Title:
Jewelry earring clutch
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Jewelry earring clutch that integrates a clutch with a decorative element. The jewelry earring clutch is placed on the post of an earring to secure the earring to the pierced ear lobe. The jewelry earring clutch provides an attractive decoration to the back of the earring.



Inventors:
Stuart, Maribeth (North Yarmouth, ME, US)
Richardson, James E. (Eliot, ME, US)
Application Number:
10/888210
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
07/09/2004
Assignee:
SammiStuff, Inc. (North Yarmouth, ME, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/705
International Classes:
A44C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Eaton Peabody PA (Portland, ME, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for securely mounting an earring with a post, said device comprising a decorative element that includes a clutch.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said clutch has a post hole that is slidably mountable on said post and said clutch provides sufficient frictional force to hold said earring in position.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein said decorative element has a rigid outer structure and a clutch hole for receiving said clutch.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein said clutch comprises a flexible body with a flange at each end of said flexible body, wherein said clutch is insertable into said clutch hole such that a flange protrudes from said decorative element at each end of said clutch hole and prevents said clutch from being removed from said clutch hole.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein said post hole in said clutch widens at one end of said body and a wall of said body becomes thinner, so as to provide greater flexibility of said one end of said body.

6. The device of claim 5, wherein said clutch is made of PVC.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein said decorative element is a cube with initials or symbols imprinted on said cube.

8. The device of claim 1, wherein said decorative element includes a case that encloses a miniature light and a power source.

Description:

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to the field of earrings. More particularly the invention relates to a device that secures ornamental jewelry to the backside of a post earring by mounting the jewelry to that portion of the earring post that penetrates through the material or body part it is mounted on.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Pierced ear jewelry consists of the decorative element worn on the outside of the ear lobe, a post that is affixed to the ear jewelry and penetrates through the pierced hole in the ear lobe, and a clutch that captures the post on the back side of the ear lobe. This clutch grips the post through the action of metal spring clips or friction.

Various clutch devices are known for attaching to earring posts, principally utilizing spring clips to fasten the post. These known clutch devices are designed primarily for functionality, without aesthetic considerations. The conventional earing clutch device does not incorporate a decorative element, but merely slides over the post to a position where it secures the earring against the ear lobe, allowing a portion of the post to be exposed to view. As a result, the view of the back of the earring, when it is secured on the ear lobe, is generally unattractive.

What is needed, therefore, is an jewelry earring clutch that incorporates a decorative element that is worn on the backside of an earring and secures the earring to the ear lobe. What is yet further needed is a jewelry earring clutch that is easily manufactured and assembled.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

For the reasons cited above, it is an object of the present invention to provide a jewelry earring clutch that is attractive and secures the earring to the ear lobe. It is a further object to provide a jewelry earring clutch that is easily manufactured and assembled.

The objects of the invention are achieved by providing a jewelry earring clutch that integrates a clutch into decorative jewelry. As used hereinafter, the term “jewelry” includes but is not limited to decorative elements worn for personal adornment, such as cubes that attach directly to the earring post or other shapes that depend from an element that attaches to the earring post. The jewelry may include gemstones or other stones, initials or symbols, miniature electronic light effects, and may be made of a variety of materials that are suitable for decorative articles, such as metal, synthetic materials, natural materials and fiber, etc. The jewelry earring clutch according to the invention is generally shown applied to the post of a pierced earring, with the face of the earring placed on the front of an ear lobe and the post inserted into a piercing in the ear lobe. It is understood, however, that a pierced earring can be worn on other parts of the body and the the terms “front” and “back” are used relative to the surface on which the face of the earring proper is mounted. It should also be understood that the term “ear lobe” as used hereinafter is representative of any body part or material on which an earring with a post is mounted. As such, “ear lobe” includes all surfaces of the outer ear, skin flaps in or around the navel or elsewhere on the body, and also fabric on which an earring with a post is mountable.

The jewelry earring clutch according to the invention has a clutch incorporated into the decorative element and secures the earring to the ear lobe. The decorative element has a hole or depression for receiving the clutch. The clutch comprises a flexible body with flanges. The body is forcibly inserted into the hole or depression and the flanges at the ends of the body hold the clutch in the bore, such that it is not easily removable without the use of a tool. Ideally, the dimensions of the jewelry earring clutch are such that the portion of the earring post that extends beyond the ear lobe is completely enclosed the clutch. This eliminates the unsightly view of the exposed post that is so common with conventional post earrings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements.

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view a first embodiment of the invention, showing an earring front and post, a pierced earlobe, a decorative element, and a clutch.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the earring mounted from the front on the pierced ear lobe, with the jewelry earring clutch securing the earring at the back of the ear lobe.

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the clutch.

FIG. 3B is a cross sectional view of the clutch being inserted into a decorative element.

FIG. 3C is a cross sectional view of the assembled jewelry earring clutch, ready for use.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a second embodiment of the invention, showing a decorative element that includes an electronic strobe light.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is an exploded view a typical earring front 4 with a post 5, and a jewelry earring clutch 100, prior to assembly. An earlobe 6 has an earring hole 7. The jewelry earring clutch 100 comprises a decorative element 2 and a clutch 1. The decorative element 2 is represented in this embodiment as a cube, but it is understood that the decorative element 2 includes elements of any shape or suitable material. A clutch hole 3 in the decorative element 2 is provided for receiving the clutch 1. The clutch hole 3 is of a dimension that will accommodate and provide a secure fitting for the clutch 1.

FIG. 2 illustrates the post 5 penetrating the ear lobe 6 through the pierced hole 7 and fitting snugly in the jewelry earring clutch 100 in a post hole 1A provided in the clutch 1. The diameter of the post hole 1A that provides a close fit for standard earring posts diameters. The close fit provides sufficient friction to keep the earring front 4 and jewelry earring clutch 100 in place. An ideal material for the clutch 1 is a molded or flexible PVC, which has a low coefficient of friction.

FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C illustrate the assembly of the clutch 1 within the decorative element 2. The clutch 1 comprises a clutch body 8 with an inner flange 8A and an outer flange 8B. The post hole 1A is formed with an enlarged opening 9A and a narrow opening 9B. The clutch body 8 is shown here as being generally tubular in shape. It is understood, however, that the clutch body 8 is of a shape that best accommodates the shape of the clutch hole 3.

FIG. 3B depicts the clutch 1 being forced into the clutch hole 3 with the use of an assembly tool 10. The enlarged opening 9A of the post hole 1A allows the inner flange 8A and a portion of the body 8 to collapse in toward the post hole 1A while the clutch 1 is being forced into the clutch hole 3.

FIG. 3C shows the clutch 1 in assembled condition. The inner flange 8A spreads out to its original shape once it clears the clutch hole 3, thereby locking the clutch 1 into place in the decorative element 2.

FIG. 4 illustrates a second embodiment of a jewelry earring clutch 200. An adapted decorative element 2A is a whimsical piece of jewelry that emits a blinking light. In this case, the adapted decorative element 2A includes a case 11 containing electronics 13, a coin cell battery 14 and a light emitting diode (LED) 12. The clutch 1 is mounted in a first side of the case 11, and is not shown not shown in this view.

The jewelry earring clutches 100 and 200 have been described as being attached to the earring post 5 at the back of the ear lobe 6. This is for reasons of simplicity of illustration only. It is, of course, possible to have an earring face 4 that is inserted into the earring hole 7 from the back of the ear lobe 6 and to mount the jewelry earring clutch 100 or 200 on the front face of the ear lobe 6, depending on which side of the earring the wearer decides to present on the front face of the ear lobe 6. For example, an earring comprises an aesthetically pleasing disc face made of gold and is inserted from the back face of the ear lobe 6. The jewelry earring clutch 100 or 200 is mounted on the earring post 5 on the front face of the ear lobe 6. If the wearer has a collection of jewelry earring clutches, he or she could use the disc face and simply exchange the clutch 1 to present a new look forward.

There has been described and illustrated herein an attachment system for attaching decorative devices to the backside of an earring. While particular embodiments of the invention have been described, it is not intended that the invention be limited thereto, but that the invention be as broad in scope as the art will allow. It will therefore be appreciated by those skilled in the art that yet other modifications could be made to the present invention without deviating from its spirit and scope as so claimed.