Title:
EARRING SYSTEM HAVING A DECORATIVE SECURING ELEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An earring system including a substantially curved wire member having a front end and a rear end is provided. A decorative element is attached to the front end of the wire member. The earring system further includes a securing element for releasable engagement with the rear end of the wire member.



Inventors:
Freeman, Samantha J. (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/846726
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
08/29/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/705
International Classes:
A44C7/00; A44C15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REESE, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe Koenig (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An earring system comprising: a substantially curved wire member comprising a front end and a rear end; a decorative element attached to said front end of said wire member; and a securing element for releasable engagement with said rear end of said wire member.

2. The earring system of claim 1, wherein said rear end of said wire member comprises an external portion of a fastening system, and said securing element defines an aperture comprising an internal portion of said fastening system for complimentary engagement with said external portion of said fastening system.

3. The earring system of claim 2, wherein said external portion of said fastening system comprises external threads.

4. The earring system of claim 2, wherein said internal portion of said fastening system comprises internal threads.

5. The earring system of claim 2, wherein said external portion of said fastening system comprises an external notch portion.

6. The earring system of claim 2, wherein said internal portion of said fastening system comprises an internal notch portion.

7. The earring system of claim 2, wherein said securing element is substantially spherical and comprises a diameter.

8. The earring system of claim 7, wherein said aperture of said securing element defines a bore comprising a depth less than the diameter of said securing element.

9. The earring system of claim 1, wherein said decorative element is in substantial vertical alignment with said securing element.

10. The earring system of claim 1 further comprising an overall length, said decorative element in a plane at a top end of said length and said securing element in a plane at a bottom end of said length.

11. The earring system of claim 1 further comprising an overall length, said decorative element in a plane at a mid-portion of said length and said securing element in a plane at a bottom end of said length.

12. The earring system of claim 1 further comprising an overall length, said decorative element in a plane adjacent a bottom end of said length and said securing element in a plane at said bottom end of said length.

13. The earring system of claim 1, wherein said decorative element comprises a gemstone.

14. The earring system of claim 1, wherein said securing element is decorative.

15. The earring system of claim 1, wherein said securing element comprises a pearl.

16. A substantially spherical securing element for an earring system having a wire member, said securing element defining: a bore comprising a depth less than a diameter of said securing element, said bore comprising, an internal portion for complimentary engagement with an external portion of an end of the wire member.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/841,271, filed on Aug. 31, 2006, which is incorporated by reference as if fully set forth.

BACKGROUND

Conventional French wire or shepherd's hook style pierced earrings typically hang from a wearer's earlobes without closure. To prevent the earring from slipping out of the pierced hole in the earlobe, a small plastic or rubber retainer or clutch may be placed on the wire end of each hook. Typically, such retainers are sold separately from the earrings. Thus, retainers do not always fit properly on the wire hooks.

More specifically, too much friction between the retainer and the wire makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the wearer to install the retainer. Conversely, not enough friction between the retainer and the wire results in a loose retainer that may fall off from the end of the hook and thereby jeopardize the security of the earring.

Accordingly, there remains a need for an improved French wire earring system including a securing device that is convenient to obtain, easy to install, and effective.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to an earring system including a substantially curved wire member having a front end and a rear end. A decorative element is attached to the front end of the wire member. The earring system further includes a securing element for releasable engagement with the rear end of the wire member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1A is right side view of an embodiment of the earring system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 1B represents the earring system of FIG. 1A hanging from a wearer's earlobe;

FIG. 1C is a front elevation view of the earring system of FIG. 2B;

FIG. 2A is right side view of another embodiment of the earring system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2B represents the earring system of FIG. 2A hanging from a wearer's earlobe;

FIG. 2C is a front elevation view of the earring system of FIG. 2B;

FIG. 3A is right side view of a further embodiment of the earring system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3B represents the earring system of FIG. 3A hanging from a wearer's earlobe;

FIG. 3C is a front elevation view of the earring system of FIG. 3B;

FIG. 4 is a detail view of the earring system of FIG. 2B detailing a fastening system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a detail view of an embodiment of the fastening system of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a view of another embodiment of the fastening system of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring generally to FIGS. 1A-6, an earring system 10, 40, and 50 includes a substantially curved wire member 12 having a front end 14 with respect to a wearer's earlobe E and a rear end 16 also with respect to the wearer's earlobe E. A decorative element 18 is attached to the front end 14 of the wire member 12. The earring system 10, 40, and 50 further includes a securing element 20 for releasable engagement with the rear end 16 of the wire member 12. The earring system 10, 40, and 50 comprises an overall length L.

In the embodiment of the earring system 10 shown in FIGS. 1A-1C, the decorative element 18 may be in a plane T at a top end of the length L and the securing element 20 may in a plane B at a bottom end of the length L. In other words, as illustrated in FIGS. 1B and 1C, the decorative element 18 of the earring system 10 may rest against a front portion F of the wearer's earlobe E. FIG. 1A is a side view of the earring system 10 itself, and FIGS. 1B and 1C represent a side view and a front view, respectively, of the earring system 10 hanging from the wearer's earlobe E.

FIGS. 2A-2C show another embodiment of the earring system 40 in which the decorative element 18 may be in a plane M at a mid-portion of the length L and the securing element 20 may in a plane B at a bottom end of the length L. In other words, as illustrated in FIGS. 2B and 2C, the decorative element 18 of the earring system 40 may dangle a relatively short distance from the wearer's earlobe E. FIG. 2A is a side view of the earring system 40 itself, and FIGS. 2B and 2C represent a side view and a front view, respectively, of the earring system 40 hanging from the wearer's earlobe E.

In a further embodiment of the earring system 50, as shown in FIGS. 3A-3C, the decorative element 18 may be in a plane A adjacent a bottom end of the length L and the securing element may in a plane B at the bottom end of the length L. In other words, as illustrated in FIGS. 3B and 3C, the decorative element 18 of the earring system 50 may dangle at a greater distance from the wearer's earlobe E as compared to the earring system 40 illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2C. FIG. 3A is a side view of the earring system 50 itself, and FIGS. 3B and 3C represent a side view and a front view, respectively, of the earring system 50 hanging from the wearer's earlobe E.

The present invention is not limited to the dangle lengths illustrated and described herein, and the decorative element 18 may dangle at various lengths, as desired.

Although FIG. 4 illustrates the embodiment of the relatively short dangling earring system 40 of FIGS. 2A-2C, the configuration of the securing 18 element as described with reference to FIGS. 4-6 applies to all embodiments of the earring system 10, 40, and 50 in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 4-6 show that the rear end 16 of the wire member 12 includes an external portion 22 of a fastening system 24. The securing element 18 is substantially spherical and comprises a diameter D. The securing element 18 defines an aperture 26 having an internal portion 28 of the fastening system 24 for complimentary engagement with the external portion 22 of the fastening system 24. The aperture 26 of the securing element 20 defines a bore 30 comprising a depth d less than the diameter D of the securing element 20. In other words, the bore 30 is not a thru hole.

Referring to FIG. 5, the external portion 22 of the fastening system 24 may include external threads 32, and the internal portion 28 of the fastening system 20 may include internal threads 34 for complimentary engagement with the external threads 32. Such engagement is a screw on-and-off type of releasable attachment.

Referring to FIG. 6, the external portion 22 of the fastening system 24 may include an external notch portion 36, and the internal portion 28 of the fastening system 24 may include an internal notch portion 38 for complimentary engagement with the external notch portion 36. Such engagement is a friction slip-fit or snap-fit type of releasable attachment.

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, and 4 show that the decorative element 18 is in substantial vertical alignment V with the securing element 20. The decorative element 18 may be a gemstone, a pearl, a bead, a metallic charm, or any other jewel-like material and shape suitable for an earring. The securing element 20 may be decorative, and may include a pearl, a bead, a metallic ball, or any other material of a substantially concentric shape suitable for the releasable attachment function described herein. In other words, although the securing element 20 functions to secure the earring 10, 40, and 50 to the wearer's earlobe E and prevent accidental dislodgement, the securing element 20 may also serve a decorative function by adding to the overall design and appearance of the earring system 10, 40, and 50.

In use, the wearer removes the securing element 20 from the rear end 16 of the wire member 12 and inserts the rear end 16 through an earlobe piercing (from front to back) placing the earring 10, 40, and 50 into position on the earlobe E. The wearer then reattaches the securing element 20 on the rear end 16 of the wire member 12. Thus, the wearer enjoys an earring system 10, 40, and 50 with a securing element 20 that is both functional (i.e., it prevents the wire member 12 from sliding completely out of the earlobe piercing) and attractive (i.e., it complements the decorative element 18).

Having thus described in detail several embodiments of the present invention, it is to be appreciated and will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many physical changes, only a few of which are exemplified in the detailed description of the invention, could be made without altering the inventive concepts and principles embodied therein. It is also to be appreciated that numerous embodiments incorporating only part of the preferred embodiment are possible which do not alter, with respect to those parts, the inventive concepts and principles embodied therein. The present embodiments and optional configurations are therefore to be considered in all respects as exemplary and/or illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all alternate embodiments and changes to this embodiment which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of said claims are therefore to be embraced therein.