Title:
Custom jewelry apparatus and method of forming same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In a method of creating a jewelry apparatus, a plurality of characters is selected and arranged such that each character is in close proximity to another character to form an original group. A mirror image of the original group is created and placed in close proximity to the original group. The group and the mirror image are partially overlaid to create a base pattern. A jewelry apparatus is formed from the base pattern. The jewelry apparatus is also set forth.



Inventors:
Rullman, Chad Andrew (Atlanta, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/080137
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
03/31/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/896.4, 63/33, 29/10
International Classes:
A44C17/02; A44C17/04; A44C25/00; A44C27/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070157667Enhancing the optical characteristics of a gemstoneJuly, 2007Maltezos et al.
20060032270Adaptable jewelry apparatusFebruary, 2006Doyno
20080168800IRREGULAR FINGER RING CONFIGURATIONJuly, 2008Nisguretsky
20050097921Copper colored jewelry and method of manufacturing copper colored jewelryMay, 2005Maruyama
20090039121Cell phone bracelet / ankletFebruary, 2009Paul
20050262874Decorative charm accessory for pantsDecember, 2005Joseph
20060137396Magnetic jewelleryJune, 2006Ma
20060096316Ornamental articles for vehicles, motorcycles, boats, and the likeMay, 2006Ledesma Jr. et al.



Primary Examiner:
WALTERS, RYAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chad Rullman (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of forming a unitary jewelry apparatus comprising the steps of: a. selecting a plurality of characters; b. arranging the plurality of characters with each character in close proximity to another character to form an original group; c. creating a mirror image of the original group; d. placing the mirror image in a position that is in close proximity to the original group; e. partially overlaying the original group and the mirror image to create a base pattern; and f. forming a jewelry apparatus from the base pattern.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein in step a, two to five characters are selected.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein in step b, each character is adjacent to another character.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein in step b, each character appears to be joined to another character.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein in step b, each character appears to be linked to another character.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein in step b, the characters partially appear to be of a configuration selected from the group consisting of interlaced, interlocked, intermingled, interconnected, intertwined, intertwisted, superimposed, woven, and combinations thereof.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein in step b, each character is arranged vertically relative to another character.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein in step d, the mirror image is adjacent the original group with the bottom portion of the characters in the original group adjacent the bottom portion of characters in the mirror image.

9. The method of claim 1, further comprising, the step of varying the thickness of each character in the base pattern.

10. The method of claim 1, further comprising, the step of positioning for placement of gemstones.

11. The method of claim 1, further comprising, the step of positioning at least one fastening loop.

12. The method of claim 1, further comprising, after step (e), the step of varying the thickness of each character in the base pattern.

13. The method of claim 1, further comprising, after step (f), the step of positioning for placement of gemstones.

14. The method of claim 1, further comprising, after step (f), the step of positioning at least one fastening loop.

15. The method of claim 1, further comprising, the step of adding gemstones to the jewelry apparatus.

16. A jewelry apparatus comprising a plurality of characters arranged with each character in close proximity to another character to form an original group and a mirror image of the original group positioned in close proximity to the original group, wherein the original group and the mirror image partially overlay one another.

17. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 comprising two to five characters.

18. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein the plurality of characters are arranged adjacent to another character.

19. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein each character appears to be joined to another character.

20. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein each character appears to be linked to another character.

21. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein the plurality of characters partially appear to be of a configuration selected from the group consisting of interlaced, interlocked, intermingled, interconnected, intertwined, intertwisted, superimposed, woven, and combinations thereof.

22. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein each character is arranged vertically relative to another character.

23. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein the mirror image is adjacent the original group with the bottom portion of the characters in the original group adjacent the bottom portion of characters in the mirror image.

24. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 wherein the thickness of each character is varied relative to another character.

25. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 further comprising gemstones.

26. The jewelry apparatus of claim 16 further comprising at least one fastening loop.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to jewelry and the making of same and, more specifically, to a jewelry apparatus and method of forming a unique personalized jewelry apparatus.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Personalized jewelry, such as monogrammed necklaces and rings, is desired by many consumers due to the individual nature of the finished product. Monograms are typically prepared by first selecting two or more characters, such as alphabetic letters, numbers or symbols.

Traditionally, the selection of characters used in a monogram has been based on an individual's initials, but consumers are venturing into using other ensembles, such as the combination of more than one person's initials, alphabetic letters representing a company name, or other symbolic combination of characters including both alphabetic letters and numbers.

Monogrammed jewelry has long been available to consumers in a traditional format of placing the initials of a particular consumer adjacent one another to create the individual piece of jewelry. The initials may have the order of first name, middle name and last name or of first name, last name, middle name. Often with the latter, the last name initial is emphasized through enlargement.

Once the order is decided, the piece of jewelry is created by molding or carving the initials into a wax structure of the desired item, such as a ring, a pendent, a bracelet, a cuff link or the like. Using the industry-standard lost-wax casting process, the wax is then cast into a final precious metal piece of monogrammed jewelry. Various kinds of metals, such as gold, silver, platinum and the like are used to prepare the final piece. Embellishments such as precious and semi-precious stones are often added to the piece of jewelry.

Consumers today are highly sophisticated and are often desirous of complex and intricate designs when purchasing jewelry. The traditional monogram and the simple mirrored monogram fail to provide an elaborate piece of jewelry for some consumer's taste. Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a method of creating a monogrammed jewelry piece that composes a unique arrangement of characters chosen by a consumer to create a custom expression of an individual's identity.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a method of creating a unitary jewelry apparatus, a plurality of characters is selected, preferably from two to five characters. The characters preferably are alphabetic letters, numbers, symbols or the like. The characters are preferably arranged with each character in close proximity to another character to form an original group. More preferably, the characters in the original group are arranged vertically with the first character disposed above the second character. If more than two characters are used, then the second character is preferably disposed above a subsequent character and so forth. The characters are preferably configured to appear to be joined or linked together. Further, the characters preferably appear partially interlaced, interlocked, intermingled, interconnected, intertwined, intertwisted, superimposed, woven, and/or the like. A mirror image of the original group is created and preferably placed in close proximity to the original group. The group and the mirror image are preferably partially overlaid to create a base pattern. A custom jewelry apparatus is formed from the base pattern. To further enhance the jewelry apparatus, the thickness of each character in the pattern is preferably varied and gemstones preferably placed within the body of the jewelry apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a representation of a step of the method for creating a jewelry apparatus demonstrating a selection of characters.

FIG. 2 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating an arrangement of the original group of characters of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placing the original group of FIG. 2 in close proximity to its mirror image.

FIG. 4 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating partially overlaying the original group and the mirror image from FIG. 3 to create a base pattern.

FIG. 5 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating the use of ArtCAM software to assign varying thickness to an individual character in the base pattern.

FIG. 6 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating one character having a selected thickness.

FIG. 7 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating the use of ArtCAM software to assign varying thickness to multiple characters in the base pattern.

FIG. 8 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating multiple characters having selected thicknesses.

FIG. 9 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating positioning circular vector lines within the width of a character of the 3-D base model for representative placement of gemstones.

FIG. 10 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating positioning circular vector lines within the 3-D base model for representative placement of gemstones.

FIG. 11 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating positioning circular vector lines inside the circular vector lines of FIG. 10-11 to create each individual gemstone seat in the 3-D base model,

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of FIG. 11 demonstrating the 3-D base model at this step of the method.

FIG. 13 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating positioning circular vector lines around the gemstone seats to create the prongs for holding gemstones in place.

FIG. 14 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating the completed vector layout for gemstone placement.

FIG. 15 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placement of two vector circles which represent loops to be created for fastening the jewelry apparatus to a chain.

FIG. 16 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placement of multiple vector circles for clusters of larger gemstones.

FIG. 17 is a plane view of a preferred embodiment of a 3-D model of the jewelry apparatus.

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of FIG. 18.

FIG. 19 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating an arrangement of another original group of four characters.

FIG. 20 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placing the original group of FIG. 19 in close proximity to its mirror image.

FIG. 21 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating partially overlaying the original group and the mirror image from FIG. 20 to create a base pattern.

FIG. 22 is a photograph of the jewelry apparatus utilizing the base pattern of FIG. 21.

FIG. 23 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating an arrangement of a group of another four characters.

FIG. 24 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placing the original group of FIG. 23 in close proximity to its mirror image.

FIG. 25 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating partially overlaying the original group and the mirror image from FIG. 24 to create a base pattern.

FIG. 26 is a photograph of the jewelry apparatus utilizing the base pattern of FIG. 25.

FIG. 27 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating an arrangement of a group of five characters.

FIG. 28 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placing the original group of FIG. 27 in close proximity to its mirror image.

FIG. 29 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating partially overlaying the original group and the mirror image from FIG. 28 to create a base pattern.

FIG. 30 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating an arrangement of a group of five numeric characters.

FIG. 31 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating placing the original group of FIG. 30 in close proximity to its mirror image.

FIG. 32 is a representation of a step of the method demonstrating partially overlaying the original group and the mirror image from FIG. 31 to create a base pattern.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In describing the embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-32, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is a method of configuring a plurality of characters in which individual characters are blended with one another to create a collection of such characters as a unified representation. The first step is to preferably select a plurality of characters, such as alphabetic letters, numbers, or symbols, each having a width. The number of characters preferably ranges from 2 to 5 characters, with the most preferred number of characters being from 2 to 4. The plurality of characters is next preferably arranged in a desired order with each character being in close proximity to another character to form an original group. Preferably, the characters are adjacent and in contact with at least one other character having the appearance of being joined or linked with each other. The contact may be such that the characters are flush against each other at one or several points. Alternatively, the characters may preferably appear to be partially interlaced, interlocked, intermingled, interconnected, intertwined, intertwisted, superimposed, woven and/or the like with a portion of each character. The form of contact of the character may be any one of, a combination of or all of the types of contact such that the result provides an appearance of a compilation of characters with a variety of discernible and indiscernible characters.

In the preferred next step, a mirror image of the original group is created and aligned in close proximity, preferably adjacent, to the original group. The bottom portions of the characters in the original group are preferably adjacent the bottom portions of characters in the mirror image creating an illusion of the mirror image being flipped over from the original group akin to the layout of the wings of a butterfly.

In the preferred next step, a portion of the original group and a portion of the mirror image are preferably overlaid with one another creating a base pattern. The base pattern may have an appearance ranging from visualizing discernable characters within the collection to a blending of characters such that none are discernable but are rather elements of characters.

The base pattern may be created by using computer aided design-computer aided manufacturing (CADCAM) software such as ArtCAM JewelSmith available by Delcam. Creating the base pattern may be accomplished with vector-line graphics using a desired font, preferably script characters. In a preferred embodiment, the characters are positioned as shown in FIG. 1. The characters may be arranged in a unique configuration from top to bottom and placed in the left-side-quadrant only of a four quadrant graphic. FIG. 2 shows for exemplary purposes the alphabetic letters of “J”, “C”, and “M”, which may be an individual's initials, in the vertical configuration with “J” disposed above “C” and “C” disposed above “M”. The characters are preferably arranged adjacent one another to appear as if joined together. Additionally, the characters may be twisted left or right along their center axis and positioned by the user to create a visually appealing original group. As shown in FIG. 3, the user preferably duplicates the original group and creates a mirror image which appears flipped over horizontally from the left to the right. The original group and mirror image are next preferably manipulated to partially overlay one another creating a fusion of character lines in which preferably some characters remain discernible and others are masked, obscured or concealed thereby producing a base pattern, as shown in FIG. 4, which may be formed to create a custom jewelry apparatus.

Further steps of the invention provide for preferably embellishing the base pattern with the addition of detail and gemstones. A ‘Shape Editor’ tool available in the ArtCAM software is preferably used to create a three dimensional (“3-D”) CAD model. FIG. 5 shows a representative screen shot of such tool in which each individual character is assigned a different 3-D thickness from the adjacent characters. One character is shown in FIG. 6 having a selected thickness. The thickness of each character is decided upon by the user. The characters are preferably given differing thicknesses to ensure they maintain their individual identity within the base pattern as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 resulting in a 3-D base model.

Once the 3-D base model is created, the ArtCAM software is preferably used to position gemstones within the width of the characters. The gemstone positions are preferably created by first positioning circular vector lines for each diamond to be used in the jewelry apparatus. A vector for each stone must be individually positioned within the width of the 3-D base model by the user. Each circular vector measures the diameter of the particular diamond sized desired. Typical circular vectors measure from 0.5 to 1.5 millimeters in diameter. This positioning of circular vectors is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Once all the gemstones are positioned, additional smaller circular vector lines are created inside the stone circles wherein the two circles together are used to create each individual gemstone seat in the 3-D CAD model, as shown in FIGS. 11-12. Smaller vector circles are created and positioned around the individual gemstone seats, which are used to create the prongs that will hold the gemstones in place on the final jewelry apparatus. Each gemstone seat requires multiple prongs and each prong vector must be individually created and placed by the user. This step of the process is shown in FIG. 13. When the vector layout is completed, the small vectors are then used to create the prongs on the 3-D CAD model, as shown in FIG. 14. Two new vector circles are preferably placed in the upper right and left area of the 3-D CAD model, which are the placement for loops to be created for fastening the jewelry apparatus to a chain for wearing around an individual's neck, as shown in FIG. 15.

In some of the designs, additional clusters of larger gemstones are desired by the individual. With reference to FIG. 16, these are preferably added to the 3-D CAD model by creating and positioning new vector circles representing the diameter of the gemstones to be used, the inner circle for each gemstone to create the gemstone seat in the 3-D CAD model, and the prongs to hold the gemstones. The completed 3-D CAD model is shown in FIGS. 17-18.

The completed 3-D CAD model is preferably used to produce the precious metal piece without addition of gemstones and may be converted thereto by conventional means well know to one skilled in the art. For example, the user preferably creates a tool path for the 3-D CAD model which is then sent to a CNC machine. The tool path is the coded instructions for the machine to follow to yield a castable wax of the completed 3-D CAD model. The wax is in turn preferably cast into a precious metal piece and gemstones are mounted to create the jewelry apparatus.

In another preferred embodiment, a jewelry apparatus comprises an original group of a plurality of characters, preferably two to five, and a mirror image thereof. In the original group, each character is arranged in close proximity to another character. The original group and the mirror image are positioned in close proximity such that the original group and the mirror image partially overlay one another.

In the original group the plurality of characters are preferably arranged adjacent to each other. Each character preferably appears to be joined or linked to another character. Preferably, the plurality of characters partially appears to be of a configuration that is interlaced, interlocked, intermingled, interconnected, intertwined, intertwisted, superimposed, woven, and combinations thereof. Additionally, each character may be arranged vertically relative to another character.

The mirror image is preferably positioned adjacent the original group with the bottom portion of the characters in the original group adjacent the bottom portion of characters in the mirror image. For creating depth to the jewelry apparatus, the thickness of each character is preferably varied relative to other characters. Also, gemstones may be added to the jewelry apparatus for further embellishment, and fastening loops may be added for securing to a chain.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, a method of creating a jewelry apparatus comprises the steps of selecting at least two characters and preferably arranging the at least two characters vertically with the first character disposed above the second character and, optionally, the second character preferably disposed above a subsequent character. The characters are preferably positioned to form a group having a woven appearance as shown in FIG. 1. A mirror image of the group is created and preferably placed in a position that is flipped over to the right of the group with the bottom portion of the characters in the group adjacent the bottom portion of characters in the flipped mirror image, as shown in FIG. 2. The group and the flipped mirror image are preferably partially overlaid to create a base pattern as shown in FIG. 3. From this base pattern, a custom jewelry apparatus is cast that may be made of precious metal alone or in combination with gemstones.

With reference to FIGS. 19-22, further representations of the steps of the method of creating a jewelry apparatus are shown using the alphabetic letters “D”, “G”, “C”, and “S”, which may represent the initials of first and last names of two individuals. In FIG. 19, a vertical arrangement of a group of four characters compactly adjacent each other and partially superimposed preferably forms an original group with a woven, intertwined appearance. The mirror image of the group of FIG. 19 is created and then preferably placed in a position that is flipped over to the right of the group with bottom portions of the group and the flipped mirror image preferably adjacent one another, as shown in FIG. 20. In FIG. 21, the step of partially overlaying the group and the flipped mirror image is shown creating a base pattern. The custom jewelry apparatus that utilizes the base pattern of FIG. 21 is shown in FIG. 22.

Another representation of the method of creating a jewelry apparatus are shown in FIGS. 23-26, with this representation having the alphabetic letters “C”, “R”, “A”, and “W”. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 23, the characters are aligned vertically at an angle which results in the alignment of the group and the flipped mirror image have a “V” shape when the bottom portion of the characters in the group are adjacent the bottom portion of the characters in the flipped mirror image as shown in FIG. 24. In the step of partially overlaying the group and the flipped mirror image, the letters “W” at the lower portion of the base pattern are completely overlaid while the letters “C” at the upper portion of the base pattern are only partially overlaid, as shown in FIG. 25. The custom jewelry apparatus that utilizes the base pattern of FIG. 25 is shown in FIG. 26.

Still another representation of the method of creating a jewelry apparatus are shown in FIGS. 27-29, with this representation having the five alphabetic letters of “S”, “I”, “M”, “O” and “N”. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 27, the characters are aligned vertically with the letters “S”, “NM”, and “N” adjacent and slightly touching one another and the letters “I” and “O” superimposed over the former three letters. In the step of partially overlaying the group and the flipped mirror image, the letters are completely overlaid with one another creating an obscure illusion of letters with indiscernible characters, as shown in FIG. 29.

Still further another representation of the method of creating a jewelry apparatus are shown in FIGS. 30-32, with this representation having the five numbers of “9”, “2”, “4”, “0” and “0”. The arrangement of characters is shown in FIG. 30. The step of creating a mirror image of the original group is shown in FIG. 31, and the final base pattern is shown in FIG. 32. These characters are arranged similar to that shown in FIGS. 19-22.

Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.