Title:
Trophy and method of making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A trophy according to the invention includes a large (e.g., at least 500 carats) semiprecious gemstone (e.g., amethyst, aquamarine, calcite, fluorite, quartz, and rose quartz) upon which an image is etched. After the desired stone is selected, it is sculpted into the desired shape and polished. A viewable image is then etched on the stone. The presently preferred method of etching is to cover the stone with a protective tape, vaporize a portion of the tape with a laser according to a desired pattern where the laser also marks (etches) the stone under the vaporized tape, ball blast the etched parts to make the etching deeper, and then remove the remaining protective masking material. If desired, the stone is placed on a tablet or pedestal, preferably also made from a semiprecious gemstone or mineral, on which an additional image may be etched or otherwise added.



Inventors:
Rutstein, Jeffrey S. (Stamford, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/081365
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G35/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
AUSTIN, AARON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gordon & Jacobson, P.C. (Stamford, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A trophy, comprising: a sculpted semiprecious gemstone which is etched with an image that is visible to the naked eye at arm's length.

2. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is at least 500 carats.

3. A trophy according to claim 1, further comprising: a tablet or pedestal upon which said gemstone rests.

4. A trophy according to claim 3, wherein: said tablet or pedestal is made from a semiprecious gemstone.

5. A trophy according to claim 4, wherein: said tablet or pedestal is etched with a text image.

6. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is sculpted in the form of a sphere.

7. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is sculpted in the form of an ellipsoid.

8. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is sculpted in the form of a polyhedron.

9. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said image includes an image of text.

10. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said image causes the gemstone to assume the appearance of another object.

11. A trophy according to claim 10, wherein: said image causes said gemstone to assume the appearance of a baseball, a football, or a golf ball.

12. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said image includes a logo.

13. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is translucent.

14. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is chosen from at least one of amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, calcite, citrine, fluorite, quartz and rose quartz.

15. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said image is a negative image which generates a relief image.

16. A trophy according to claim 1, wherein: said gemstone is polished.

17. A method, comprising: sculpting a semiprecious gemstone; and etching said semiprecious gemstone to form an image thereon, the image being large enough to be visible to the naked eye at a distance of at least arm's length.

18. A method according to claim 17, wherein: said gemstone is translucent and chosen from at least one of amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, calcite, citrine, fluorite, quartz and rose quartz.

19. A method according to claim 17, said image includes an image of at least one of a text and a logo.

20. A method according to claim 17, further comprising: affixing said gemstone to a tablet or pedestal.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates broadly to achievement awards. More particularly, this invention relates to a trophy that is constructed of a large semiprecious gemstone or mineral upon which an image is etched.

2. State of the Art

Achievement awards take many forms, the most popular perhaps being plaques and trophies. A trophy is generally a three dimensional object which is designed to sit on a desk or a shelf. Traditional trophies include decorative cups made of precious metals such as gold or silver which are engraved with information regarding the award. Other trophies include a metal statue or ornament mounted atop a pedestal mounted on a base. Information about the award is engraved on a plaque which is attached to the base. Recently trophies have been made of glass, crystal, and plastic but they generally are in the form of a cup or an object fixed on a base or foundation made of wood or plastic. It is of note that even the famous trophies such as the EMMY, the OSCAR, the GOLDEN GLOBE, and the TONY use only precious metal plating, and that the “melt-down” value of those awards is relatively small (e.g., under $200; and in the case of the TONY, about $20).

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a new kind of trophy.

It is another object of the invention to provide a trophy which can be presented with or without a pedestal.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a new kind of trophy which can simulate an existing trophy but which is distinctly different.

It is an additional object of the invention to provide a trophy which has inherent value beyond even famous trophies of today.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a trophy which has inherent beauty.

In accord with these objects, which will be discussed in detail below, a trophy according to one embodiment of the invention includes a large semiprecious gemstone upon which an image is etched. Suitable semiprecious gemstones include amethyst, ametrine, calcite, citrine, fluorite, quartz, and rose quartz, although other semiprecious gemstones can be used. According to the preferred embodiment, the semiprecious gemstone is translucent (i.e., not opaque).

According to the invention, a desired stone is cut, carved, and/or sculpted into a desired shape. Exemplary shapes include spheres, spires, polyhedra, sporting instruments such as balls, bats, clubs, etc. Depending on the size of the gemstone, the entire trophy (e.g. including pedestal and base) can be sculpted from a single stone. After sculpting, the gemstone is polished and then an image is etched on the gemstone. The presently preferred method of etching is to cover the polished gemstone with a protective (masking) tape, vaporize a portion of the tape with a laser according to a desired pattern where the laser also marks (etches) the gemstone under the vaporized tape, ball blast the etched parts to make the etching deeper, and then remove the remaining protective masking material. The image created may be informative such as a logo or an image of text or it may be decorative, e.g. a decoration which makes a sphere look like a baseball or an ellipsoid look like a football. In any case, the image is large enough to be seen by the naked eye at a distance of at least arm's length.

If the entire trophy is not made from a single gemstone, a base can be added to the etched gemstone. The base can be another gemstone or it can be wood, plastic, metal, or other suitable material. If the award information is not part of the etched image, it can be placed on the base. If the base is another gemstone, the award information can be etched on the base.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the detailed description taken in conjunction with the provided figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic side elevation view of a two part trophy according to the invention;

FIG. 1A is a partly schematic, part actual side elevation view of a two part trophy but a sports related logo;

FIG. 2 is a schematic side elevation view of a three part trophy according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of a stone trophy, one part of which has been etched to look like a baseball;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2 of a stone trophy, one part of which has been sculpted and etched to look like a football; and

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of a one piece trophy, part of which has been etched to look like a golf ball.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As used herein, the term “trophy” is to be understood in its broadest sense to mean a three dimensional object of some value which is a memento, memorial, gift, prize, or award.

As used herein, the term “gemstone” shall mean a mineral that can be cut and polished or otherwise treated for use as jewelry or other ornament. The term “gemstone” does not include rocks such as marble and granite, or glass or crystal.

As used herein, the term “semiprecious gemstone” shall mean all gemstones other than diamond, corundum (ruby and sapphire), emerald, topaz, and opal. Semiprecious gemstones shall include, but not be limited to amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, apatite, calcite, citrine, fluorite, quartz, and rose quartz.

As used herein, the term “large” means at least 500 carats in weight.

As used herein, the term “image” includes both positive and negative images.

As used herein, the term “etched” shall mean formed by any process other than by hand chiseling which removes some stone from a stone's surface. Etching shall include, but not be limited to laser etching, acid etching and ball blasting.

As used herein, the term “tablet” shall mean a base which is wider than it is tall.

As used herein, the term “pedestal” shall mean a base which is at least as tall as it is wide.

As used herein, the term “carved” shall mean formed into a desired shape from a rough shape.

As used herein, the term “visible to the naked eye at arm's length” shall mean visible to a human having 20-20 vision at a distance of eighteen inches from the eye.

Turning now to FIG. 1, a trophy 10 according to a first embodiment of the invention includes a sphere 12 and a tablet 14. The sphere is made from a semiprecious gemstone (hereinafter referred to as a “stone”) which is preferably translucent (i.e., not opaque). Presently preferred stones are non-opaque and are listed with their respective color in Table 1.

TABLE 1
StoneColor
amethystpurple
ametrinevarious
aquamarineaqua
apatitegray, dark green
calciteorange, blue
citrinegolden yellow
fluoritegreen
quartzclear
rose quartzpink

The stone is sculpted to form a sphere. According to the invention, the sphere is etched with a positive or negative image 16 which represents the award to which the trophy pertains. The presently preferred method of etching is to cover the stone with a protective (masking) tape, vaporize a portion of the tape with a laser according to a desired pattern where the laser also marks (etches) the stone under the vaporized tape, ball blast the etched parts to make the etching deeper, and then remove the remaining protective masking material. The tablet 14 may be made from the same stone as the sphere, a different contracting stone, or it may be made of wood, metal or plastic. The sphere and the tablet may be cemented together or the sphere may simply sit in a recess (not shown) formed in the tablet or between stops (not shown) formed on the tablet.

FIG. 1A shows a similar trophy 10a which includes a sphere 12a and a tablet 14a but with a different image 16a. Sphere 12a is a sphere of amethyst, approximately 2.5 inches in diameter (approximately 8 inches in circumference). The etched image is a logo of Major League Baseball and includes a baseball player with a bat and a ball. The player, bat and ball comprise a relief which is on the same spherical surface as the remainder of the unetched portion of the amethyst sphere, while the rectangle defining the relief, and the words “MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL” are etched and blasted and therefore at a height slightly below the height of the relief. As shown in FIG. 1A, the tablet or base 14a is provided with additional writing “MVP—NL 2005 xxxxxxxx” indicating the award (most valuable player—National League), the year, and the name of the winner (denoted by the letters x). The writing 17 may be etched in the tablet 14a, may be the relief resulting from etching, or may be a plaque which is affixed to the tablet 14a. FIGS. 1 and 1A illustrate that the trophy can be related to achievement in sport or some other achievement.

FIG. 2 shows another trophy 110 according to another embodiment of the invention. The trophy 110 includes a sphere 112, a tablet 114, and a pedestal 115. The sphere 112 is made in the same manner as the sphere 12 described above and is etched with an image 116 which pertains to the award. Optionally, the pedestal 115 may also be etched or engraved with an image or text 117 which pertains to the award. The sphere, tablet, and pedestal may all be made from the same kind of stone or from different kinds of stone. Alternatively, the tablet and pedestal may be made from completely different material and only the sphere made from stone. The tablet and pedestal are preferably cemented together. The sphere may be cemented to the pedestal or it may simply sit in a recess (not shown) formed in the top of the pedestal. If desired, a light fixture (not shown) may be provided in the pedestal in order to illuminate the sphere 112.

The trophy 210 shown in FIG. 3 is very similar to the trophy 10 described above. It includes a sphere 212 and a tablet 214. The sphere 212 is etched to form an image 216. Here the image is of stitching so that the etched sphere resembles a baseball. As such, this trophy 210 is designed to be an award for excellence in playing baseball. Though not shown in the figure, the sphere 212 and/or the tablet 214 may be etched with a text image identifying the name of the recipient, the name of the award, and the date. As with the award 10 described above, the sphere and tablet may be made from the same stone or the tablet may be made from different material. The sphere and tablet may be attached to each other or freely separable.

FIG. 4 shows a trophy 310 which is similar to trophy 110 described above. Instead of a sphere, tablet and pedestal, however, the trophy 310 includes an ellipsoid 312, a tablet 314, and a pedestal 315. The ellipsoid 312 is etched with images 316 so that it simulates a football. The pedestal 315 is etched or engraved with a text image which may indicate the name of the award, the name of the recipient, and the date. The ellipsoid, tablet, and pedestal may all be made from the same kind of stone or from different kinds of stone. Alternatively, the tablet and pedestal may be made from completely different material and only the ellipsoid made from stone. The tablet and pedestal are preferably cemented together. The ellipsoid may be cemented to the pedestal or it may simply sit in a recess formed in the top of the pedestal.

FIG. 5 shows a trophy 410 which is crafted from a single piece of stone. It has the appearance of a sphere 412, a tablet 414, and a pedestal 415. The sphere 412 is etched to have images 416 which give it the appearance of a golf ball. The tablet 414 is etched with a text image 417. Those familiar with sports icons will appreciate that the trophy 410 resembles the famous ESPN ESPY award. This illustrates another feature of the invention, i.e. that the methods of the invention can be used to create copies of existing trophy designs but noticeably different because they are made from stone and etched.

There have been described and illustrated herein several embodiments of a trophy and a method of making it. While particular embodiments of the invention have been described, it is not intended that the invention be limited thereto, as it is intended that the invention be as broad in scope as the art will allow and that the specification be read likewise. Thus, while the invention was described with reference to particular semiprecious gemstones, it will be appreciated that other semiprecious gemstones can be utilized. Also, while the invention was described with reference to the sphere, ellipsoid or polyhedron being of a single semiprecious gemstone, it will be appreciated that it is possible to have stones which are carved from more than one semiprecious gemstone which are mined together in a single stone. Further while the invention was described with respect to a particular method of laser etching, it will be appreciated that other etching techniques could be utilized, and that the image being etched may be a digital image obtained by scanning, or otherwise. It will therefore be appreciated by those skilled in the art that yet other modifications could be made to the provided invention without deviating from its spirit and scope as claimed.