Title:
LARIAT NECKLACE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lariat necklace having a chain with a looped end and a stop end. The stop end has two downwardly extending rigid or dangling ornaments, each of which is smaller than and is sized to pass through the looped end, however, two or more ornaments collectively are larger than and are sized so as to not pass through the looped end. The ornaments can be passed sequentially through the loop to connect or disconnect the stop end from the loop end.



Inventors:
Upton Young, Elise (Darien, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/740590
Publication Date:
10/30/2008
Filing Date:
04/26/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20050160764JOOLZJuly, 2005Smith
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20090178438DECAGONAL SHAPED DIAMOND WHICH DISPLAYS HEARTS AND ARROWS PATTERNJuly, 2009Rydlewicz
20080256980SEGMENTED PENDANTOctober, 2008Bennett
20060266079KEEPSAKE VESSEL HAVING REMOVABLE LOCKET THEREINNovember, 2006Lavictoire
20080053148Invisible Setting for Precious StonesMarch, 2008Cohen



Primary Examiner:
MORGAN, EMILY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ST. ONGE STEWARD JOHNSTON & REENS LLC (STAMFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A necklace, comprising: a flexible element having two ends; a loop provided at one end of said flexible element; a stop element provided at the other end of said flexible element, said stop element comprising a coupling element and at least two extending elements, each of said extending elements being smaller than and sized and oriented to pass through said loop, and said at least two extending elements collectively being larger than and sized to not pass through said loop.

2. The necklace of claim 1, wherein said flexible element comprises a chain.

3. The necklace of claim 2, wherein said loop comprises a rigid loop element.

4. The necklace of claim 1, wherein said at least two extending elements are rigid and extend downwardly and apart.

5. The necklace of claim 4, wherein said coupling element and at least two extending elements form an inverted V shape.

6. The necklace of claim 5, said two extending elements each terminating in an ornamental endpiece.

7. The necklace of claim 6, wherein said ornamental endpiece comprises a tag.

8. The necklace of claim 7 where said tag is inscribed with a name, initials or a date.

9. The necklace of claim 7, wherein said tag is oval.

10. The necklace of claim 6, wherein said ornamental endpiece comprises a setting containing a gemstone or a pearl.

11. The necklace of claim 7, wherein said ornamental endpiece further comprises a setting containing a gemstone or a pearl.

12. The necklace of claim 1, wherein said extending elements comprise dangling chains.

13. A necklace, comprising: a flexible chain element having two ends; a rigid loop element provided at one end of said flexible chain element; a stop element provided at the other end of said flexible chain element, said stop element having two rigid extending elements extending downwardly from said stop element and apart from each other to form an inverted V shape, each of said extending elements being smaller than and sized and located to be sequentially passed through said loop element, and said two extending elements collectively being larger than and sized to not pass through said loop element.

14. The necklace of claim 13, said two extending elements each terminating in an ornamental endpiece.

15. The necklace of claim 14, wherein said ornamental endpiece comprises a tag.

16. The necklace of claim 15 where said tag is inscribed with a name, initials or a date.

17. The necklace of claim 15, wherein said tag is oval.

18. The necklace of claim 14, wherein said ornamental endpiece comprises a setting containing a gemstone or a pearl.

19. The necklace of claim 15, wherein said ornamental endpiece further comprises a setting containing a gemstone or a pearl.

20. A necklace, comprising: a flexible chain element having two ends; a looped end provided at one end of said flexible chain element; a stop element provided at the other end of said flexible element, said stop element comprising a coupling element having at least two adjacent dangling ornaments, each of said ornaments being smaller than and sized to pass through said loop, and two or more of said ornaments collectively being larger than and sized to not pass through said loop, at least one of said ornaments being movable from a normal use position adjacent another said ornament to a removal position separated from said another ornament so that said at least one of said ornaments and said another ornament can be sequentially passed through said loop to connect or disconnect said stop element from said loop.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of jewelry.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Necklaces are a common form of jewelry or ornamental element worn by men and women. Lariat necklaces are a known necklace that has a loop at one end and a charm or a gemstone at the other end. In known lariat necklace designs the charm or gemstone is usually small enough to pass through the loop, so that the necklace can be put on by the wearer by passing the charm/gemstone end through the loop to form a necklace around the neck with the charm/gemstone end dangling on the wearer's chest. The necklace is removed by following these steps in reverse order. A problem with this design is that the loop is only held in place on the necklace by friction, and there is the problem that the charm/gemstone can pass back through the loop and the necklace no longer encircles the wearer's neck, and becomes a simple chain, which is likely to fall off the wearer's neck and be lost.

In a few cases the charm or gemstone is larger than the loop size, and is removable, so that necklace can be put on by passing the free end of the necklace through the loop to form a necklace around the neck, at which point the charm/gemstone is attached to the free end. This eliminates the problem of accidental loss of the necklace, but it is inconvenient. In addition, the fastener element can be either too large, and potentially visually distracting, or too small, and thus likely to be more difficult to use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a lariat necklace design that provides a unique look and appearance, but which avoids the inconveniences of prior art necklace designs.

A lariat necklace in accordance with the invention includes a chain with a looped end and a stop end. In the preferred first embodiment, the stop end has a coupling element having two rigid extending elements which extend downwardly and apart to create an inverted V shape such as a wishbone shape. Preferably, one or more ornaments are provided at the lower end of each rigid extending element. Most preferably, two such ornaments are provided and include a tag and a separate gem element.

In an alternative second embodiment, the stop end has a coupling element with one or two dangling flexible chains, each having dangling ornaments, each of which is smaller than and is sized to pass through the looped end, however, two or more ornaments collectively are larger than and are sized so as to not pass through the looped end. The ornaments can be separated and passed sequentially through the loop to connect or disconnect the stop end from the loop end. The ornaments preferably include a tag and a separate gem element.

In a third embodiment, the coupling element is a horizontally positioned rod element having end caps; and preferably, one or more dangling ornaments are provided on the rod element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is front elevation view showing a lariat necklace in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention showing a loop element and a stop element.

FIG. 2 is front elevation view showing a first rigid extending element of a stop element being passed through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view showing a second rigid extending element of a stop element being passed through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view showing the stop element after being passed through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view showing the lariat necklace of FIG. 1 as worn by a wearer where the rigid extending elements of the stop element will prevent the stop element from being passed backwardly through the loop element of the lariat necklace.

FIG. 6 is front elevation view showing a lariat necklace in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention showing a loop element and a stop element.

FIG. 7 is front elevation view showing ornaments of a stop element being passed through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is front elevation view showing both ornaments of a stop element after being passed through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is front elevation view showing ornaments of a stop element after being passed through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is front elevation view showing ornaments of a stop element being prevented from being passed backwardly through the loop of the lariat necklace of FIG. 6.

FIG. 11 is front elevation view showing a lariat necklace in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention showing a loop element and a stop element.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, where like elements in the drawings bear the same numbers, a lariat necklace 10 is shown. Necklace 10 is made of any flexible element 12 suitable to fit around a wearer's neck, and preferably is a chain, most preferably, a gold chain. Necklace 10 has two ends, a loop end 14 and a stop end 16. Loop end 14 preferably is formed by casting or otherwise forming a rigid loop element 15 which is attached to the flexible element 12. However, loop end 14 can alternatively be formed by looping back a portion of the flexible element 12 to form a loop; for example, in a gold chain, the loop end would be formed by a loop of gold chain.

The stop end 16 is formed of a stop element 20. The stop element 20 includes a coupling element 22. Coupling element 22 can be any shape sufficient to allow a connection to flexible element 12 and to anchor two ornaments 30 and 50. Ornament 30 includes a rigid extending element 32. Ornament 50 includes a rigid extending element 52. Rigid extending elements 32 and 52 extend downwardly and apart to create an inverted V shape such as a wishbone shape.

Each of the ornaments 30 and 50 are smaller than and are sized to pass through the loop element 15, however, two or more of the ornaments 30, 50 are collectively larger than the loop element 15 so they cannot pass through the loop element 15 when located adjacent each other. In particular, the inverted V shape of the rigid extending elements 32 and 52 together are larger than loop element 15 so that they cannot be inadvertently be pulled back through loop element 15.

Rigid extending element 32 preferably has an ornamental endpiece 34. Ornamental endpiece 34 preferably includes comprises a tag such as oval tag 36 which is inscribed with a name, initials or a date 38. Alternatively, ornamental endpiece 34 is a setting 40 containing a pearl 42 or a gemstone. Most preferably, the ornamental endpiece 34 includes both an inscribed tag 36 and a setting 40 containing a gemstone 42 or a pearl. Gemstone 42 may be a real gemstone, a synthetic gemstone, or an imitation gemstone. The pearl may be a real pearl or an artificial pearl or an imitation pearl.

Similarly, rigid extending element 52 preferably has an ornamental endpiece 54. Ornamental endpiece 54 preferably includes comprises an oval tag 56 which is inscribed with a name, initials or a date 58. Alternatively, ornamental endpiece 54 is a setting 60 containing a gemstone 62. Most preferably, the ornamental endpiece 54 includes both an inscribed tag 56 and a setting 60 containing a pearl 62 or a gemstone. Pearl 62 may be a real pearl or an artificial pearl or an imitation pearl. The gemstone may be a real gemstone, a synthetic gemstone, or a imitation gemstone.

Most preferably, the inscribed tags 36 and 56 have related inscriptions, such as for example: the wearer's school or college on one tag, and the year of graduation on the other; or the wearer's initials on one tag, and the initials of the wearer's fiancé on the other.

Each of the ornaments 30, 50, are sized so that they can be passed through the loop element 15. As seen in FIGS. 2-4, the ends of the necklace 10 are connected by feeding ornament 30 through loop element 15; and then feeding ornament 50 through loop element 15 until the entire stop end 16 has passed through loop element 15. By sequentially passing the ornaments 30 and 50 through loop element 15 the stop end 16 can be passed through the loop end 14 to connect or disconnect the stop end 16 from the loop end 14, to allow the wearer to put on, or remove the necklace 10.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-10, where like elements in the drawings bear the same numbers, a second embodiment of a lariat necklace 110 is shown. Necklace 110 is made of any flexible element 112 suitable to fit around a wearer's neck, and preferably is a chain, most preferably, a gold chain. Necklace 110 has two ends, a loop end 114 and a stop end 116. Loop end 114 preferably is formed by casting or otherwise forming a rigid loop element which is attached to the flexible element 112. However, loop end 114 can alternatively be formed by looping back a portion of the flexible element 112 to form a loop, for example, in a gold chain, the loop end would be formed by a loop 115 of gold chain.

The stop end 1 16 is formed of a stop element 120. The stop element 20 includes a coupling element 122. Coupling element 122 can be a ring or other annular element, or can be any other shape, such as a triangular, diamond or other shape, provided it acts to connect the three elements as shown in the Figures and to allow the necessary movement of the ornaments 30 and 50 as described hereafter.

Ornaments 130 and 150 are adjacent each other. Each of the ornaments 130 and 150 are smaller than and are sized to pass through the loop element 115, however, two or more of the ornaments 130, 150 are collectively larger than the loop element 115 so they cannot pass through the loop element 115 when located adjacent each other.

Ornament 130 includes an extending element 132 and at its end an ornamental endpiece 134. Extending element 132 is preferably a flexible element such as a dangling chain. Ornamental endpiece 134 preferably includes comprises a tag such as oval tag 136 which is inscribed with a name, initials or a date 138. Alternatively, ornamental endpiece 134 is a setting 140 containing a pearl or a gemstone 142. Most preferably, the ornamental endpiece 134 includes both an inscribed tag 136 and a setting 140 containing a gemstone 142. Gemstone 142 may be a real gemstone, a synthetic gemstone, or an imitation gemstone. The pearl may be a real pearl or an artificial pearl or an imitation pearl.

Similarly, ornament 150 includes an extending element 152 and at its end an ornamental endpiece 154. Extending element 152 is preferably a flexible element such as a dangling chain. Ornamental endpiece 154 preferably includes comprises an oval tag 156 which is inscribed with a name, initials or a date 158. Alternatively, ornamental endpiece 154 is a setting 160 containing a gemstone 162. Most preferably, the ornamental endpiece 154 includes both an inscribed tag 156 and a setting 160 containing a gemstone or a pearl 162. Pearl 162 may be a real pearl or an artificial pearl or an imitation pearl. The gemstone may be a real gemstone, a synthetic gemstone, or an imitation gemstone.

Most preferably, the inscribed tags 136 and 156 have related inscriptions, such as for example: the wearer's school or college on one tag, and the year of graduation on the other; or the wearer's initials on one tag, and the initials of the wearer's fiancé on the other.

At least one of the ornaments 130,150, and preferably both ornaments 130,150, are movable from a downwardly dangling normal use position where the ornaments 130, 150 are adjacent one another, as seen in FIG. 6, to a removal position where the ornaments 130,150 are separated from each other, as seen in FIGS. 7 and 8. The sequence of FIGS. 7-9 shows the steps of connecting the loop end 114 to the stop end 116; the removal process is merely a reversal of the steps shown in FIGS. 7-9, e.g. following the steps in the order FIGS. 9, 8 and 7 will result in disconnecting the loop end 114 to the stop end 116.

As seen in FIG. 7, the ornament 150 is allowed to dangle downwardly, while the other ornament 130 is moved to extend upwardly. This allows the ornament 150 to be passed through loop element 115 without interference from ornament 130. The second ornament 130 then can pass through the loop element 115 after the first ornament 150 has been passed through loop element 115, as seen in FIG. 8. Once both ornaments 130 and 150 have passed through loop element 115, the ornaments 130, 150 can be released and allowed to dangle, as seen in FIG. 9.

By sequentially passing the ornaments 130 and 150 through loop element 115 the stop end 116 can be passed through the loop end 114 to connect or disconnect said stop end 116 from the loop end 114, to allow the wearer to put on, or remove the necklace 110.

FIG. 10 shows the connected stop end 116 from the loop end 114 of necklace 110, when the stop end 116 is being pulled back through the loop end 114. As can be seen the collective size of the ornaments 130 and 150 is sufficient to frictionally engage with loop element 115 and to prevent the stop end 116 from being accidentally pulled through loop element 115.

Referring now to FIG. 11, a third embodiment of a lariat necklace 210 is shown. Necklace 210 is made of any flexible element 212 suitable to fit around a wearer's neck, and preferably is a chain, most preferably, a gold chain. Necklace 210 has two ends, a loop end 214 and a stop end 216. Loop end 214 is as previously described in connection with the other embodiments. Stop end 216 is a barbell shaped element that can be passed through loop end 214 when passed axially through the loop ened 214, but which is sized not to fit through loop end 214 when passed through perpendicularly. Stop end 216 is preferably provided with two or more dangling ornaments 230, 250, and 251.

The benefits of the present invention is that it provides a new and unique fastening system; that it provides a lariat style necklace which does not have the problems of excessive potential risk of loss, or excessively difficult steps to put on or remove the necklace. Furthermore, the tag elements, in addition to providing the functions of making the necklace easy to put on and remove, also provide a very useful media to record information such as names and dates, in order to provide a necklace that serves both as jewelry and as a symbol of the wearer's affection for the inscribed material, such as her school, husband or children, and can be used as a gift celebrating a graduation, anniversary, or other life event. Lastly, in addition to being functional, the necklace has a new and unique ornamental appearance. The present invention provides a new necklace assembly that is both ornamental and useful.