Title:
Self-seating earring wire
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A unitary, self-seating pierced earring support wire having a definitive design providing for the ease of insertion through a wearer's ear. A first, generally linear support portion which is positioned through the wearer's ear lobe provides for equal distribution of the weight of the earring ornament through the piercing and the self-seating earring wire utilizes tight radius bends creating vertical and horizontal members that act to restrict the relative longitudinal movement between the earring wire and the lobe of the ear. The restriction in relative movement results in a decrease of the ability of the earring wire to rotate in a pierced ear lobe and disengage from the ear lobe. A secondary, generally linear transverse segment of the wire returns in a direction toward the ear lobe, centering the earring directly below the middle of the wearer's ear lobe.



Inventors:
Mccarty-o'brien, Johanna D. (Richmond, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/516183
Publication Date:
03/08/2007
Filing Date:
09/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REESE, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A self-seating earring wire for use in pierced ear lobes, said earring wire comprising a single unitary wire having a posterior portion and an anterior portion, said posterior portion being inserted from the front of the pierced ear lobe and comprising an angled guide segment having a terminating end, said guide segment transitioning by means of an obtuse radius to a vertical posterior ascending member, said ascending member terminating at a top end directly behind said pierced ear lobe in an acute, tight radius transition at a point on the posterior side of said ear lobe to a transverse supporting segment positioned through the pierced ear, said transverse supporting segment being linear and angled slightly downward, being positioned through said pierced ear lobe terminating in an obtuse, tight radius transitioning to a descending segment in front of said earlobe, said descending segment being slightly angled outward away from said ascending member and terminating in an acute, tight radius transition to a rearward projecting, horizontal transverse segment, said horizontal transverse segment extending rearward to a point directly below the center of the plane of said ear lobe, terminating in a tight radius transition to a vertical, downward projecting segment directly below the center of the plane of said ear lobe, and said vertical segment terminating a predetermined distance below said ear lobe in a hook member, supporting a decorative earring.

2. The self-seating earring wire of claim 1, wherein said decorative earring is attached and supported by said hook member above said hook member, in front of the plane of said ear lobe.

3. The self-seating earring wire of claim 1, wherein said decorative earring is suspended from said hook member.

4. The self-seating earring wire of claim 1, wherein said wire comprises multiple wires in a unitary construction.

5. The self-seating earring wire of claim 1, wherein said wires are manufactured from at least one of the following materials: stainless steel, gold, silver, or platinum.

6. The self-seating earring wire of claim 4, wherein said wires are manufactured from at least one of the following materials: stainless steel, gold, silver, or platinum.

7. The self-seating earring wire of claim 1, wherein said guide segment extends further downward than said hook member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/714,869 filed on Sep. 6, 2005. The disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to jewelry, specifically earrings for pierced ear lobes. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to wire earrings which inhibit the accidental disengagement and loss thereof.

BACKGROUND

The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

Pierced earrings wherein a wire is positioned through a hole pierced through one's ear is well known in the art. U.S. Pat. No. 1,419,021, to Cicerchi, teaches of an earring assembly wherein a portion of it is inserted through a piercing in the wearer's ear lobe; U.S. Pat. No. 5,044,176, to King, discloses a support cradle for a pierced earring, thereby reducing stress to the user's earlobe; U.S. Pat. No. 371,283, to Smitten, discloses an earring assembly for a pierced ear with a locking mechanism to hold the earring in place; and U.S. Pat. No. 360,423, to Edge, teaches of a pierced earring with a catch. Further examples of prior art are U.S. Pat. No. 4,249,393, to Ciambra, and U.S. Pat. No. 208,230, to Fuller, which show that the use of a ‘finding’ to hold an earring in place was known in 1878.

There are a number of different ways (including those listed above) in which one can attach an earring to an earlobe. These include the “shepherd hook” with the penetrating portion thereof curved in a hooking fashion and the hinge lever post, as well as a ball post with ring which requires a backing or other type of fastener to hold the earring in place. Such findings are all available and mass produced for utilization in jewelry manufacture. The problem with such earring attachment means is the backings often come loose and misplaced, allowing for the earring to fall out of the ear and get lost. Other problems associated with prior art earrings include difficulty in insertion through the ear lobe and discomfort or any combination of the above.

As mentioned, a number of prior art earrings require two parts to secure them to the ear, which may be difficult due to the relatively small size of the individual parts. Some prior art use hinged mechanisms which increase the cost of manufacturing significantly.

Standard “shepherd hook” earring wires, are essentially findings with a large, curved hook which fits through the lobe piercing, without a separate fastener and are relatively easy to use and easy to attach an ornament to, but are also easily disengaged and often lost, along with the suspended ornament. Additionally, because of their curved shape, this type of wires often causes discomfort, especially when used in combination with heavy earring ornaments. This discomfort is caused by pressure points from the generally curved earring wire being placed through a generally straight piercing hole through the user's ear, isolating the pressure in two places rather than distributing it evenly across the length of the piercing.

Therefore, a need exists for an earring wire or support which is of one piece construction, self seating, resistant to dislodgment and misplacement, and is comfortable to wear by the user.

SUMMARY

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an earring support wire which is resistant to dislodgement for use with a piercing through a user's ear.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an earring support wire of unitary construction, eliminating the need for multiple, small parts which are prone to misplacement to affix the earring to the user's ear.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a pierced earring support wire which is comfortable to wear, without creating unnecessary pressure points through the piercing.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an earring support wire which is simple and economical to manufacture.

These and other objects will be apparent from the drawing and detailed description contained herein disclosing a unitary, self-seating pierced earring support wire having a definitive design which allows for the ease of insertion through the user's ear. A first, generally linear support portion which is positioned through the user's ear lobe provides for equal distribution of the weight of the earring ornament through the piercing. The self-seating earring wire utilizes tight radius bends, creating vertical and horizontal members that act to restrict the relative longitudinal movement between the earring wire and the lobe of the ear. The restriction in relative movement results in a decrease of the ability of the earring wire to rotate in a pierced ear lobe and disengage from the ear lobe. A secondary, generally linear transverse segment of the wire returns in a direction toward the ear lobe, centering the earring directly below the middle of the wearer's ear lobe instead of in front of the plane of the ear lobe where traditional hook style earrings position the ornament, thereby providing a closer center of gravity.

Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawing described herein is for illustration purposes only and is not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure in any way.

FIG. 1 is a lateral view of the self-seating earring wire comprising the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the present disclosure, application, or uses.

Referring now to the drawing, FIG. 1 illustrates the preferred embodiment of the present invention disclosing a self-seating earring wire 10. Wire 10 is comprised of a single or multiple wires in a unitary construction manufactured from stainless steel, gold, silver, platinum, or any other decorative inert hypoallergenic metal alloy.

A posterior end of wire 10 which is inserted from the front of the piercing in the ear lobe comprises an angled guide segment 11 which assists in the process of insertion into the pierced hole in the ear lobe. Guide segment 11 transitions by means of an obtuse radius to a vertical posterior ascending member 12. Both guide segment 11 and ascending member 12 are fed through the wearer's ear lobe and remain behind the plane of the ear once the self-seating earring wire is in position.

The top of ascending member 12 transitions via a slightly acute, tight radius at the point on the posterior side of the ear lobe where the piercing aperture is located through the ear lobe to a transverse supporting segment 13. Transverse supporting segment 13, which is generally linear and angled slightly downward, passes through the pierced hole of the ear lobe to the front side of the ear, wherein it transitions via an obtuse, tight radius to a descending segment 14 in front of the user's ear. Descending segment 14 is slightly angled outward away from rear positioned, ascending member 12 and transitions below the ear lobe via an acute, tight radius to a rearward projecting, horizontal transverse segment 15, terminating in a downward tight radius transition directly below the center of the plane of the ear lobe to a vertical segment 16.

Vertical segment 16 terminates a predetermined distance below the user's ear lobe in a hook/loop member 17 which provides a support means for a decorative earring component or ornament positioned either above or suspended below hook/loop member 17.

The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.