry is a ring.

4. The jewelry of claim 1 wherein the jewelry is an anklet.

5. The jewelry of claim 1 wherein the first section further comprises a first free end having a slot, and the second section further comprises a second free end having a tab wherein the tab and slot are constructed and arranged to removably attach to each other.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention deals with jewelry and more specifically hands-free jewelry.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Bracelets and like jewelry are typically worn on the wrist or ankle, and must include a mechanism to secure the jewelry piece in place. Typically, there are two ways to attach a jewelry piece such as a bracelet to the wrist or ankle. First, the jewelry piece may separate and wrap around a wrist or ankle, in which case there must be a clasp mechanism to attach the ends together and secure the jewelry piece so that it remains in place. Second, the jewelry piece remains intact but is extendible to expand and slide over the hand or foot, then contract to remain in place on the wrist or ankle.

Clasps can be difficult to use especially for jewelry worn on the wrist since the clasp must be operated with one hand. Some users have difficulty with manual dexterity and may find any clasp difficult to operate. Virtually everyone has experienced the difficulty of closing a bracelet around one's own wrist. Whether young or old, ambidextrous or not, trying to put a bracelet on one's own wrist, or trying to take it off, is extremely difficult, requires total concentration and usually, a number of failed attempts. The elderly especially experience difficulty putting on and removing jewelry since they may experience arthritis and similar conditions that cause the loss of fine motor skills in the wrists, hands and fingers. Furthermore, it also is common for the elderly to have eye conditions which impair visual acuity, particularly at close distances.

Accordingly, there is a need for hands-free jewelry. At the time of this writing, there have been no attempts made to design or provide such jewelry.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, hands-free jewelry is provided. The jewelry comprises a number of sections, preferably two, joined together by a hinge so that each section has a hinged end and a free end. A clasping mechanism on their free ends is constructed and arranged to removably attach the free ends together to maintain the jewelry in a closed position. At their hinged ends, each section has a lever extension providing the mechanism by which the jewelry is closed without using any hands. The lever extensions extend from opposite sides of the hinge in opposite directions so that a space is defined between them. Placing a bodily member, such as a wrist, into the space between the levers and onto the hinge to apply downward force, causes the sections to rotate about the hinge. With sufficient force and rotation, the free ends come into contact, causing the clasping mechanism to catch and join the free ends together.

To open the jewelry, a button is provided that, when pushed against a surface, disengages the clasping mechanism and opens the jewelry for removal.

In more detail, the hands-free jewelry clasp comprises a first section, a second section movably connected to the first section, a first lever connected to the first section, and a second lever connected to the second section. The levers are constructed and arranged so that a body member inserted between said first and second sections is able to move at least the first lever to rotate the first section into contact with the second section.

The jewelry further comprises a first free end on the first section having a slot, and a tab on a second free end of the second section wherein the tab and slot are constructed and arranged to removably attach to each other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a shows a bracelet in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention in an open configuration.

FIG. 1b is a close-up view of the hinge and lever arrangement of the bracelet in FIG. 1a.

FIG. 2 shows the bracelet of FIG. 1a in a closed configuration.

FIG. 3a shows an automatic clasping mechanism according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3b shows the mechanism of FIG. 3a in a partially closed configuration.

FIG. 4a depicts a bracelet in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention worn on the wrist of an arm.

FIG. 4b shows the bracelet of FIG. 3a being opened against the top surface of a structure.

FIG. 4c shows the bracelet of FIG. 3a being opened against the bottom surface of a structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, hands-free jewelry is provided. The jewelry comprises a number of sections, preferably two, joined together by a hinge so that each section has a hinged end and a free end. A clasping mechanism on their free ends is constructed and arranged to removably attach the free ends together to maintain the jewelry in a closed position. At their hinged ends, each section has a lever extension providing the mechanism by which the jewelry is closed without using any hands. The lever extensions extend from opposite sides of the hinge in opposite directions so that a space is defined between them. Placing a bodily member, such as a wrist, into the space between the levers and onto the hinge to apply downward force, causes the sections to rotate about the hinge. With sufficient force and rotation, the free ends come into contact, causing the clasping mechanism to catch and join the free ends together.

FIG. 1a shows a bracelet in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention in an open configuration. A hinge 20 joins a semi-circular first piece, or left side 12 and second piece, or right side 14. The left side 12 has a lever 18 extending from its hinged end and the right side 14 has a lever 16 on its hinged end. Each side 12 and 14 preferably form half the jewelry.

The left side closing lever 18 and the right side closing lever 16 should be constructed and arranged to avoid contact and interference with each other during operation of the bracelet. In this example, the left side lever 18 is shaped like a tab, narrower than the right side lever 16 which is shaped like a U and positioned to surround either side of the slot or lever 16.

FIG. 1b shows a close-up view of the hinge and lever arrangement of the jewelry shown in FIG. 1a. The hinge 20 connects the left side 12 and the right side 14 at their hinged ends, 12.1 and 14.1, respectively. In use, when pressure is applied at the position and in the direction of arrow 100, the hinge 20 forms the fulcrum for the rotation of the left side 12 and the right side 14.

The left side 12 has a lever extension 18 extending passed its hinged end 12.1 and the hinge 20. The left lever 18 has a free end 18.1 and a base end 18.2. The base end 18.2 is attached to the hinged end 12.1 of the right side 14 and the free end 16.1 extends upwardly from the hinged end 14.1, passed the hinge 20. Movement of the lever 18 by manipulation of the free end 18.1 causes reciprocal movement of the left side 12 about the hinge 20. For example, pushing down on the free end 18.1 of the left lever 18 causes the left side 12 to swing up, around the hinge 20. Pulling up on the free end 18.1 of the left lever 18.1 causes the left side 12 to swing downwardly about the hinge 20.

The same is true of the right side 14, the right side 14 has a lever extension 16 extending passed its hinged end 14.1 and the hinge 20. The right lever 16 has a free end 16.1 and a base end 16.2. The based end 16.2 is attached to the hinged end 14.1 of the right side 14 and the free end 16.1 extends upwardly from the hinged end 14.1, passed the hinge 20. Movement of the lever 16 by manipulation of the free end 16.1 causes reciprocal movement of the right side 14 about the hinge 20. For example, pushing down on the free end 16.1 of the right lever 16 causes the right side 14 to swing up, around the hinge 20. Pulling up on the free end 16.1 of the right lever 16 causes the right side 14 to swing downwardly about the hinge 20. It is this hinge and lever arrangement depicted in FIG. 1b that allows for the hands-free operation of the jewelry. When pressure is exerted onto one or both levers 16 and 18, the pressure will cause the left side 12 and the right side 14 to rotate around the hinge 20 and bring the two sides into contact at their free ends.

Each lever 16 and 18 is connected to its respective side 14 and 12 at its base end 16.2 and 18.2. The levers 16 and 18 may be soldered onto the hinged end 14.1 and 12.1 of the jewelry piece 14 and 12 or formed as a part of the piece 12 and 14. The hinge 20 is an ordinary pin hinge arrangement as is well known.

Referring back to FIG. 1a, at the free end of the left side 12 is a tab 22 and a button 26. At the free end of the right side 14 is a slot 24 designed to receive the tab 22. When pressure causes the free ends of the two sides 12 and 14 to come together, the tab 22 will insert into the slot 24 until the tab 22 clicks into the slot 24. Pressing the button 26 will release the tongue from slot 22 and open the bracelet. A typical side squeeze clasp, which is well-known in the art, is sufficient to provide the automatic operation of the clasp.

To apply force on the levers 16 and 18 and close the bracelet around a wrist (not shown), the wrist is inserted into the interior of the open bracelet, between the tab 22 and slot 24, usually sideways so that the side of the wrist rests in between the slot lever 16 and tab lever 18. Pushing down on the bracelet above the hinge 20 in the direction and position of arrow 100 causes the two sides to rotate about the hinge 20 and bring the tab 22 into the slot 24.

In further detail, the hinge 20 acts as a fulcrum point for the left side 12 and the right side 14. When force is applied in the direction and at the position of arrow 100, the left side 12 will move in the direction of the arrow 108 and the right side in the direction of the arrow 106. The left side closing lever 18 will move in the direction of arrow 104 and the right side closing lever 16 moves in the direction of arrow 102.

FIG. 2 shows the bracelet of FIG. 1a in a closed configuration taking a circular form to securely adorn a wrist. The tab 22 is fully inserted into the slot 24 and securely holds the tab 12 and slot 14 sides together. In this closed configuration, the tab 18 and slot 16 levers rest close to the interior of the resulting closed bracelet so that they are out of the way and provide a comfortable fit.

FIG. 3a is a close up view of the slot 24 and tab 22 arrangement according to an embodiment of the present invention. A tab 22 is fixedly attached to the tab side at its base with an attached end 22.1 and a free end 22.3 free to move sideways as indicated by arrow 300. Preferably, the tab is tapered with a notch 22.5 on the outside of the free end 22.3. On the outer tip of the free end 22.3, a button 26 is provided that allows sideways manipulation of the tab 22 by pressing the button inwardly, towards the bracelet. Pressing the button 26 compresses the tab 22, pinching the free end 22.3 and the fixed end 22.1 together, making the tab 22 narrower overall. The natural spring of the tab 22 will exert an opposite force to spread the tab 22 wider.

FIG. 3b shows the mechanism of FIG. 3a in a partially closed configuration. As the tip 22.7 of the tab 22 is inserted into the slot 24, the top sidewall 24.1 and the bottom sidewall 24.2 exert an inward compression force on the tab 22, bringing the free end 22.3 closer to the fixed end 22.1. The tab 22 flexes at its tip 22.7 and is pinched until the notch 22.5 fits over the sidewall 24.1 and the sidewall 24.1 fits into the notch 22.5. The notch 22.5 should be slightly wider than the thickness of the slot 24.

FIG. 4a shows a bracelet 50 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention worn on the wrist of an arm 52. The button 26 is this example, faces down. A structure 54, which may be a desk or table, provides the means to apply force to the button 26 and open the bracelet 50 as shown in FIG. 4b. The hand is cocked back to fully expose the button 26 to the top of the structure 54. By simply pushing the button 26 against the top of the structure 54, the clasp on the bracelet 50 will open.

FIG. 4c shows the case where the bracelet 50 is turned around and the button 26 faces up. In this case, the hand may or may not be pulled back and the bracelet 50 is pulled up next to the structure 54, with the bottom surface of the structure pushing down on the button 26.

Alternatively, the bracelet can be turned so that the button is on the top of the hand. Operation is the same, the button is pressed against a surface and the clasp will automatically open, providing hands-free operation.

The principles disclosed herein may also be used for rings, eliminating the problems with ring removal. A ring made in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention would work the same way and resemble a miniature version of the bracelet enclosed herein. The finger upon which the ring would be worn is pressed onto the center of the open ring, closing the ring around the finger in the same way the bracelet closes around a wrist. Removal is the same; the button is pushed against a structure, causing the tab to pull itself out of the slot.

It should be understood that other clasps and closure mechanisms may be used in conjunction with the hinge and lever arrangement disclosed herein. The tab and slot arrangement is only an example and meant to illustrate but one way to hold the jewelry in a closed position.

In the preceding specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific exemplary embodiments thereof. It will however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the claims that follow. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative manner rather than a restrictive sense.