Title:
Jewelry assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A jewelry assembly has a receiving segment having a first and second end, and a removable segment having a first and second end. The first and second ends of the receiving segment each have a magnetically attracted surface. The first end and the second end of the removable segment each have a magnetically attracted surface. The first and second ends of the receiving segment are removably joined to the respective first and second ends of the removable segment by the magnetically attracted surfaces.



Inventors:
Williams, Clara R. (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/982534
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
11/02/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/29.1
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C5/20; A44C11/00; A44C15/00; A44C17/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050188722Jewelry apparatus and method of making sameSeptember, 2005Nevatia et al.
20070220919BRACELET OR WRISTBAND OF ADJUSTABLE LENGTHSeptember, 2007Loetscher et al.
20030106336Interchangeable medical identification apparatusJune, 2003Gaskill
20020092322Refrigerator art jewelryJuly, 2002Zieverink
20020078707Series of configurable jewelry closures to hold single or multi-strands of jewelryJune, 2002Walker et al.
20050109059Mobile telephone antenna charmMay, 2005Alessandrino
20050022556Bead chain with modified structureFebruary, 2005Zhou et al.
20080016912Gemstone Setting Arrangement and Method for Setting a GemstoneJanuary, 2008Gutierrez
20060144086Ball-seam jewelryJuly, 2006Ishida
20050172669Ornamental item with variable configuration, and method for its manufactureAugust, 2005Lacchetti
20020170314Ornamental ringNovember, 2002Konieczny



Primary Examiner:
REESE, DAVID C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HINSHAW & CULBERTSON LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A jewelry kit comprising: a receiving segment comprising a receiving segment first end and a receiving segment second end, wherein said receiving segment first end comprises a receiving segment first magnetic surface disposed substantially normal to the longitudinal section of the receiving segment and said receiving segment second end comprises a receiving segment second magnetic surface disposed substantially normal to the longitudinal section of the receiving segment; a plurality of removable segments, each different from one another and comprising a removable segment first end and a removable segment second end, wherein said removable segment first end comprises a removable segment first magnetic surface disposed substantially normal to the longitudinal section of the removable segment and said removable segment second end comprises a removable segment second magnetic surface disposed substantially normal to the longitudinal section of the removable segment; wherein a selected one of each removable segment can be connected end-to-end to said receiving segment to restrict lateral movement and to form a loop.

2. The jewelry kit of claim 1 wherein each removable segment comprises a different stone.

3. The jewelry kit of claim 1 wherein each removable segment is a different pendant.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a division of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/746,679, filed on Dec. 26, 2003, pending, and the entire disclosure of the foregoing application is hereby expressly incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to jewelry, and more particularly, to jewelry with a removable segment attached using magnets.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Jewelry is considered desirable but is often expensive. People wish to have multiple pieces of jewelry to wear with different outfits and for different occasions. Typically, jewelry cannot be recast or modified. Importantly, the decorative portion of jewelry cannot be easily altered or substituted. For example, a beaded necklace with a diamond pendant may be beautiful, but not be very versatile. A need exists for a jewelry assembly that contains a removable portion to permit the interchange of various jewelry sub-components.

In order for a removable portion to be practical, it must be easy to attach and detach. It is known to use a mechanical clasp to secure a piece of jewelry on a person. It is also known to use magnets to clasp opposing ends of a jewelry chain together. For example U.S. Pat. No. 6,640,398 to Hoffman discloses using magnets displaced in channels on opposed ends of a single piece of jewelry. In Hoffman, the magnets help clasp a single piece of jewelry together. However, nothing in Hoffman discloses a removable jewelry portion or attaching a removable jewelry portion to a receiving jewelry portion with magnets. A need exists for a jewelry assembly that contains an easily attachable removable portion. A need also exists for a jewelry assembly that uses magnets to attach a removable portion.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a jewelry apparatus with a removable portion. The removable portion is attached to a receiving portion using magnets. By use of magnets, the removable portion can be easily attached and detached. The invention permits a person to swap between multiple removable portions onto a single receiving portion. By doing so, a person will be able to transform a smaller jewelry collection into a seemingly larger one.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a jewelry assembly is provided. The jewelry assembly has a receiving segment with a first and a second end; and a removable segment with a first and a second end. The first and second ends of the receiving segment each have a magnetically attracted surface. The first end and the second end of the removable segment each have a magnetically attracted surface. The first and second ends of the receiving segment are removably joined to the respective first and second ends of the removable segment by the magnetically attracted surfaces.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a necklace assembly is provided. The necklace assembly comprises a first segment having opposed ends; a second segment having opposed ends; a first connection assembly; and a second connection assembly. Both the first and second connection assemblies each have at least two magnets. The two magnets of the first connection assembly removably join a first end of the first segment with a first end of the second segment. The two magnets of the second connection assembly removably join a second end of the first segment with a second end of the second segment.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, a removable segment of a necklace assembly is provided. The removable segment comprises a first end; a second end; and an ornamental portion positioned between the first and second ends. The first end has a magnet that removably connects to a first end of a receiving segment of a necklace assembly. The second end has a magnet that removably connects to a second end of the receiving segment of a necklace assembly.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a necklace of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the magnetic connection assembly of the present invention taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of two removable segment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail a preferred embodiment of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiment illustrated.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, a jewelry assembly is provided. The present invention is preferably used with necklaces, although it an also be used with bracelets, anklets, earrings and other items of jewelry. The length of the jewelry assembly determines whether a particular assembly is suited to be used as a necklace, bracelet or other item. By jewelry, applicant is also including belts with removable buckles, and the present invention is easily adaptable to be used with belts.

Referring to FIG. 1, jewelry assembly 10 is shown on person P. Jewelry assembly 10, in this case a necklace assembly, includes receiving segment 12 and removable segment 14.

Receiving segment 12 is typically a flexible curvilinear item. It can be made of cord, thread, metal (i.e., gold or silver) or any other material as known to those in the art. As illustrated in FIG. 1, ornament designs such as beads 16 can be part of receiving segment 12. Preferably, receiving segment 12 is continuous and uninterrupted.

Receiving segment 12 has a first end 18 and a second end 20. In the illustrated embodiment, first end 18 and second end 20 appear in the form of portions of a bead. At first end 18 and second end 20, there is a magnetically attracted surface such as a magnet.

In FIG. 1, removable segment 14 is removably joined to receiving segment 12. Removable segment 14 has a first end 22 and a second end 24. In the illustrated embodiment, first end 22 and second end 24 appear in the form of complementary portions of the beads from ends 18 and 20. At first end 22 and second end 24, there is a magnetically attracted surface such as a magnet. Removable segment 14, in one embodiment, includes a decorative element 26 such as a precious or semi-precious stone, pendant or other jewel or item. Decorative element 26 is positioned between opposed ends 22 and 24.

First and second ends 18 and 20 are capable of being joined (and subsequently detached) to first ends 22 and 24 respectively by the magnetically attracted surfaces. When joined, the jewelry assembly looks seamless and as if it was one integral piece to a casual viewer. As shown in FIG. 2, magnet 40 attaches to magnet 42. The magnets may physically touch each other or at least be sufficiently close (i.e., a thin film may be separating the magnets) to keep the segments joined to each other. Magnet 40 is within housing 44 and magnet 42 is within housing 46, which may be a mirror-image of housing 44. Magnets 40 and 42 are connected to cords 48 and 49, respectively, of the removable segment. Magnets 40 and 42 may have a circular, square, rectangular, triangular or other fixed cross-sectional shape. Magnets 40 and 42 may be of identical shape and dimensions. The magnetically attractive surfaces of the receiving segment are cooperatively dimensioned to mate with the magnetically attractive surfaces of the removable segment.

The magnetically attractive surfaces of the receiving segment may be set such that one of them is of positive polarity and one of them is of negative polarity. Similarly, the magnetically attractive surfaces of the removable segment may be set such that one of them is of positive polarity and one of them is of negative polarity. In this configuration, the magnetically attractive portions of the removable segment may connect to each other and form a smaller necklace, bracelet, anklet or other jewelry. Along the same lines, the magnetically attractive portions of the receiving segment may connect to each other to form a bracelet or anklet. The polarity of the magnetically attractive surfaces may be set up such that the removable segment must align with the receiving segment in a way that the decorative element is always facing out from the wearer. Said another way, the polarity of the magnetically attractive surfaces of the removable segment would only join with the receiving segment while the decorative element was facing the right direction.

Alternatively, both ends of the receiving segment may be of one polarity while both ends of the removable segment may be of the other polarity. In such a setup, the receiving segment and the removable segment cannot close on themselves because both ends of each segment contain magnets of the same polarity. However, it would be possible for a person to mistakenly connect the removable segment to the receiving segment with any decorative element facing the wrong direction.

The magnetically attractive surfaces may have strong enough magnetic qualities to sufficiently prohibit lateral movement between the receiving segment and the removable segment. Using such a strong magnet has the advantage of making the joining of the segments particularly easy. Alternatively, lateral movement of the magnetically attractive surfaces when the receiving segment is attached to the removable segment may be limited by stopping means. These stopping means may include the magnetically attractive surfaces being oriented with respect to each other in a tongue and groove configuration or an intermeshing teeth configuration, or with one surface having a divot and the opposing surface having a complementary dimple.

Turning now to FIG. 3, there is illustrated two different removable segments 30 and 50 of a necklace assembly. Removable segment 30 has ends 32 and 34 and an ornamental portion 36 positioned between ends 32 and 34. Removable segment 50 has ends 52 and 54 and an ornamental portion 56 positioned between ends 52 and 54. Ornamental portions 36 and 56 may include multiple stone or decorative items, and if desired, each being of different colors. Ornamental portion 56 is illustrated with one jewel and multiple beads of different diameters. Having different ornamental portions permits the jewelry assembly to have a different look and feel when the removable segments are swapped. Ends 32, 34, 52 and 54 each have a magnet that removably connects to a magnet on a necklace receiving segment. The magnets of ends 32, 34, 52 and 54 may be wholly or partially encased by a decorative housing. For example, ends 32 and 34 may be partially covered by roughly half of a bead, the other half of the bead encasing the magnet on the necklace segment. While beads have been used as an example, the decorative housing may be of any aesthetically pleasing ornamental design.

Multiple removable segments 30 may be joined together, and then removably attached to a receiving portion. For instance, end 32 of a segment 30 may be joined to end 54 of a segment 50. End 34 may be joined to one opposed end of a necklace segment. Alternatively, a jewelry assembly may be formed using multiple removable segments and no necklace segment. For example, seven removable segments may be joined to form a necklace assembly.

In an alternative embodiment, the jewelry assembly is a belt. The buckle of the belt is decorative and included within the removable segment.

While the specific embodiment has been illustrated and described, with respect to certain preferred embodiments, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying claims