Title:
Books, posters, puzzles and the like having encapsulated collectibles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collectible book is provided with permanently encapsulated collectibles, or reprints of collectibles. Such collectibles, or reprints of collectibles, are encapsulated in portions of the collectible book such as the book's cover or interior pages. Puzzle pieces, sports cards, gift bags, post cards, and posters with encapsulated collectibles, or collectible replicas, are also provided. Collectibles that are encapsulated may include, for example, sports cards, trading cards, coins, stamps, currency, tobacco labels, sporting event tickets, figurines, toys, or any other type of collectible.



Inventors:
Mcdowell, John C. (Atlanta, GA, US)
Mullen, Jeffrey D. (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/214688
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
08/29/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/.8, 206/.84, 206/459.5, 206/472
International Classes:
A45C1/00; B65D73/00; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROPES & GRAY LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A coin book having a theme comprising: a first book cover having an interior surface and an exterior surface; a plurality of pages coupled to said interior surface of said first book cover; and a coin replica, related to said theme, that is permanently encapsulated in said first book cover, wherein said coin replica is viewable from said exterior surface.

2. The coin book of claim 1, further comprising an encapsulation structure, wherein said coin replica is encapsulated in said encapsulation structure and said encapsulation structure is integrated into said first book cover.

3. The coin book of claim 1, further comprising an encapsulation structure, wherein said coin replica is encapsulated in said encapsulation structure and said encapsulation structure is fixed onto said first book cover.

4. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said encapsulated coin replica is viewable from said interior surface.

5. The coin book of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of pages comprises an aperture that is aligned with said encapsulated coin replica.

6. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said encapsulated coin replica is only viewable from said exterior surface and not from said interior surface.

7. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said encapsulated coin replica is only viewable from said interior surface and not said exterior surface.

8. The coin book of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of pages comprises an encapsulated collectible or collectible replica.

9. The coin book of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of pages comprises an encapsulated collectible or an encapsulated collectible replica and odds are associated with whether said at least one page comprises said encapsulated collectible or said encapsulated collectible replica.

10. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said coin replica is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure comprises: a first transparent material fixed to said exterior surface and aligned with an aperture cut all the way through said first book cover; and a second transparent material fixed to said interior surface and aligned with said aperture, wherein said coin replica is sandwiched between said first transparent material and said second transparent material in said first book cover.

11. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said coin replica is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure comprises: a first transparent material fixed to said exterior surface and aligned with a cavity cut partially through said first book cover, wherein said cavity has an opening on said exterior surface, but not said interior surface, and said coin replica is sealed in said cavity by said first transparent material.

12. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said coin replica is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure is embedded into said first book cover and comprises: a first slab bonded to a second slab, wherein said coin replica is provided between said first and second slab.

13. The coin book of claim 12, wherein said first and second slab are ultrasonically bonded together.

14. The coin book of claim 12, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving said coin replica.

15. The coin book of claim 12, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving a part of said coin replica and said second slab comprises a cavity for receiving another part of said coin replica.

16. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said coin replica is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure is fixed onto said exterior surface and comprises: a first slab bonded to a second slab, wherein said coin replica is provided between said first and second slab.

17. The coin book of claim 16, wherein said first and second slab are ultrasonically bonded together.

18. The coin book of claim 16, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving said coin replica.

19. The coin book of claim 16, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving a part of said coin replica and said second slab comprises a cavity for receiving another part of said coin replica.

20. The coin book of claim 1, wherein said first book cover comprises a puzzle-piece receivable aperture or cavity and a first puzzle-piece is provided in said puzzle-piece receivable aperture or cavity.

21. A collectible book having a theme comprising: a first book cover having an interior surface and an exterior surface; a plurality of pages coupled to said interior surface of said first book cover; and a collectible, related to said theme, that is permanently encapsulated in said first book cover, wherein said collectible is viewable from said exterior surface.

22. The collectible book of claim 21, further comprising an encapsulation structure, wherein said collectible is encapsulated in said encapsulation structure and said encapsulation structure is integrated into said first book cover.

23. The collectible book of claim 21, further comprising an encapsulation structure, wherein said collectible is encapsulated in said encapsulation structure and said encapsulation structure is fixed onto said first book cover.

24. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said encapsulated collectible is viewable from said interior surface.

25. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein at least one of said plurality of pages comprises an aperture that is aligned with said encapsulated collectible.

26. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said encapsulated collectible is only viewable from said exterior surface and not from said interior surface.

27. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said encapsulated collectible is only viewable from said interior surface and not said exterior surface.

28. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein at least one of said plurality of pages comprises a second encapsulated collectible or an encapsulated collectible replica.

29. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein at least one of said plurality of pages comprises a second encapsulated collectible or an encapsulated collectible replica and odds are associated with whether said at least one page comprises said second encapsulated collectible or said encapsulated collectible.

30. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said collectible is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure comprises: a first transparent material fixed to said exterior surface and aligned with an aperture cut all the way through said first book cover; and a second transparent material fixed to said interior surface and aligned with said aperture, wherein said collectible is sandwiched between said first transparent material and said second transparent material in said first book cover.

31. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said collectible is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure comprises: a first transparent material fixed to said exterior surface and aligned with a cavity cut partially through said first book cover, wherein said cavity has an opening on said exterior surface, but not said interior surface, and said collectible is sealed in said cavity by said first transparent material.

32. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said collectible is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure is embedded into said first book cover and comprises: a first slab bonded to a second slab, wherein said collectible is provided between said first and second slab.

33. The collectible book of claim 32, wherein said first and second slab are ultrasonically bonded together.

34. The collectible book of claim 32, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving said collectible.

35. The collectible book of claim 32, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving a part of said collectible and said second slab comprises a cavity for receiving another part of said collectible.

36. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said collectible is encapsulated by an encapsulation structure, wherein said encapsulation structure is fixed onto said exterior surface and comprises: a first slab bonded to a second slab, wherein said collectible is provided between said first and second slab.

37. The collectible book of claim 36, wherein said first and second slab are ultrasonically bonded together.

38. The collectible book of claim 36, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving said collectible.

39. The collectible book of claim 21, wherein said first slab comprises a cavity for receiving a part of said collectible and said second slab comprises a cavity for receiving another part of said collectible.

40. The collectible book of claim 39, wherein said first book cover comprises a puzzle-piece receivable aperture or cavity and a first puzzle-piece is provided in said puzzle-piece receivable aperture or cavity.

41. A collectible book having a theme comprising: a first book cover having a puzzle-piece receiving aperture or cavity, an exterior surface, and an interior surface; a plurality of pages coupled to said first book cover; and a collectible or collectible replica related to said theme that is encapsulated in said puzzle piece, wherein said puzzle piece is removably provided in said puzzle-piece aperture or cavity.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/605,220 filed on Aug. 27, 2004 entitled “Books, Posters, and Puzzles Having Encapsulated Coins” (Docket No. AND/006 PROV), which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to books, puzzles, cards, posters, and other items that relate to coins.

Coins have been around for thousands of years. It is therefore not surprising that a substantial number of people collect coins. Accordingly, there are a number of coins that are extremely rare and can only be purchased by wealthy individuals. Traditional coin books have been developed that include pictures and printed text about rare and expensive coins. Yet, such coin books are at a disadvantage because only a limited amount of information may be provided to a user through pictures and printed text. It is therefore desirable to provide a coin book that provides enhanced coin information.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to encapsulate collectibles, or reprints of collectibles, in books and other items in which the display of collectibles, or replicas of collectible, may be advantageous.

A coin book may be provided with one or more replica/reprint coins encapsulated in one or more of the coin book's covers. In this manner, the book may have a theme associated with a particular coin or a particular collectible. For example, a book may have the theme of New York and have one or more replicas of a New York Quarter encapsulated on the front of the book. Alternatively, one or more actual New York Quarters may be encapsulated into the coin book's cover. Additional replica coins may be encapsulated into the pages of the book. In this manner, a book may have a theme that encompasses the themes of the individual replica collectibles encapsulated in the book. For example, a book may have the theme of “Coins of the Bible.” Accordingly, particular pages of the book may include encapsulated coin replicas of religious coins that are associated with historical events. As such, pages associated to a particular collectible can provide additional information on the theme (e.g., the historical event) that is associated to the collectible.

Generally, an object is encapsulated if that object is not operable to be removed from the encapsulation. For example, a slab of a transparent polymer, such as a plastic, may be provided that includes a coin-receivable aperture such as a cavity or trough. This coin-receivable cavity may have a depth and diameter substantially equivalent to a coin or a coin replica such that the coin, or coin replica, may fit snugly into the coin-receivable cavity. After a coin is placed in the cavity, a flat slap of a transparent polymer, such as a plastic, may, for example, be fixed to the open side of the cavity. In this manner, the collectible may be permanently encapsulated between the two slabs. To permanently fix the two slabs together a glue may be utilized. Alternatively, the two slabs may be ultrasonically bonded together. Such a container would be an encapsulation because a user would not be able to remove the coin, or coin replica, unless the user departed from the nature of the container's operability (e.g., unless the user broke open the container with a hammer or pen knife).

A collectible may be encapsulated in a book cover such that the collectible is visible from only the exterior surface of a book cover (e.g., the collectible is located in a cavity with an opening on the exterior surface), the interior surface of a book cover (e.g., the collectible is located in a cavity with an opening on the interior surface), or both (e.g., the collectible is located in an aperture that is cut all the way through a book cover).

Collectibles may be encapsulated in structures other than book covers and book pages. Collectibles may be encapsulated into or encapsulated and placed in, for example, a poster, puzzle piece, sports card, gift bag, postcard. In this manner, a New York Quarter, or a replica of a New York Quarter, may be encapsulated into a puzzle piece the shape of New York. Thus, a user may purchase a puzzle piece for each state and, as a result, have not only every state's quarters but a whimsical and festive way of displaying the coins. Such individual coin displays would also provide the function of a puzzle in that multiple puzzle pieces may be put together to form a map of at least a portion of the United States. In this manner, a coin puzzle map may be provided in which the puzzle pieces each relate to a particular geographical location and the encapsulated coin for any puzzle piece relates to that particular geographical location.

The collectibles that are encapsulated in accordance with the principles of the present invention are not limited to coins. For example, a book may be provided with encapsulated sports cards, stamps, currency, portions of comic books, phone cards, cigar labels, non-sports cards, any other type of collectible, or a replica of any collectible. For example, a book may be provided with the theme of “The 100 Most Valuable Basketball Cards of All Time.” Following this example, the cover of such a book may include an encapsulated replica of the most valuable basketball card of all time (e.g., a replica of a pristine 1948 George Mikan Bowman card). Particular pages of the book may then include replicas of all of the (or the remaining 99) most valuable basketball cards of all time.

Although collectible replicas may be encapsulated if the collectible is valuable and rare, actual collectibles may be included in the contains of the present invention. For example, if a book's theme is the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers then inexpensive, modern football cards of the players of the Pittsburgh Steelers may be encapsulated into the book's pages and the book's covers. Additionally, a treasure hunt game may be provided with any suck book, or other type of item, such that replicas are placed in a majority of the books, but the actual collectibles are placed in a minority of the books. Taking the example of the book for the “The 100 Most Valuable Basketball Cards of All Time,” one real example of each collectible may be randomly encapsulated in a book. Each book may be sealed such that potential buyers cannot search the books for the real collectibles. A limited print run may be provided, and marked on each book, such that odds of finding a particular real collectible, or any real collectible, can also be placed on the book (e.g., on the exterior cover of the book such as “1 in every 100 books contains a real collectible”).

Collectibles also may be provided in structures in which the collectibles, or the collectible replicas, may be removed and re-inserted. In this manner, a replica may be removed and examined by a user. For example, the coin holder may include two slabs (one or both of which having coin-receivable cavities) that can snap-together. Such a holder may be insertable into, or may be partially embedded in, a display structure such as a greeting card, puzzle piece, book cover, poster, sports card, or gift bag. One of the snap-together slabs may be permanently fixed to a display structure such that a user is motivated to return the collectible to the display structure after viewing. Furthermore, the book cover itself may provide the functionality of a slab piece and include a temporary locking mechanism (e.g., a snap-lock) on the surface of the book cover. For coins, the benefits of such storage devices may be that a user is able to enjoy the tactile characteristics of the coin-replica or replace the coin replica with an actual copy of the coin. If the coin-replica is made from the same material as the original coin, and has the same weight, then such characteristics may, for example, provide additional information to a user about the coin.

As stated above, a puzzle piece may include a encapsulated collectible. Such a puzzle piece, however, may be housed, at least temporarily on or in, for example, a book cover. Thus a user may purchase a book about a theme and not only have a way of viewing the coin, but have a way of collecting multiple collectibles and displaying those multiple collectibles together by forming a puzzle. For example, a series of books may be provided where each book has a theme of a state. That state's quarter may be encapsulated in a puzzle piece that is, for example, removable from the book's cover. Thus, a user that purchases the books for every state may remove the puzzle piece for each state and complete a puzzle of the United States. A completed puzzle would not only display the United States, but the Quarters of all of the states.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The principles and advantages of the present invention can be more clearly understood from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the following drawings, in which the same reference numerals denote the same structural elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a collectible book constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of another collectible book constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of another collectible book constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of two collectible puzzle pieces constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an illustration of a collectible puzzle constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an illustration of a collectible sports card constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is an illustration of flow charts for providing encapsulated collectible structures constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is an illustration of a collectible greeting card constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is an illustration of a collectible gift bag constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/888,601 filed on Jul. 8, 2004 titled “Systems and Methods for Providing Information For Collectibles” (Attorney Docket No. AND/001) is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/606,426 filed on Jun. 28, 2000 titled “Coin Displaying Book” (Attorney Docket No. HEH/002) is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/606,302 filed on Jun. 28, 2000 titled “Puzzle With Apertures For Displaying Coins” (Attorney Docket No. HEH/003) is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/606,430 filed on Jun. 28, 2000 titled “Holder For Displaying Both Sides of An Object” (Attorney Docket No. HEH/004) is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/618,300 filed on Jul. 11, 2003 and entitled “Greeting Cards, Postcards, Gift Bags, and the Like Employing a Special Effects Container” (Attorney Docket No. AND/002) is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIG. 1 shows collectible book 100 that includes cover 101, pages 102, and coins 131 and 132 encapsulated in structures 120 and 121, respectively. Structures 120 and 121 are, preferably, integrated, or fixed onto, cover 101 such that coins 131 and 132 are encapsulated into cover 101. Alternatively, structures 120 and 121 may be components of cover 101 (or book 100) such that coins 131 and 132 are encapsulated in book cover 101. Cover 101 may be provided as a single sheet (e.g., of cardboard or as multiple cover sheets bounded together).

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that coins 131 and 132 may be provided as coin replicas. Any type of collectible or collectible replica may be encapsulated into book 100. Such collectibles, or collectible replicas, may be associated with theme 103.

A collectible may be encapsulated as follows. Collectible 147 (e.g., a coin replica) may be provided between layers 143 and 144. Layers 144 and 143 may be, for example, a transparent material (e.g., a transparent plastic) such that both sides of collectible 147 may be viewable through layers 143 and 144. Layers 143 and 144 may then be fixed together through mediums 145 and 146. Mediums 145 and 146 may be, for example, a glue or a tape. Alternatively, mediums 145 and 146 may be a layer of material that is fixed to (e.g., glued or tapes) layers 143 and 144. Mediums 145 146 may be, for example, the same thickness as collectible replica 147 such that layers 143 and 144 do not have to bend around collectible 147 to be fixed together. One or more layers 142 and/or 144 may also be provided to add additional support to the structure fabricated from layers 143, 144, collectible 147, and mediums 145 and 146. Layers 141 and 142 may include holes that align with layers 143 and 144, respectively, or approximately the portion of layers 143 and 144 that aligns with collectible 147. Layers 141 and 142 may be, for example, a cardboard, paper, or any material used in fabricating book covers.

Alternatively, an aperture may be cut all the way through a book cover. On one surface, a transparent material (e.g., a transparent plastic) may be fixed to the cover such that a support structure (e.g., a backing) is provided to the aperture. Next, a collectible may be inserted into the cavity formed from the aperture and the support structure. After the collectible is inserted, another piece of transparent material, such as another sheet of plastic, may be utilized to seal the cavity such that the collectible is permanently stored in the book cover. Either one of the transparent materials may, in fact, by non-transparent. As such, one of the support structures may be a sheet of cardboard or paper. Alternatively, a cavity may be cut into a book cover, or other display structure, such that a coin can be placed in the cavity and sealed in the cavity by a support structure. Such a support structure may be, for example, a transparent material such as a transparent sheet of plastic.

Alternatively, a collectible-encapsulated display structure may be fabricated as follows. Collectible replica 157 may be provided between layers 153 and 154 (e.g., a hard transparent polymer layer). Mediums 156 and 155 may be provided to fix layers 153 and 154 together. In this manner, an encapsulated collectible replica structure is provided. Book cover 101 may be, for example, layer 152 with a trough roughly the size of the encapsulated collectible structure such that this encapsulated collectible replica structure may be tightly fit into the trough or fixed in the trough (e.g., via a glue or tape). Additional layer 151 may be provided, for example, as additional support in securing this encapsulated collectible structure in the trough of layer 152. Layer 151 may also be provided, for example, to fix this encapsulated collectible structure to layer 156.

Configuration 160 includes a collectible encapsulation structure fabricated from mediums 165 and 166, layers 162 and 163, and collectible replica 164. This collectible encapsulation structure may fit/fixed into a trough on layer 161. This collectible encapsulation structure may alternatively be another display structure. For example, a puzzle piece having an encapsulated coin, or coin replica, may be removed from, and inserted into, layer 161 (which the coin, or coin replica, is permanently encapsulated into the puzzle piece).

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a collectible may be encapsulated into a book cover so that one side, or both sides, of that collectible is visible to a user. In this manner, two trough/aperture may be provided in cover 100 such that two encapsulated coins may be provided. Two replicas of the same coin may then be provided such that the user may view both sides of a single collectible from one side of the cover. If the encapsulated structure is only visible fro one side of the cover then the replica may be fabricated to have one blank side in order to decrease the cost of fabricating the replicas.

FIG. 2 shows collectible book 200 having collectibles 221 and 231 encapsulated in encapsulated structures 220 and 230, respectively (or encapsulated into page 209). One or more structures 221 and 231 may be, for example, fixed to one or more pages 202 of book 200. Cover 201 may, for example, have apertures aligned with page 209 such that collectibles 221 and 231 may be viewed from the exterior of the book when the book is in a CLOSED position. Structures 220 and 230 on different pages 202 may be provided in different locations in order to minimize the thickness of book 200. Text and images may also be provided on pages 202 or cover 201 related to the theme of the book or the theme of a particular collectible (or collectible replica).

Collectible, or collectible replica, 221 may be provided on page 209 similar to configurations 140, 150, or 160 of FIG. 1 or similar to configurations 240, 250, or 260. Similarly, collectible, or collectible replica, 121 of FIG. 1 may be provided on a page similar to configurations 240, 250, and 260.

Turning first to configuration 240, layer 241 may be, for example, one or more pages 202. Collectible 244 may be encapsulated onto layer 240 by aligning layers 242 and 243 over collectible 244 and fixing at least a portion of layers 242 and 243 to layer 241 (e.g., via a glue, tape, or staple).

In configuration 250, collectible 253 may be encapsulated by using layer 251 (e.g., one or more pages 202) as a component of the encapsulation structure. Layer 252 may be fixed to layer 251 via mediums 255 and 254 which may be, for example, an adhesive (e.g., a glue or tape) or a layer with an adhesive on both sides of that layer.

In configuration 260, an encapsulation structure is provided from layers 262 and 263 (e.g., a hard transparent plastic), and mediums 264 and 265 (e.g., a glue). This encapsulation structure may be, for example, fixed onto layer 261 (e.g., one or more pages 202). Person skilled in the art will appreciate that an encapsulation structure may take many forms. For example, one or more slabs of plastic with male/female connectors may be connected together to encapsulate a coin (one slap may include a trough/aperture).

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that an aperture, for the purposes of this application, may be either a trough/cavity or a hole/aperture. Generally, a coin-receivable aperture is a structure capable of receiving a coin.

FIG. 3 shows collectible price guide 300 that includes cover 301, pages 302, and encapsulated collectibles, or collectible replicas, 312, 314, 322, and 324. Collectibles 312 and 314 may be encapsulated in structures 311 and 313, respectively and may be associated with layout 310 that includes pricing information 315. Similarly, collectibles 322 and 324 may be encapsulated in structures 321 and 323, respectively and may be associated with layout 320 that includes pricing information 325.

Book 300 includes spine 320. In configuration 340, multiple pages 342 and 343 may be fixed to spine 341. Spacer 343 may be fixed to spine 343 (e.g., via a glue) between pages 342 and 343 such that an object (e.g., an encapsulation), may extend the width of layer 343 from, for example, page 344 (or page 342) without causing damage to spine 341 when the book is in a CLOSED position.

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that any structure utilized to encapsulate a collectible in a cover of a book may be utilized to encapsulate a collectible into a page of the book. Moreover, apertures may be cut into the covers of a book, or the pages of a book, such that collectibles encapsulated in other portions of the book may be viewed. Such apertures may be aligned with the apertures utilized to store collectibles. For example, in a book where the first page of the book encapsulates a collectible, an aperture similar to the one utilized to encapsulate the coin in the first page may be cut into the cover. Thus, a user may be able to see the collectible without opening a book. Furthering this example, suppose that the collectible is encapsulated in the back cover such that the collectible is only visible from the interior surface of the back cover. As such, the front cover, and every page in the book, may contain an aperture similar in dimensions to the aperture in the back cover such that the collectible that is encapsulated can be seen when the book is closed or when the book is open to any particular page.

In configuration 360, one or more spacers 363 may be provided between one or more multiple pages 364 and 262. Staple 365 may be utilized to fix pages 362 and 364 and spacer 363 to spine 361. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a spacer may be, for example, a page similar to pages 362 and 363, but with a small length/width such that the spacers are do not block any writing on the surfaces of the pages of the book adjacent to the spacer as the book is being read.

The information provided on a page 302 may include pricing and rarity information for that collectible. As such, a price guide may be provided with enhanced collectible information by providing a replica of the collectible. Such collectible information may include, for example, the identification number for a collectible, the material used to make the collectible, the dimensions of the collectible, the rarity of the collectible, the population of the collectible, the average auction sell price for a collectible over a period of time, auction sale prices and dates for the collectible, the population of a collectible for a particular grade, the average grade for the collectible, pricing information as determined by a third party, information as to the history of the collectible, and any other collectible information. For each collectible listing, two encapsulated collectibles may be provided—one with the obverse side showing, the other with the reverse side showing. For price guides that store replicas, a replica may have one side printed with one side of a particular collectible and the other side printed with the one side of a different collectible. Thus, two replica sports cards can be encapsulated in apertures defined by portions 312 and 314—each showing a different side of the collectible described with information 310. On the reverse side of the page, collectible information for a different sports card may be provided and the reverse sides of the two replicas encapsulated in apertures defined by 312 and 310 may correspond to this different collectible information. Alternatively, more than one collectible replicas, or collectibles, may be encapsulated in a single encapsulation structure.

FIG. 4 shows puzzle pieces 400. Particularly puzzle piece 410 may be provided with collectible 412 in encapsulation structure 411. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the encapsulation configurations of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 may be utilized on a puzzle piece of, for example, FIG. 4. The theme of puzzle piece 410, as illustrated, is a state—New York State. Accordingly, collectible 412 may be an actual New York State Quarter or a replica of an actual New York State Quarter. Similarly, collectible 422 of encapsulation structure 421 may be an actual Texas Quarter because, as illustrated, puzzle piece 420 has the shape of the geographical region associated with the state of Texas.

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that a puzzle piece, such as a puzzle piece of FIG. 4, may be utilized and distributed in a variety of ways. For example, a puzzle piece may be distributed in configuration 460 in which book 469 includes puzzle-piece receivable aperture 465 (which may be a cavity with an opening on the exterior side of book 469) that is operable to receive puzzle piece 461. Puzzle piece 461 may be a puzzle piece without an encapsulated collectible or a puzzle piece with an encapsulated collectible. For example, collectible 463 may be encapsulated in encapsulation structure 462 such that a user may not remove (or damage) the collectible stored in the structure). Configuration 470 is an example of a puzzle piece having an encapsulated collectible stored in the front cover of a book. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the encapsulation structure for a puzzle piece, or any display structure, may be similar to any encapsulated structure described herein. Similarly, a puzzle piece may be stored in any display structure, such as, for example, a postcard or sports card.

FIG. 5 shows puzzle 500 that includes multiple puzzle pieces—each associated with a particular state. Puzzle piece 520 includes collectible 522 encapsulated in encapsulation structure 521 on puzzle piece 520. For states that are too small to include an encapsulation structure, the encapsulation structure (e.g., structure 541) may be provided on a nearby puzzle piece (e.g., a border puzzle piece). Such a puzzle piece portion (e.g., portion 540) may also be a part of the state's puzzle piece (e.g., state 549). Border piece 501 (which may include multiple puzzle pieces) may be provided.

A poster with encapsulated or stored collectibles (e.g., coins) may also be provided. For example a poster may include an illustration of a map of the United States where each state includes an encapsulated coin.

FIG. 6 shows sports card 600 that includes an encapsulated collectible (e.g., an encapsulated stamp, sporting event ticket, or coin). A certificate of authenticity may also be encapsulated on a sports card (or other display device). Sports card 600 may include obverse side 610 having reverse side 650 defined by perimeter 660.

Sports card 600 may include indicia 613 associated to the encapsulated collectible. Collectible or replica 615 may be provided in encapsulation structure 613. A certificate of authenticity or a grading certificate, such as certificate 612, may be encapsulated in sports card 610 either in encapsulation structure 613 or a different encapsulation structure or provided as a sticker. Alternatively, certificate 612 may be printed directly on sports card 610. Similarly, population/rarity information 614 may be provided in an encapsulation structure, as a sticker, or printed on the sports card or certificate 610. Reverse side 650 may include indicia 661 and a separate encapsulation structure 662 housing a different collectible 663. Encapsulation structure 662 may be the same structure as encapsulation structure 613. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that an encapsulation structure may be provided such that a housed collectible can only be viewed from one side of a sports card.

FIG. 7 shows flow charts 710-730 that may be utilized to provide display devices having encapsulated collectibles.

Flow chart 710 include steps 711-714 that may be utilized to provided a device, such as a book, with an encapsulated collectible. In step 711, a collectible such as a coin may be provided to a grading or authentication authority. After the collectible is returned in step 712, the host device may be fabricated in step 713. The graded collectible can then be attached to the host in 714. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that in step 710, the grading/authentication authority may encapsulate the collectible. As a result, no encapsulation may need to be done by the host manufacturer other than providing, for example, an encapsulated collectible receivable aperture (e.g., a cavity).

Process 720 may be utilized for collectible that are not, for example, sent to an off-site grading and/or authentication service. Here, the collectible, or a replica of the collectible, may be encapsulated in step 721. Then, the host may be fabricated in step 722 so that the encapsulated collectible can be embedded/fixed to the host structure in step 723. Person skilled in the art will appreciate that in some encapsulation structures, the encapsulation structure is part of the host. Thus, both the host and the encapsulation structure may be fabricated at the same time (and the collectible may be secured in the encapsulation structure during this fabrication).

Process 730 may be utilized to provide a treasure hunt. Particularly, multiple hosts may be embedded with encapsulated coin replicas. Yet, a prize such as an actual collectible may be embedded into a number of such hosts in step 741. Then, the host may be sealed (e.g., a tape/seal may be provided across a book such that a buyer knows if the book has been opened and searched) in step 740.

A greeting card with encapsulated or stored collectibles (e.g., coins or sports cards) may also be provided. The encapsulation structure may be fixed to a surface of the greeting card in order to increase the whimsical and festive nature of that greeting card.

FIG. 8 shows greeting card 800 that may be provided with an encapsulated collectible. Such a greeting card may be provided in a variety of ways. For example, a sheet of material (e.g., a paper or cardboard) may be folded in half (or two sheets may be bonded together) and an encapsulation structure may be provided into an aperture, a cavity, or formed with an aperture or cavity. Alternatively, the greeting card may be folded into three sections such as sections 810, 820, and 830 defined by fold lines 841 and 842. Sections 810 and 820 may each include apertures 811 and 821 that are sized similarly and aligned with one another. Transparent sheets, such as transparent sheets 812 and 822 may be laid over apertures 811 and 821, respectively. Sheets 812 and 822 may be laid over apertures 821 and 822 either on the interior surface of sections 810 and 820, the exterior surfaces of sections 810 and 820, or any combination thereof. A coin may be provided over the apertures and sections 810 and 820 may be permanently fixed together. For example, the two sheets may be glued together in configuration 845 where glue 846 is provided around aperture 847 such that configuration 850 is provided. In configuration 850, collectible 861 is provided in encapsulation structure 860 that is a part of the greeting card having a front sheet 851 and a reverse sheet 852. Indicia 862 may be provided on any surface of any sheet of configuration 850.

FIG. 9 shows gift bag 900 that includes body 812, handle 820, and encapsulation structure 811 housing collectible 812. Such a bag having an encapsulated collectible may increase the whimsical and festive nature of, for example, a collectible conference, show, or sales event.

Persons skilled in the art will also appreciate that the present invention is not limited to only the embodiments described. Instead, the present invention more generally involves providing display devices (e.g., books, bags, cards, puzzle pieces, posters, gift-cards) with encapsulated collectible replicas (or collectibles themselves). Persons skilled in the art will also appreciate that the structures described herein may be combined without departing from the principles of the present invention. All such modifications are within the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the claims that follow.