Title:
Earring hinge construction
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An earring hinge bar with an integral connecting pin is provided. The hinge bar and pin are of unitary construction, integrated into a single piece. The hinge bar is an elongated, substantially cylindrical member. The pin is at one end of the bar and extends from the bar at substantially ninety degrees to form a T-like shape and appearance.



Inventors:
Khyvat, Yunus (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/934159
Publication Date:
03/09/2006
Filing Date:
09/03/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FELDMAN LAW GROUP, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An earring hinge construction comprising: a substantially cylindrical bar defined along a first axis having a pin end and a clasp end; a pin at the pin end projecting laterally outwardly from the bar along a second axis, the second axis being substantially perpendicular to the first axis.

2. In an earring having a hinge bar, plate bracket, hinge pin, and clasp, an improvement wherein the hinge pin and hinge bar are a single piece.

3. An integrated hinge bar and hinge pin for use in an earring having a plate bracket and clasp.

4. A method for constructing an earring hinge comprising the steps of: providing a hinge bar with an integral pin at one end, the pin projecting laterally outwardly from the bar at a substantially perpendicular angle, wherein the pin further comprises a first end and a second end; inserting the first end into a first mounting bracket aperture; and, placing a second mounting bracket over the second end.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hinge constructions, especially for items of jewelry of precious metals or their alloys. The invention may be applicable more generally, but it was devised in connection with the manufacture of items of jewelry, in particular items of jewelry known as creole earrings.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Earrings are popular items of jewelry which have been worn by men and women for centuries. The most common and popular earring design has traditionally been the hoop design. The advantages of that design are that such hoop earring is very easy to put on and to take off This invention relates to hinge constructions, especially for items of jewelry of precious metals or their alloys. The invention may be applicable more generally, but it was devised in connection with the manufacture of items of jewelry, in particular items of jewelry known as creole earrings.

Therefore, in the following reference is made mainly to creole earrings, as such reference best explains the nature of the invention, but it is to be borne in mind that it may have application in other fields, and the applicants do not wish to be prevented from coverage of the invention in such other fields. It must be stated however, that having regard to the nature of the invention, it has particular advantage and application in the field of items of jewelry that have hinge constructions of a delicate nature, and of a relatively small size.

A number of creole earring designs are know, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,128,923 to Brams purports to disclose a hoop earring comprising a front portion and a back portion, where a post is attached to the front portion and a finding is hingedly connected to the back portion. When an earring is worn the finding is rotated about an axis of the hinge to cover the post. The patent claims that the front portion is designed in a way that allows it to be partially inserted inside an extended pierced hole, so that, when viewed from outside, the hole is not visible.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,581,244 Peters purports to disclose a method and hinge construction for mounting to an item, such as, jewelry. An H-shaped mounting plate has two support legs for mounting to the item. The plate has a hinge pin pivotally receiving the Y-shaped end of a hinge component with the opposite end of the component securable to a clasp plate mounted to the item.

The assembly process of these earrings is complicated because the pin is a separate piece and given the extremely small size of the components, it is difficult to place and sufficiently secure the pin in the proper position. It is desirable, therefore, to provide a pin that is already connected to the hinge bar, or an integrated bar and pin of a unitary construction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An earring hinge bar with an integral connecting pin is provided. The hinge bar and pin are of unitary construction, integrated into a single piece. The hinge bar is an elongated, substantially cylindrical member. The pin is at one end of the bar and extends from the bar at substantially ninety degrees to form a T-like shape and appearance.

In more detail, the hinge bar is an earring hinge construction comprising a substantially cylindrical bar defined along a first axis having a pin end and a clasp end. There is a pin at the pin end projecting laterally outwardly from the bar along a second axis. The second axis should be substantially perpendicular to the first axis.

A method for constructing an earring hinge is provided as well, the method comprising the steps of providing a hinge bar with an integral pin at one end, the pin projecting laterally outwardly from the bar at a substantially perpendicular angle. The pin further comprises a first end and a second end. The first end is inserted into a first mounting bracket aperture, and a second mounting bracket is placed over the second end.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a conventional, prior art creole earring.

FIG. 2 shows the components in the earring of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3a shows a bar and pin arrangement for an ear lobe connector according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3b is a top-down view of the bar in FIG. 3a.

FIG. 4a shows a bar, pin and mounting bracket for an earring according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4b shows the bar and bracket of FIG. 4a in an assembled configuration according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5a shows a detailed view of a mounting bracket in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5b shows a pin and mounting bracket before assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5c shows the pin and mounting bracket of FIG. 5b in a partially assembled configuration.

FIG. 5d shows the pin and mounting bracket of FIGS. 5a and 5b in a fully assembled configuration according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows the hinge pin of FIG. 5a-5d fully installed into the mounting bracket.

FIG. 7 shows an earring construction according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a close-up view of a hinge and mounting bracket construction according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings in FIG. 1 a conventional creole 10 earring is shown, and will be seen to comprise a loop body 14 which is made up of two similar halves 14A and 14B as shown in FIG. 2 which are soldered or brazed together along seam lines 16 and 18.

The earring body typically will be of precious metal or an alloy of precious metal. It is to be mentioned that the earring body can take any suitable form and can be constructed of any appropriate material.

Because of the shape of the body, it defines at the top thereof two ends 20 and 22 between which is a gap bridged by the hinge bar 24 of the earring. The hinge bar 24 is supported for hinging movement at end 20 by being mounted on a plate bracket 26 through which and through the end of the hinge bar passes a hinge pin 28.

On the other end 22 is provided a clasp plate 30 which is of U-shape form, so that the free end 32 of the hinge bar 24 can be snapped into the clasp 30 to hold it in the position shown.

In the position shown in FIG. 1, the earring would normally be stored or mounted on a user's ear in which latter case the hinge bar 24 would pass through the user's earlobe.

FIG. 2 shows that the earring of FIG. 1 has six components namely the two body halves 14A and 14B, the mounting bracket 26, the hinge pin 28, the hinge bar 24 and the clasp plate 30.

The difficulties with the conventional earrings shown as mentioned herein are related to the use of a mounting bracket 26, a hinge pin 28 and the method of connecting the hinge bar 24 to the mounting bracket 26 and pin 28. Specifically, the hinge bar 24 is provided as shown in FIG. 2 at one end with an aperture 0.134 through which the pin 28 has to pass. In manufacturing the conventional earring, the bracket 26 first of all has to be stamped from flat plate and then folded into U-configuration. The limbs of the U-configuration are provided with apertures 36 and 38 to receive the pin 28. To assemble the bracket 26 and the hinge bar 24, the end of the hinge bar is positioned between the limbs of the bracket 26 so that the aperture 134 aligns with apertures 36 and 38, and then the hinge pin 28 is fed through these apertures. When in position, the ends are swaged over or riveted to fix the pin in position. These operations are normally done manually and are extremely difficult.

FIG. 3a is a side view of a hinge bar 134 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. A hinge pin 134.1 is integrated into an end of the bar 134 so that the hinge bar and hinge pin (24 and 28, FIG. 2) of the prior art are combined into one piece. The other end of the bar 134 has a rounded ball 134.2 at its tip, making it easier to grasp and disengage the end from a mounting bracket when used.

From the side, the bat 134 is curved to provide a hump 134.3 towards the pin 134.1 end. The highest point of the hump 134.3 is where an earring to which the bat is installed should rest on the ear lobe of a wearer.

FIG. 3b is a top-down view of the bar 134 of FIG. 3a. From the top, the bar 134 is preferably straight along a longitudinal axis 35. The pin 134.1 is positioned along a perpendicular axis 37 at a substantially right angle to the pin 134. The pin 134.1 projects laterally along axis 37 in a substantially perpendicular direction in relation to the bar 134. In preferred embodiments, the bar 134 and pin 134.1 are symmetrical about their respective axes 35 and 37.

FIG. 4a shows a schematic for the assembly of the bar 134 onto the mounting bracket 40. The pin 134.1 is set onto the bracket 40 in the direction and position of arrow 41 by feeding one end of the pin 134.1 through one of the apertures in the bracket 40, and closing the other side of the bracket over the other end of the pin, as shown in FIG. 4b. The installation process is described in further detail below.

FIG. 5a shows a perspective side view of the mounting bracket 40. The bracket 40 has two vertical wings with a retaining portion, or aperture in each. There is a right side wing 40.1 and a left side wing 40.2. The right side wing 40.1 has a retaining aperture 40.3 into which one side of a pin is inserted and the left side wing 40.2 has another retaining aperture 40.4 for the other side of the pin.

FIG. 5b shows a back view of the bracket 40 and the pin 134.1. The pin has a right side end 344 and a left side end 342 corresponding to the right wing 40.1 and the left wing 40.2 of the bracket 40. Before the pin 134.1 is installed, one of the wings should be open, or bent outwardly so that it forms an obtuse angle with the bottom surface of the bracket 40. Either the left 40.2 or the right 40.1 wing may be open. For the purposes of illustration and to provide and example, the left wing 40.2 is open.

The pin 134.1 is positioned between the right wing 40.1 and the left wing 40.2. One side of the pin is inserted through one of the retaining apertures, as shown in FIG. 5c where the right end 344 of the pin 134.1 is inserted into the retaining aperture 40.3 of the right wing 40.1 in the bracket 40.

Once the pin 134.1 is in position, with the pin end 344 fully inserted into the retaining aperture of the wing 40.1, the other, open wing, the left side wing 40.2 in this case, is closed over the other end of the pin, or the left end 342 for this example, as shown in FIG. 5d. The need for flaring out the ends in the prior art is eliminated.

FIG. 6 shows the finished hinge 134, pin 37 and bracket 40 assemblies, generally indicated by reference numeral 60. The assembly 60 may be attached as one piece in accordance with standard practice to the loop halves 14A, 14B and the clasp plate 30 as shown in FIG. 7. In this way, the manufacturing process of earrings is greatly simplified.

Referring to FIG. 8, a top-down view of the assembled pin 134.1 and bracket 40 arrangements is shown. To ensure a secure fit of the pin 134.1 in the bracket 40 and prevent the pin 134.1 from coming loose, the width of the overlap 80 of the end 342, 344 of the pin 134.1 passed the outer edge of a bracket side 40.1, 40.2 should be greater than the width of the gap 82 between the inner edge of a bracket side 40.1, 40.2 and the side of the bar 134. In use, the bar 134 will slide and shift sideways. If an edge of the bar 134.1 can slide far enough passed the interior of a side of the bracket, the bar 134.1 will fall out. Put another way, the bar 134 should be wide enough to ensure that its pin 134.1 will not slip out of the bracket into which it is mounted.

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.