Title:
HIDDEN STRANDS CONNECTOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In general, in one aspect, the disclosure describes a connector for receiving and securing stand ends thereto. The connector includes first and second sections configurable connected tone another so as to either hide the strand ends or to provide access to the strand ends for repair or restringing.



Inventors:
Muchanic, Paris M. (Ottsville, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/743651
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/02/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C5/18
View Patent Images:
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20030229974Concealed secure magnetic claspDecember, 2003Zemer et al.
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ryder, Mazzeo and Konieczny, LLC (Colmar, PA, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus comprising: a first section having at least one hole formed therein to receive a cord end therethrough, wherein the cord end is secured to the first section; a second section connected to the first section to hide the cord ends, wherein the first and second sections can be separated to provide access to the cord ends.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first and second sections are pivotally connected to one another.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a pivoting mechanism to enable the first and second sections to pivot with respect to one another.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the pivoting mechanism includes a rod placed through a tube and holes formed in the first and second sections respectively.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the pivoting mechanism includes one or more hinges coupled to the first and second sections.

6. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the pivoting mechanism includes a ball and socket on opposite ones of the first and second sections.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a connecting mechanism for securing the first and second sections together.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the connecting mechanism includes a clasp and knob on opposite ones of the first and second sections.

9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the connecting mechanism includes a hook and a loop on opposite ones of the first and second sections.

10. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the connecting mechanism includes magnets located on the first and second sections.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a grove and a track are formed in alignment with one another in opposite ones of the first and second sections, wherein the sections are secured by sliding the track into the grove.

12. A multi-strand connector comprising: a first section having a plurality of holes formed therein to receive beaded cord ends, wherein the cord ends are knotted or crimped to secure the cords to the first section; a second section configuarbly connected to the first section to be in an open configuration or a closed configuration, wherein the open configuration provides access to the cord ends and the closed configuration hides the cord ends.

13. The connector of claim 12, wherein the first and section sections are pivotally connected.

14. The connector of claim 12, wherein the second section includes mechanism for connecting to a chain or clasp.

15. The connector of claim 14, wherein the mechanism is at least one hole formed therein.

16. The connector of claim 14, wherein the mechanism is a hook formed therein.

17. The connector of claim 12, wherein the second section includes at least a top and a front and back face.

18. The connector of claim 12, wherein the first section is a main body including sidewalls and the second section is a cover pivotally connected to the first section.

19. A multi-strand bead piece of jewelry comprising a plurality of beaded strands; a pair of multi-strand connectors to receive respective ends of the beaded strands, the multi-strand connectors including: a first section having a plurality of holes formed therein to receive the cord ends, wherein the cord ends are knotted or crimped to secure the cords to the first section; a second section configuarbly connected to the first section to be in an open configuration or a closed configuration, wherein the open configuration provides access to the cord ends and the closed configuration hides the cord ends; and clasps coupled to the multi-stand connectors to connect the sides of the jewelry together.

20. The jewelry of claim 19, wherein the multi-strand connectors include finished front and back faces.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/797,288 which was filed on May 3, 2006 and entitled “Hidden Strands Findings”, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Beaded jewelry includes beading (e.g., beads, pearls) on a cord. The cord ends may be connected to findings (e.g., clasps, connectors). The findings may include rings that the cord can be tied to (knotting the cord around the ring). The knotted strands may be dabbed with glue to help reduce fraying and loosening of the knot. Crimps (e.g., precious or base metal rings) may be used to engulf the strands by pinching the middle and bending it over unto itself to trap and secure the strand.

These methods of securing bead strands are common, accepted practice in the fine art jewelry, as well as costume jewelry, trade. They allow for easy access to the cords for restringing or repair. This is important because while beaded jewelry can be cleaned, eventually the cord that the beads are on will need to be replaced. For example, with strands of pearls, dirt and grease eventually gets in between the pearls and attacks the material upon which they are threaded. As the thread weakens, the more chance there is of it snapping. The life expectancy of the cord is a function of wear, tear and care. However these methods for securing beading are unsightly and distracting to the esthetics of the piece.

Some findings include a sheet of metal that is simply bent over the strand ends to envelop them. This type of finding is typically used to secure bands of chain or small beads that might comprise a watchband or belt. The finding may be secured to the bands with solder, glue or by dimpling the finding. It is near impossible to repair such a piece without causing damage to the bands or finding. Solder repair requires high heat to reflow the solder which may damage bands of chain or heat stress and crack beads. Glue is difficult to control and may flow out along the edges, and is unacceptable in fine jewelry. Cleaning solvents can damage synthetic cords or beads that have been treated. Metal becomes brittle and is weakened the more it is worked and bent. A dimpled finding would be greatly compromised by prying it open, bending it back and re-dimpling to secure repaired or replaced strands. While these findings may hide the cord knots and thus be more esthetically pleasing they do not provide easy access for restringing or repair.

Some findings may provide a recessed space on the under side for securing and hiding strands. The recessed space is open and the knots are exposed on the underside. However, the space available to secure the knots is small making knot tying difficult. Furthermore, as the back of the finding may be open this can cause chafing to the skin of the wearer.

What is needed is a finding that can hide the strands to provide an esthetically pleasing look while at the same time proving easy access for the repair or restring of the beads.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the various embodiments will become apparent from the following detailed description in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an example multi-strand necklace, according to one embodiment;

FIGS. 2A-B illustrate a front view of an example multi-strand connector in an open and closed configuration respectively, according to one embodiment;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded view of an example multi-strand connector, according to one embodiment; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an example multi-strand connector, according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an example multi-strand necklace 100. The necklace 100 includes a plurality of beaded strands 110, multi-strand connectors 120, chains 130, and clasps 140. The connectors 120 secure and hide the cord ends for each of the strands 110, yet are configured so as to easily open to provide access to the cord ends for repair or restringing of the beaded strands 110. The connectors 120 may also connect to the chains 130. The chains 130 may also be connected to the clasps 140 so that the necklace 100 can be secured around ones neck. It should be noted that the chains 130 could be excluded and the clasps 140 could be directly connected to the connectors 120.

FIGS. 2A-B illustrate a front view of an example multi-strand connector 200 (e.g., 120 of FIG. 1) in an open and closed configuration respectively. The connector 200 includes a first section 210 and a second section 220 pivotally connected to one another. The first section 210 may include holes 212 for allowing ends of cords 214 to pass therethrough and then be knotted (or crimped) 216 so as to secure the cords 214 thereto. The second section 220 may include holes (not illustrated) that allow a chain 222 to pass therethrough so as to secure the chain 222 thereto. While not illustrated, the connector 200 includes a mechanism for holding the first section 210 and the second section 220 together. When the connector 200 is closed the first section 210 and the knots 216 will be hidden from view. When the cords 214 are to be repaired or restrung the connector 200 may be open to provide access to the cord ends (knots) 216.

As illustrated, the second section 220 includes two holes and the chain 222 enters one hole and exits the other hole. The second section 220 is no way intended to be limited thereto. In fact, passing the chain 222 through the second section 220 as illustrated may result in imbalanced hanging of the connector 200 if the chain is not configured correctly (e.g., evenly distributed through the second section 220). Rather, any number of methods for securing the chain 222 to the second section 220 can be utilized without departing from the scope. For example, the second section 220 may include hooks (e.g., on an outer surface) that the chain 222 is connected to. A chain 222 may not be required and the second section 220 may include a clasp (or a clasp may be connected to a hook formed therein) that is used to connect to a clasp on the second section 220 of a connector 200 on other side of piece of jewelry.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded view of an example multi-strand connector 300 (e.g., 120 of FIG. 1). The connector 300 includes a first section 310, a second section 320, and a rod 330. The first section 310 may include a bottom 312, a first side 314, and a second side 316. The bottom 312 includes holes 313 for accepting the cords. The first side 314 may include a tube 315 for accepting the rod 330 in order to pivotally attach the first section 310 and the second section 320. The tube 315 may be formed in the first side 314 or may be connected thereto. The second side 316 may include a stub 317 to be used to enable the first and second sections 310, 320 to be secured in a closed position. The stub 317 may be formed in the second side 316 or may be connected thereto.

The second section 320 may include a top 322, a front face 324, a rear face 326 and a clasp 328. The top 322 may include a loop 323 formed in or connected to an upper edge for connecting a chain, clasp or jump ring. The front and rear faces 324, 326 may each have a hole 325 formed therein in alignment with each other. The holes 325 may also be in alignment with the tube 315 so that the rod 330 can be placed through the holes 325 and the tube 315 to pivotally connect the first and second sections 310, 320. The clasp 328 may be pivotally connected to the second section 320 (illustrated as being pivotally connected to the rear face 326) and be utilized to hook to the stub 317 to secure the first and second sections 310, 320 in a closed configuration. The front and rear faces 324, 326 may be identical (or at least be similar) so that the piece of jewelry can be worn in either direction.

The connector 300 is in no way intended to be limited to the illustrated embodiment. Rather, numerous modifications can be made without departing from the current scope. For example, the clasp 328 could pivot from the front face 324 or the top 322. The clasp 328 need not pivot, but may be stationary (act as a side wall) and flex over the stub 317 and then lock onto the stub 317. The second section 320 may include a sidewall having a stub and the first section may include a clasp (pivoting or flexible) to connect to the stub. The stub 317 may be on an interior of the second side 316. The locking mechanism is not limited to a stub and clasp but can be any type of locking mechanism that is now known or later discovered. For example, a pin (stationary or pivoting) and catch, a hook and loop, locking nubs, or magnets may be used to secure the first and second sections 310, 320.

The pivot point is not limited to the upper edge. Rather, the first section 310 could have the tube 315 formed in or connected to the bottom 312 and the holes 325 could be formed in lower edges of the front and back faces 324, 326 so that the pivoting was done from a lower edge. If the pivoting is done at the lower edge the first section 310 may exclude the first side 314 and the second section 320 may include a first side. The pivoting mechanism is not limited to the rod 330 being placed through the holes 325 and the tube 315 but can be any type of pivoting mechanism that is now known or later discovered. For example, the second section 320 could replace the holes 325 with knobs (possibly retractable) formed therein, or attached thereto, in alignment with the tube 315 and the knobs may engage with and rotate within the tube 315. The first section 310 could replace the tube 315 with a rod (possibly with retractable ends) formed therein, or attached thereto, in alignment with the holes 325 and the rod may engage with and rotate within the holes 325. The knobs/rod and hole configurations act as a sort of ball and socket arrangement for pivoting. Hinges could be connected to the first and second sections 310, 320 to provide the pivoting.

The connector 300 need not pivot. Rather, the first and second sections 310, 320 may be removably connected to one another. That is, each side may have some type of connection mechanism (e.g., clasp/stub, hook/loop, magnets) that can either secure the two sections together or can allow the two sections to be taken apart. According to one embodiment, the first section 310 may include grooves formed therein and the second section 320 may include tracks formed therein in alignment with the groves (or vice versa). The connector 300 can be opened or closed by sliding the first section 310 into or out of the second section 320. A lock mechanism may be utilized to secure the first and second sections 310, 320 together.

The second section 320 is not limited to a single loop 323 formed in or connected to the top 322. Rather, any number of loops can be utilized or no loops can be utilized. The top 322 may include one or more holes that can be used to secure a chain or clasp thereto. The chain or clasps may have a rod connected thereto that can be inserted into the hole vertically and then rotated horizontally so as to be secured within the hole. The chain or clasps may include a pin that is inserted through the hole and then bent or crimped so as to be secured within the hole. If multiple holes are used the chain may enter one hole and exist another as a way of securing the chain thereto.

The connector 300 may exclude sides (or the sides may have holes formed therein) so that a chain may enter one side and exit the other side in order to secure the chain to the multi-strand connector 300. Accordingly, the holes and/or loops 323 may not be required in the top 322.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an example multi-strand connector 400. The connector 400 includes a main body 410 and a cover 440 pivotally connected thereto. The main body 410 includes a bottom 415 and a plurality of sidewalls 420 (3 sidewalls since the illustrated connector is triangular shaped—though only two sidewalls are visible). One of the sidewalls 420 includes holes 425 formed therein to receive the ends of the beaded strands. The main body 410 may include one or more loops 430 (or holes) formed therein for connecting to a chain or clasp. The cover 440 may pivot open to provide access to the cord ends for repair or restringing and may pivot closed when being worn. The cover 440 and body 410 may be pivotally connected using any pivoting mechanism now known or later discovered. The cover 440 may be secured shut (to the body 410) using any connection mechanism now known or later discovered. The cover 440 may be the front (side facing away from body when wearing) or back (side touching body when wearing) of the connector 400. Alternatively, the sidewall 420 having the holes 425 formed therein may pivot away from the body 410 (act as the cover 440) to provide access to the cord ends (knots).

The various connectors (120, 200, 300, 400) described herein may be made from precious or base metals and may be constructed using traditional metal smith or casting techniques. However, the connectors are not limited to a specific material make-up or construction technique.

The connectors have been described specifically with respect to multi-strands but are not limited thereto. Rather, the various embodiments described herein could be applied to single strands. The connectors have been described with reference to necklaces but are not limited thereto. Rather, the connectors could be utilized for any type of beaded jewelry. In fact, the connectors need not be limited to beaded jewelry or jewelry at all but could be utilized with any device utilizing strands that have ends being tied where you may want the ends hidden but accessible.

The connectors have been illustrated as either being rectangular (FIGS. 1-3) or triangular (FIG. 4) but are not limited thereto. Rather, the connectors may be any shape. The connectors have been illustrated where the bottom edge receiving the strands is flush (or substantially flush) with the front and back faces but is not limited thereto. Rather, the front (and possibly back) faces may extend past the bottom edge (the bottom edge may be recessed within the front and back faces). While not illustrated in any of the figures, the front face (and possibly the back face as well so that the piece of jewelry the connector is utilized in can be worn in either direction) of the connectors may be decorative (have designs formed therein) to increase the aesthetic look of the piece of jewelry.

Although the disclosure has been illustrated by reference to specific embodiments, it will be apparent that the disclosure is not limited thereto as various changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope. It is understood, therefore, that the scope is not limited to the particular examples and implementations disclosed herein, but is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope thereof. Certain terminology was used herein to describe certain embodiments for convenience only and is not to be taken as a limitation on the embodiments described.

Reference to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described therein is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” appearing in various places throughout the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

The various embodiments are intended to be protected broadly within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
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