Title:
RING AND BRACELET COMBINATION DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ring and bracelet combination is formed from a plurality of segments pivotally linked together. Each segment has a digit sized opening therethrough. A decorative head is hingedly connected to the one end segment and a clasp is piviotally connected to another end segment. When the segments are end to end the combination is in a bracelet configuration, and when the segments are accordioned together with the openings aligned, the combination is in a ring configuration.



Inventors:
Spigner, Kathleen Hughes (Pasadena, CA, US)
Iskander, Nadia (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Flores, Ann M. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/957714
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/17/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/15
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl (PASADENA, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A ring and bracelet combination comprising: a) a plurality of segments hinged together with first and second end segments, each segment having a digit sized opening therethrough; b) a decorative head hingedly connected to the first end segment; and c) clasp means for connecting the head to the second end segment; wherein the combination has a bracelet configuration wherein the segments are end-to-end and a ring configuration when the segments are accordioned together with the segment openings aligned.

2. A method of transforming a ring into a bracelet comprising the steps of: a) selecting a ring and bracelet combination comprising (i) a plurality of segments hinged together with first and second end segments, each segment having a digit sized opening therethrough, the segments being collapsed together with the segment openings aligned; (ii) a decorative head hingedly connected to the first end segment; and (iii) clasp means pivotally connecting the second end segment to the head; and b) uncollapsing the segments so that they are in an end-to-end configuration.

3. A method of transforming a bracelet into a ring comprising the steps of: a) selecting a ring and bracelet combination comprising (i) a plurality of segments hinged together with first and second end segments, each segment having a digit sized opening therethrough, the segments being in an end-to-end configuration; (ii) a decorative head hingedly connected to the first end segment; and (iii) a clasp pivotally connected to the second end segment and head; and b) collapsing the segments together so that the segment openings are aligned.

4. The combination of claim 1 comprising a gem stone on the decorative head

5. The combination of claim 1 where the length of the segments, end to end, is from about 4 to about 12 inches.

6. The combination of claim 1 wherein the openings in the segments corresponding to the ring size is about 3 to about 16.

7. The combination of claim 1 wherein the clasp means is a bayonet type clasp.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein a portion of the clasp means is connected to the second end segment.

9. The combination of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of the clasp means is pivotally attached to the second end segment.

10. The combination of claim 1 wherein a portion of the clasp means is secured to the decorative head.

Description:

BACKGROUND

As the price of precious metals and jewels such as diamonds increases, jewelry becomes more expensive. The cost to purchase a ring and bracelet made of precious metals and valuable jewels can easily be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Accordingly it would be desirable for a single piece of jewelry to serve two purposes, such as being suitable for use either as a bracelet or a ring.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides such a piece of jewelry. In particular, according to the present invention a ring and bracelet combination is made up of plurality of segments hinged together, each segment having a digit sized opening therethrough. There are first and second end segments. A decorative head is pivotally connected to the first end segment and a clasp is pivotally connected to the second end segment for connecting the head to the second end segment. This combination has two configurations. In a bracelet configuration, the segments are end to end. In a ring configuration the segments are accordioned together with the segment openings aligned.

In use, the combination can be easily converted from a ring to a bracelet by uncollapsing the segments, or from a bracelet to a ring by collapsing the segments together.

DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a bracelet/ring combination according to the present invention where the segments are in an end to end configuration and not clasped together;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the combination of FIG. 1 in a bracelet configuration; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a combination of FIG. 1 in a ring configuration.

DESCRIPTION

A ring and bracelet combination 10 having features of the present invention is formed from a plurality of segments 12 hingedly connected to each other with hinges 14. There are opposed first and second end segments 16 and 17. First end segment 16 is pivotally attached to a decorative head 18 and the second end segment 17 is provided with at least a portion of clasp means 20, also referred to as a clasp, which optionally is pivotally attached to the second end segment 17. The clasp 20 is used for attaching end segment 17 to the head 18.

Each segment 12 has a central digit sized opening 22 therethrough. The openings 22 are substantially the same size and have a substantially circular configuration so that the combination 10, in a ring configuration, as shown in FIG. 3, can slide over a digit. Typically the digit is a finger, but it can just as well be a toe.

For aesthetic reasons and for comfort when the combination 10 is a ring, it is preferred that the periphery 24 of segments 12 be substantially identical, although this is not required. Thus, generally the segments 12 are substantially identical.

The size of the openings 22 depends on the size of the digits of the person wearing the combination. It is typically a ring size 3 to 16, with an average ring size being about 6 to 6½. For a particular person it can be slightly larger than their normal ring size due to the thickness of the combination 16 in the ring configuration.

The clasp means 20 shown in the drawings is a bayonet type clasp, having a projection 20′ that slides into a receiving slot (not shown) in the head 18. The projection 20′ and the receiving slot together provide a clasp means. However, any conventional jewelry clasp used for holding ends of a bracelet together can be used on the clasp means, such as hooks, magnetic clasps, springs, and the like.

The head 18 is decorative. For example, for a diamond ring/diamond bracelet the head 18 can have mounted thereon a diamond 26. Any gem suitable for use for rings and bracelets can be used, such as a diamond, ruby, emerald, and even inexpensive stones. It is not necessary that there be a gem on the head 18.

All of the segments 12 and the head 18 can be made of same material or different materials. Materials suitable are plastics and metal, and preferably precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.

To obtain a bracelet configuration as shown in FIG. 2, all that is necessary is to clasp the two end segments 16 and 17 together using the clasp means 20.

To achieve the ring configuration shown in FIG. 3, all that is necessary is to take the bracelet configuration shown in FIG. 2 and collapse the segments together, i.e., accordion them together, with the openings 22 aligned. To change from the ring configuration of FIG. 3 to the bracelet configuration of FIG. 2 all that is required is that the segments 12 be uncollapsed.

The length of the combination in the configuration shown in FIG. 1, in an end-to-end configuration not including the clasp, is typically from about 4 to about 12 inches, with a preferred length of about 7 to about 8 inches. If the bracelet is to be used for an ankle bracelet, then the size is larger typically by about 2 inches.

Typically there are from about six to about ten segments, and most preferably about eight segments.

The thickness of the segments is from about 0.1 to about 0.2 inches. If the thickness is less than about 0.1 inches, there could be durability problems. If the thickness is greater than about 0.2 inch, the combination becomes uncomfortably bulky in the ring configuration.

Preferably, in the ring configuration, the length of the ring is from about 0.25 to about 0.5 inch, and preferably about 0.35 inch for an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable ring.

A typical width of each segment is about 0.6 to about one inch. If it is larger than about one inch, it can be uncomfortable to wear in the ring configuration. If it is smaller than about 0.6 inch, there could be insufficient wall thickness in the region 28 shown in FIG. 1 due to the need to have a large enough opening to accommodate a person's digit. The width varies with the ring size where the larger the ring size, the larger the width. For durability, the wall thickness between the segment opening 22 and the periphery 24 of the segment is at least 0.1 inch, and probably about 0.2 inch.

Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred version thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not necessarily be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.

All features disclosed in the specification, including the claims, abstracts, and drawings, and all the steps in any method or process disclosed, may be combined in any combination, except combinations where at least some of such features and/or steps are mutually exclusive. Each feature disclosed in the specification, including the claims, abstract, and drawings, can be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means” for performing a specified function or “step” for performing a specified function, should not be interpreted as a “means step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. §112.