Title:
CAGE TYPE JEWELRY LINKS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A chain including a plurality of cages connected together, each cage including at least two arms having at least one feature which distinguishes one or more of the at least two arms from a remainder of the arms, said at least arms being bent in a direction away from a base point.



Inventors:
Rozenvasser, David (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/755920
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
05/31/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B21L11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A cage for formation of a chain comprising: at least two arms, connected at a base point, said at least two arms having at least one feature which distinguishes one or more of the at least two arms from a remainder of the arms, said at least arms being bent in a direction away from the base point.

2. The cage of claim 1, wherein the one or more feature distinguishing the arms is different colors.

3. The cage of claim 1, wherein the one or more feature distinguishing feature is that the arms are made of different materials.

4. The cage of claim 1, wherein the one or more feature distinguishing features is that the arms are bent to transcribe different shapes.

5. The cage of claim 1, wherein the one or more feature distinguishing features is that the arms are stamped to have a different shape.

6. A chain comprising: a plurality of cages connected together, each cage including at least two arms having at least one feature which distinguishes one or more of the at least two arms from a remainder of the arms, said at least arms being bent in a direction away from a base point.

7. The chain of claim 6, wherein one or more of the plurality of cages is made of a material different from the remainder of the cages.

8. The chain of claim 6, wherein each cage of the chain is made of two or more materials.

9. The chain of claim 6 where the material of the cages is alternated in a regular pattern.

10. The chain of claim 6, wherein one or more of the arms of each cage has a different feature from the remaining arms of the cage.

11. The chain of claim 6, wherein the feature is that the one or more arm is made of a different material.

12. The chain of claim 6, wherein the feature is that the one or more arm is bent in a different shape.

13. The chain of claim 6, wherein the feature is that the one or more arm stamped to have a different shape.

14. The chain of claim 6, wherein the shape of the cages are alternated in a regular pattern along the chain.

15. The chain of claim 14, wherein the alternated regular pattern is a rotation of a cage relative to a preceding cage to form a spiral pattern along the length of the chain.

16. The chain of claim 14, wherein alternated regular pattern is a change in the shape of a stamped arm of a cage as compared to the preceding or following cage in line along the length of the chain.

17. The chain of claim 14, wherein alternated regular pattern is a change in the bend of an arm of a cage as compared to the preceding or following cage in line along the length of the chain.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to articles of jewelry and specifically jewelry chains.

2. Discussion of Prior Art

Jewelry chains are often made up of individual elements that are interconnected to form a chain whose length is then cut and clasps put at the end to form bracelets, necklaces, and the like. Also, such chain portions can be used as elements of other types of jewelry.

In certain types of jewelry, individual links are utilized as the individual building blocks of the jewelry and such links are interconnected together. By way of example, the well known rope chain is made up of individual links and these links are woven or interconnected together to form the well known rope chain. Such links are typically a ring or loop of material that lies in a single plane with a gap located within the periphery. The links can be circular, rectangular, triangular or of any other shape but significantly, it lies in a single plane.

Other types of jewelry chains are formed by means of a cage construction as the initial element. Such cage lies in at least more than one plane. It is typically formed by more than two arms with the arms connected at a lower point and the arms extending upwardly there from and the arms angularly spaced with respect to each other. These arms can be interconnected either by soldering them at the bottom or forming them out of a single flat portion and bending the arms upwardly to define the cage.

These individual cages are then interconnected one to the other in various manners to form an elongated chain. Typical such chains may be the Prima Donna chain, the Pop Corn chain, the Reflection chain, and many others.

Heretofore, the arms of the cages have been formed uniformly within the cage itself and also uniformly throughout the chain. While the cages themselves can be shaped so that the cage is round, elongated, square, or other such shapes, all the arms in a single cage and for that matter, all of the cages forming the sequence of interconnected cages are all uniform.

In connecting these cages, there are techniques in which they are connected by hand or utilizing machines to interconnect the cages one to the other.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention contemplates the formation of cages with at least two of the arms being different from each other. By way of example, the cage can consist of three arms of which one arm will be one color and the other two arms will be a different color. Also, all three arms could be of different colors. Furthermore, the invention contemplates having the arms of different widths. For example, one of the arms could be of a slim width and the other two arms could be of wider widths. Alternately, each of the three arms could have different widths. Furthermore, the widths of the arms need not be uniform. On the contrary, designs could be placed along the width of the arm as the arm extends longitudinally upward. These designs can be different from each other.

Furthermore, not only can there be at least two different colors and shapes along the width of the arm, but the actual elongation of the arm in the upward direction can differ with at least two different shapes. For example, one shape can be vertical upwardly from the base where the arms are interconnected, while at least one other arm may be arcuately extending upwardly from the base. It should be appreciated that the cage can have more than three arms, and again, so long as there are at least two different arms within the cage, such is contemplated in this invention.

Furthermore, once these cages are formed, they can be interconnected either manually or by a machine process. When connecting them either by hand or by machine, depending upon how the individual cages are interconnected one to the other and the angular relationship of one cage to the next cage and all of its previous cages, there can result an elongated chain with an entirely different effect. Chains having spiral colors or shapes that can be formulated in this manner, as well as chains having undulating patterns along the elongated length.

It should be appreciated that many such different types of chains utilizing cages can be formed in this way and furthermore, many different articles of jewelry can be thereby formed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cage in accordance with the prior art;

FIG. 2 is another embodiment of a cage in accordance with the prior art;

FIG. 3 an embodiment of a cage in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a chain formed from different adjacent cages;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a cage formed out of a stamping;

FIGS. 6-11 show different embodiments of cages with the arms stamped out of material with different shapes along the front;

FIG. 12 is a side view of a cage with different shapes of the arms in a side view;

FIG. 13 is a chain assembled from cages including that of FIG. 12;

FIGS. 14-15 show cages with arms differing in their side view;

FIGS. 16-17 show chains formulated with cages of the present invention;

FIGS. 18-19 show an end perspective and side view of a machine formed chain.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While this invention is illustrated and described in a preferred embodiment, the device may be produced in many different configurations, forms and materials. There is depicted in the drawings, and will herein be described in detail, preferred embodiments of the invention, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and the associated functional specification for its construction and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiment illustrated. Those skilled in the art will envision many other possible variations within the scope of the present invention.

The present invention contemplates the use of individual cage elements in the formation of a chain. A cage element is defined as an element having more than two arms with the arms interconnected at a base portion and the arms extending upwardly from the base portion. By way of example, FIG. 1 shows a cage having four arms, 10, 12, 14 and 16, interconnected at a base point 18 and having the individual arms extending upwardly from the base. The arms are placed at 900 angles one with respect to the other. The top portions have inwardly pointing fingers. This cage element is one that typically utilized in forming a Prima Donna chain. In this case the arms of the cage are of a substantially rectangular configuration.

The Prima Donna chain would be formulated by placing the next adjacent cage, similar to this case, angularly spaced within this cage. The fingers would be interconnected by means of solder or other means of interconnecting them and thereafter, further cages inter-coupled with previous cages and then closing them off to form the Prima Donna cage. Each of the cages are angularly spaced with respect to the next cage.

However, it will be noted that all of the four arms of this cage are substantially identical to each other. Such identity is both in their thickness and construction, as well as their particular shape. Furthermore, heretofore the color configuration of all of the arms has been uniform. For example, the entire cage will be made out of a gold material or a silver material, or the like or other precious metal material forming the chain.

Such cages can be formulated in various ways. By way of example, the cage of FIG. 1 would typically be formed by two individual planar links which might be soldered together at base point 18 to form the cage. However, as will be hereinafter shown, such cages could be formed by stamping the arms out of a flat sheet of material.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown another cage, again constituted of four arms. In this case the arms are substantially circular loops that are interconnected to form the four arms 20, 22, 24. The fourth arm would be 1800 from the arm 24. The four arms are interconnected at a base portion 26. At the upper ends, the arms would be formed with gaps therein to permit entry of another similar cage.

Heretofore, assembling these cages one to another, all of the cages would be the same. However, there is shown in FIG. 3, a cage formed of four arms, again each perpendicular to each other 30, 32, 34, 36. In this case, each of the arms are bent in the form of a cup handle so that the two arms 30 and 32 form a heart shaped configuration and likewise the two arms 34 and 36 would create an inverted heart shaped configuration.

Instead of interconnecting identical cages as has been done in the past, in this case a Prima Donna chain is formed as shown in FIG. 4 with alternating cages, one of the type of FIG. 2, and one of the type of FIG. 3. Specifically, the cage identified as 40 is that of the circular ring shown in FIG. 2 and intertwined with this is the cage 42 of the heart shaped configuration as shown in FIG. 3. These are then alternated to form a chain as shown in FIG. 4.

While the cages thus far shown have been formed by individual links each lying in a plane which have been put together and these are assembled in an orthogonal manner to provide four arms 900 from each other, other configurations can be put together. For example, the cages can be formed with three arms, each spaced apart 1200. Furthermore, five, six, or other number arms can also be put together with different angular spacing between the arms.

Furthermore, while the particular cages have been shown formed by links, these individual cages can also be formed by a stamping process. For example, FIG. 5 is a cage formed by stamping a flat sheet of material with the four arms and then bending them in arcuate fashion to form a substantially hemispheric type of cage with the four arms in the nature of a flower. Additional cages would then be inserted one into the other and thereafter the tops of the cages sealed off to retain the subsequently inserted cages. Such type of cages can be used, by way of example, in the Popcorn chain or the Reflection chain.

However, in all of the foregoing types of cages, the arms within the cage are basically the same as all of the other arms in the cage.

In accordance with an additional embodiment of the present invention, in the cage, which has more than two arms, defining a multiple armed cage, there are at least two different arms within the cage.

By way of example, one difference could be the difference in color. As shown in FIG. 6, there is shown the four arms being stamped out of flat piece of material defining the arms 44, 46, 48, 50. It will be noted that each of the arms are designed to have a heart shaped configuration along the length of the arm. While all of the arms are stamped identically, it will be noted that the arms 48, 50 are of one color and the arms 44 and 46 are formed of a different color.

It should be appreciated that the four arms that are stamped from a flat sheet of material would then be bent with the four arms extending vertically. These can be bent in an arcuate shape as in FIG. 5, or an elongated shape as the cage of FIG. 1, in a square shape, etc., or in other shapes which will hereinafter be described.

It should be appreciated that not only could opposing arms have different colors but adjacent arms could also have different colors from other adjacent arms, as shown in FIG. 7 where adjacent arms 50 and 52 have a common color, while adjacent arms 54, and 56 have a different color. It should furthermore be appreciated that each of the four arms could each have different colors.

Furthermore, there need not be only four arms, but as shown in FIG. 8, a cage could be formed of multiple arms with different ones being assigned different colors. While two colors are shown, other colors and multiple colors and multiple arrangements of the colors could be utilized.

In addition to forming the arms of different colors, the arms can also be formed of different shapes. By way of example, FIG. 9 shows a stamping of four arms with at least two different patterns along the length of the arms. Specifically, arms 60 and 62 have ovals formed along the length of the arms. Arms 64 and 66 have rectangles formed along the length of the arms. This varies the width of the arm along its elongated length.

FIG. 10 shows a multi-armed configuration where both different colors and different shapes along the length of the arms are used in a multi-armed caged configuration. In this case, the arms are spaced apart by 50°.

FIG. 11 shows a series of designs that might be included along the longitudinal length of the arms. By including these along the length of the arm, the width of the arm varies along its longitude. It should be appreciated that these are a few of the almost infinite number of designs that can be included. Furthermore, these designs can be mixed with one or more arm containing one of these and one or more other arms containing another design and including a different design along the length of each of the multiple arms in the cage.

All of the different shapes heretofore discussed are referred to as the different front shapes of the arms. This is specifically referring to the formation of these different shapes on a flat sheet of material which is stamped out to form the configuration of the cage with the arms lying in the sheet of material. However, after these arms are formed and punched as heretofore shown, the arms are then bent upwardly from a base which connects all of the arms. The way these arms are upwardly shaped and bent can also be in multiple different ways.

By way of example, in FIG. 1 the arms are shown extending longitudinally upwardly. In FIG. 2, the arms extend upwardly in the form of a semicircle. In FIG. 3, some of the arms extend upwardly with a bulge on top and some extend upwardly with a bulge on the bottom.

These arms can be intermixed so that in the cage with more than two arms at least two of the arms are bent upwardly in different format.

By way of example, referring to FIG. 12, there is shown a cage with four arms, 70, 72, 74 (the other fourth arm would be behind arm 72). In this case, two of the arms 70, 72 extend vertically upwardly. The other two arms 74 (and the one hidden behind 72) would be bent upwardly in an arcuate fashion.

By interconnecting these cages, one adjacent to the other with this cage configuration of the arms, an overall chain configuration as shown in FIG. 13 results. Note the cages are alternately placed in the chain.

While the arms as bent as in FIG. 12 are such that the exterior most point of all of the arms are the same distance from the center of the cage, the arms can be such that one extends outwardly more than the other as shown in FIG. 14. In this case, the bending of the arms are similar to that in FIG. 12 but arm 80 is bent so that it extends outwardly beyond that to which arm 78 extends.

In using the cage as shown in FIG. 14, the result of the chain will appear as a step portion about the exterior. Alternately, as explained later, the exterior of the chain can be formed of the links of FIG. 14 to but alternated regularly along the length of the chain to provide a spiral design about the periphery of the chain. These two configurations would depend upon how the series of cages would be interconnected.

It should also be appreciated that other unique figurations of the arms as they are bent upwardly could also be achieved, as for example, that shown in FIG. 15 where one arm is bent angularly 82, while the other arm is semicircular 84. Numerous other configurations could be achieved.

In assembling these unique cages of the present invention, with at least two arms being different in color, in different front shape, or in different side shape, different configurations of the chains can also be achieved. By way of example, referring to FIG. 16, there is shown a chain where the cages have four arms, with two arms being in one color 86 and the other two arms being in the other color 88. In this case, a first cage is utilized. The second cage is placed by way of example 450 with respect to the first cage. Thereafter, the two cages are returned to their original position and the third cage is inserted so that it is in the same orientation with respect to colors as the first cage. There is then a rotation of the collected and secured cages and these are rotated at 450 for insertion of the fourth cage. Therefore, the fourth cage is oriented with respect to color in the same way as the second cage. Creating an alternating pattern of the cages.

This type of assembly only rotates 450 for one cage and returns to its original position for the next cage. In this way, the result is that every other cage is the same as the ones previously and the chain shown in FIG. 16 will result.

However, it is also possible to continue the rotation of 450 from cage to cage without retuning back to the zero position. In this case, the first cage is positioned and the second cage is rotated 45° with respect to the first cage. Thereafter, the third cage is again rotated so that it is 45° with respect to the previous one and 90° with respect to the first one. Each time a new cage is inserted there is a continuous rotation of 45° with respect to the previous one and there is no return to zero position. As a result, the chain of FIG. 17will be produced wherein there is alternating spirals, one of the first color 90 and the second spiral 92. This color rotates completely around the entire periphery of the chain that is produced as a spiral color about the perhiphery.

Although FIG. 16 and 17 show how different chains can be produced with the different colors, it should be appreciated that likewise different front shapes of the arms and different side shapes of the arms within the cage would produce different results. Furthermore, it should be appreciated that the present invention includes the possibility of alternating one shaped cage with another shaped cage along the length of the chain. It should also be appreciated that multiple shaped cages could be utilized in various sequences to produce unique type of chains.

The type of chains of FIGS. 16 and 17 can either be produced manually or by machine. At present, machines that produce such chains typically only rotate 45°, for insertion of a subsequent cage and then returns to zero for the next cage. However, such machines could be modified to continue the rotation of 45° in sequence without the return to zero to produce the type of spiral affect in the chain shown in FIG. 17.

In connection with utilizing machines for assembling such cages, rather than solder the ends of one cage when the next cages are inserted, such cages have enlarged fingers at the type of the arms. Inserting one cage into the next cage, the arms are bent downward so that the enlarged fingers lock into the next cage to hold it in place. As shown in FIG. 18, the enlarged head portion 94 along the arm 96 is available to interlock the next cage. The finger 98 from the lower arm 100 of the lower cage is already shown bent over to lock in place the new cage. FIG. 19 shows a portion of the chain configuration formulated along its length. It should be appreciated that chain 100 shown in FIG. 19 could be modified to have different colors of the arms in each cage, different shapes along the length in the front view of the arms, different bent shapes along the side view or other types of configurations as heretofore described.

It should be appreciated that other types of variations, such as hollow versus solid links. links of different cross sections, all could be utilized within the present invention. These cages could be formed by individual links soldered together, the entire cage stamped or punched from lat material, or the cages cast or any other technique well known.