US20080022718A1 - Jewelry article - Google Patents

Jewelry article Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080022718A1
US20080022718A1 US11/834,272 US83427207A US2008022718A1 US 20080022718 A1 US20080022718 A1 US 20080022718A1 US 83427207 A US83427207 A US 83427207A US 2008022718 A1 US2008022718 A1 US 2008022718A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
support
holes
tube
shell
bead
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/834,272
Inventor
Ronald Pratt
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RONALD PRATT COMPANY Inc
Original Assignee
Ronald Pratt
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US7659405A priority Critical
Priority to US11/352,051 priority patent/US7409763B2/en
Application filed by Ronald Pratt filed Critical Ronald Pratt
Priority to US11/834,272 priority patent/US20080022718A1/en
Publication of US20080022718A1 publication Critical patent/US20080022718A1/en
Assigned to RONALD PRATT COMPANY, INC. reassignment RONALD PRATT COMPANY, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PRATT, RONALD
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CPERSONAL ADORNMENTS, e.g. JEWELLERY; COINS
    • A44C11/00Watch chains; Ornamental chains
    • A44C11/002Ornamental chains composed of pearls

Abstract

A jewelry article includes an elongated support and a multiplicity of beads strung along the support. At least one of the beads constitutes a stopping bead consisting of a substantially closed hollow metal shell with a pair of holes sized to slideably receive the support. A heat shrink tube is positioned inside the shell with its opposite ends captured by portions of said shell around the holes. When heated, the tube shrinks radially into conformance with the support so as to permanently anchor the bead to the support.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 11/352,051, filed Feb. 10, 2006, which is a continuation of Ser. No. 11/076,594, filed Mar. 10, 2005, now abandoned.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This invention relates to jewelry. It relates more particularly to such jewelry consisting of hollow beads and similar ornaments strung on a support such as a chain or wire which can be engaged around a person's neck, wrist or ankle. In some cases, the beads are spaced apart along the support; in other cases, they are arranged in groups which groups are spaced apart along the support. In either event, steps must be taken to provide stops for at least some of the beads to maintain the proper spacing of the individual beads or groups of beads along the support and to prevent them from sliding off the support in the event the support should break.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • In conventional necklaces, bracelets and the like, the positions of some or all of the beads on the support are fixed by stops which may consist of drops of solder on the support that bracket each bead or group of beads. In the case where the support is a chain or wire, the chain or wire may be deformed to form a flat which cannot pass through the holes in the adjacent beads. In both cases, the stops, being located in the support outside the beads, may be visible and thus detract from the ornamental appearance of the necklace, bracelet or the like.
  • The conventional methods for locking beads are disadvantaged also in that the stops must be provided at the time the jewelry article is being assembled. This means that the arrangement of beads on the necklace, bracelet or the like is fixed by the time it is purchased by a customer. Thereafter, there is no possibility of reconfiguring the beads on the jewelry article.
  • To address this problem, I have recently developed self-stopping beads which can be adjustably positioned on their supports; see U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,376. Such beads allow a purchaser of a jewelry article to reposition the beads on their support to suit the desires of that purchaser. The self-stopping bead described in that patent consists of a shell having aligned holes for stringing the shell on a support. A plastic tube extends between the holes within the shell, the inner diameter of that tube being smaller than the diameter of the holes. When the bead is strung on a support such as a chain, the inner wall of the tube frictionally engages the links of the chain thereby holding the bead at a fixed location along the bead unless the bead is slid along the chain with sufficient force to overcome that frictional engagement.
  • While that patented bead performs its stopping function quite well, it is disadvantaged somewhat in that it is difficult to initially string the beads along a chain or other support because the inner wall of the included plastic tube is smaller than the bead holes so that the tube frictionally engages the chain or other support during the stringing process. Of course, increasing the inner diameter of the plastic tube in that patented bead would defeat the purpose of the invention there. In other words, the same feature which gives that prior bead its superior adjustable self-stopping function, also makes it more difficult to string that bead on its support in the first place. Bearing in mind that a given necklace may have a large number of my prior beads, the process of stringing a necklace with those beads can be a tedious and time consuming task.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Accordingly, it is an object to the present invention to provide a necklace, bracelet, anklet or other beaded jewelry article whose beads can be strung easily on that article's chain or other support, yet can be permanently fixed easily at selected locations along that support.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a jewelry article comprising a plurality of beads or hollow ornaments strung on a support wherein the beads or other ornaments can be permanently fixed at selected locations along the support at any time after the manufacture and assembly of the article.
  • A further object of the invention is to provide a hollow jewelry bead or ornament which can be made and sold in quantity for subsequent stringing on a chain or other support after which the bead may be permanently stopped or locked at a selected location along the support by means located entirely within the bead and not on the support.
  • Other objects will, in part, be obvious and will, in part, appear hereinafter.
  • The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the following detailed description, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
  • Briefly, jewelry incorporating my invention includes an elongated slender support having strung thereon a multiplicity of beads and/or ornaments one or more of which is a special locking bead whose position along the support may be permanently fixed by means located entirely within that bead and not on the support. This allows the beads or other ornaments on the support to be spaced apart along the support or to be grouped along the support to suit the desires of the purchaser or wearer of the jewelry.
  • As will be described in more detail later, each of the locking beads comprises a hollow metal shell having a pair of diametrically opposite holes therein through which the chain or other bead support may be threaded. The bead has incorporated therein at the time of its manufacture a plastic tube which is aligned with the holes in the shell and held in place by the wall portions of the shell around those holes so that the tube remains aligned with the holes. Preferably, the inside diameter of the plastic tube is no smaller than the holes in the shell so that the bead support may be threaded easily through the holes in the bead when stringing the bead.
  • In accordance with the invention, the aforesaid plastic tube is a so-called heat shrink tube of the type commonly used for many years in the electronics industry to insulate wire connections.
  • The terms “heat shrink tube,” “heat shrink tubing” and “heat shrinkable tubing” as used herein mean a species of thin-wall engineered plastic tubing which has been cross-linked to obtain a so-called “elastic memory” effect. This species of tubing with a heat-retrievable elastic memory is to be distinguished from generic thermoplastic tubing which does not have such a memory. During manufacture of a heat shrink tube, irradiation fixes or stabilizes the original diameter of the tube. When that tube is heated above the temperature at which the unirradiated thermoplastic material would melt, i.e. the crystalline melting point, the tube becomes elastic and can be expanded to at least twice its original unstressed diameter. When cooled, the material recrystallizes and tube maintains its expanded diameter but retains the “memory” of its original unstressed diameter. When heated again above the crystalline melting point, the tube contracts radially by 50% to its original diameter. Such tubing is described in detail, for example, in widely available publications such as Applications for Radiation Processing of Materials by M. R. Cleland, M. A. Parks and S. Chung, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.
  • Thus, heat shrink tubing has been very well known for many years and is usually sold in its radially expanded state. In this state, it may be slid onto an article such as an electrical wire connection and subsequently reheated to a temperature above the crystalline melting point by a heat source such as a torch, hair dryer, match, candle, etc. When so reheated, the tube shrinks toward its previously memorized unstressed smaller diameter until the tube assumes more or less the shape of that connection or whatever else is in the tube. Thus in the present context, upon the application of heat, the heat shrink tube shrinks radially into the conformance with the support onto which the bead is strung.
  • Jewelry beads and other similar ornaments equipped with such internal heat shrinkable tubing can be sold in quantity to a jeweler who may string the beads easily on a chain or other support and subsequently stop or lock selected stopping beads by applying heat to those beads. That heat will radially shrink the heat shrink tubes within those stopping beads by as much as 50% or more allowing the jeweler to space or group the beads as desired along the support. Alternatively, the jeweler may sell the necklace or other jewelry article to a customer who may perform the heating step on the stopping bead(s) so that beads on a given necklace may be spaced or grouped along the support as desired by that customer.
  • By implementing my invention, a wide variety of different bead or ornament placements and groupings are possible for a given piece of jewelry such as a necklace, bracelet, anklet, brooch, earring, belt, etc.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • For a fuller understanding the nature and the objects of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a beaded necklace including locking beads incorporating my invention positioned at different elevations on the necklace support to establish different bead groupings on that support;
  • FIG. 2A is a view in medial section on a much larger scale showing one of the locking beads in the FIG. 1 necklace before the bead locking function is implemented, and
  • FIG. 2B is a similar view showing the same bead after the bead locking function is implemented.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT
  • Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, a necklace 10 incorporating the invention is shown hung around a wearer's neck N. The illustrated necklace includes a bead support 12 in the form of a chain composed of interlocking links 12 a which may be of any metal or other material suitable for making jewelry. Of course, other bead supports are possible including strings, wires, tubes, etc. The illustrated necklace 10 has beads 14 and a plurality of special locking beads 16. The various beads 14 are arranged in groups with those groups being maintained at selected positions along support 12 by the locking beads 16 which may be permanently fixed to the support. Of course, in another necklace, all of the beads on support 12 may be locking beads 16 spaced apart along the support.
  • While necklace 10 has only one ornamental strand, it is obvious that the invention can be incorporated into a multiple strand necklace, bracelet, anklet, etc. which would allow a variety of different bead spacings and groupings along the different strands.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, each locking bead 16 comprises a thin shell 18 of any metal or alloy for making jewelry, e.g. gold, silver, platinum, stainless steel, brass, etc. The shell 18 has a pair of diametrically opposite holes 22 sized to slideably receive the support 12 so that the bead 16 can be strung easily on the support. At the time of its formation, the shell 18 is provided with an internal plastic tube 24 whose inside surface is preferably aligned with the edges of holes 22.
  • In accordance with the invention, the tube 24 is a so called heat-shrinkable tube, as defined above, commonly used in the electrical industry to sheathe wire connections so as to insulate those connections.
  • Tube 24 may be incorporated into bead 16 at the time of its manufacture by the method disclosed in my U.S. Pat. No. 6,722,036, the contents of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference. The inside diameter of the tube should be more or less the same as the diameter of holes 22 in the shell 18 and the outside diameter of the tube should be slightly larger than those holes so that the tube is somewhat compressed lengthwise between the shell material around the holes whereby the tube remains aligned with the holes even if the bead should be impacted or jostled. Thus, the bead holes 22 as well as the tube 24 are sized so that the beads can be strung easily on the chain 12. In other words, the links 12 a of the illustrated chain are rather loosely received within both the bead holes and the tube so that the beads 16 can be positioned easily at selected locations along the chain 12.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2B, after the beads 16 have been properly positioned along support 12, they may be permanently fixed or anchored at those locations by heating each bead 16 using a suitable heat source represented by the candle C in FIG. 2B. Since the shell 18 is of metal which is a thermally conductive material, the heating of each bead will cause the tube 24 within each bead to heat up and shrink radially as shown at 24′ so that the inner wall of tube 24′ will engage around and assume the contours of support 12 as shown in FIG. 2B, thereby permanently anchoring each bead 16 to the support. Due to the tight engagement of the ends of the tube 24′ against the inner wall of the shell 18, the ends of that tube do not shrink as much as the middle segment of the tube so that the tube ends do not project through the holes 22 in the shell. It is important to note that each bead 16 is locked or fixed to the chain by means located entirely within each bead and without any alteration or deformation of support 12. Therefore, the bead locking function does not detract from the beauty of the necklace or other jewelry article.
  • It will thus be seen in the objects set forth above among those made apparent from the preceding description are efficiently attained. Also, since certain changes may be made in carrying out the above method and in the construction set forth without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
  • It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention described herein.

Claims (4)

1. A jewelry article comprising an elongated slender support and at least one locking bead strung on the support, each locking bead including a substantially closed hollow metal shell having a pair of holes therein sized to readily receive the support, and a heat shrink tube positioned inside the shell between the holes, said tube having opposite ends captured by portions of said shell around the holes and heat shrunk radially into substantial conformance with said support thereby permanently anchoring said locking bead to the support.
2. The jewelry article defined in claim 1 wherein the support comprises a metal chain.
3. A jewelry article comprising a substantially closed hollow metal shell having a pair of holes therein, and a heat shrink tube inside the shell in alignment with the holes, said tube having opposite ends captured by portions of said shell around the holes and a passage extending between said ends whose cross section is no smaller than that of said holes so that an elongated support may be threaded easily through the holes and said passage, said tube having a crystalline melting point and an elastic memory that may be retrieved by heating the tube above said crystalline melting point causing it to shrink radially until it substantially conforms to the support.
4. A jewelry article comprising a substantially closed hollow metal shell having a pair of holes therein and a heat-shrinkable crosslinked irradiated thermoplastic tube positioned inside the shell in alignment with the holes, said tube having a stressed inner diameter comparable to that of the holes but which possesses a heat-retrievable elastic memory of in inherent unstressed inner diameter that is at least 50% smaller than that of the holes.
US11/834,272 2005-03-10 2007-08-06 Jewelry article Abandoned US20080022718A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US7659405A true 2005-03-10 2005-03-10
US11/352,051 US7409763B2 (en) 2005-03-10 2006-02-10 Jewelry bead and method of stringing same
US11/834,272 US20080022718A1 (en) 2005-03-10 2007-08-06 Jewelry article

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/834,272 US20080022718A1 (en) 2005-03-10 2007-08-06 Jewelry article

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/352,051 Continuation-In-Part US7409763B2 (en) 2005-03-10 2006-02-10 Jewelry bead and method of stringing same

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US20080022718A1 true US20080022718A1 (en) 2008-01-31

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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9451813B1 (en) * 2014-06-04 2016-09-27 National Chain Company Method of making self-stopping beads
US10000008B2 (en) 2014-12-01 2018-06-19 Alex Toys, Llc Bracelet mold and method of use
US10016928B2 (en) 2014-12-01 2018-07-10 Alex Toys, Llc Ring mold and method of use
US10081747B2 (en) 2014-06-18 2018-09-25 Klingspor Ag Multilayer abrasive particle
US10308851B2 (en) * 2013-12-19 2019-06-04 Klingspor Ag Abrasive particle and abrasive exhibiting high grinding performance
USD914531S1 (en) * 2019-09-27 2021-03-30 Egjhz, Llc Bracelet

Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3284882A (en) * 1963-05-13 1966-11-15 Comunita Dei Cisterciensi Rifo Process of embodying chaplets with beads made of coconut husk material or the like fixed on a continuous chain
US5070586A (en) * 1989-10-16 1991-12-10 D. Swarovski & Co. Compound of gems and a method of producing it
US5584195A (en) * 1994-02-22 1996-12-17 Liu; Si-Jiu Wrist writing instrument
US5609289A (en) * 1995-06-01 1997-03-11 Precision Etchings & Findings, Inc. Method of making square jewelry beads
US6026571A (en) * 1997-10-20 2000-02-22 Industrial Strength Corporation Method of connecting a stem to a base of an article of jewelry
US6470571B1 (en) * 1999-03-02 2002-10-29 Namiki Co., Ltd. Method for producing a decorated adjuster for a necklace or choker
US20020166339A1 (en) * 1999-05-24 2002-11-14 Adelman Stuart J. Jewelry, jewelry design and method and apparatus therefor
US6557376B2 (en) * 2001-04-13 2003-05-06 Ronald Pratt Adjustable self-stopping strung beads and method of making same
US20030154742A1 (en) * 2002-02-21 2003-08-21 Planet Co. Jewel and personal ornament
US6739052B2 (en) * 2002-04-19 2004-05-25 Ronald Pratt Method of making striped metal beads
US20040129023A1 (en) * 2002-12-23 2004-07-08 Bernhard Hofer String of beads

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3284882A (en) * 1963-05-13 1966-11-15 Comunita Dei Cisterciensi Rifo Process of embodying chaplets with beads made of coconut husk material or the like fixed on a continuous chain
US5070586A (en) * 1989-10-16 1991-12-10 D. Swarovski & Co. Compound of gems and a method of producing it
US5584195A (en) * 1994-02-22 1996-12-17 Liu; Si-Jiu Wrist writing instrument
US5609289A (en) * 1995-06-01 1997-03-11 Precision Etchings & Findings, Inc. Method of making square jewelry beads
US6026571A (en) * 1997-10-20 2000-02-22 Industrial Strength Corporation Method of connecting a stem to a base of an article of jewelry
US6470571B1 (en) * 1999-03-02 2002-10-29 Namiki Co., Ltd. Method for producing a decorated adjuster for a necklace or choker
US20020166339A1 (en) * 1999-05-24 2002-11-14 Adelman Stuart J. Jewelry, jewelry design and method and apparatus therefor
US6557376B2 (en) * 2001-04-13 2003-05-06 Ronald Pratt Adjustable self-stopping strung beads and method of making same
US6722036B2 (en) * 2001-04-13 2004-04-20 Ronald Pratt Method of making self-stopping beads
US20030154742A1 (en) * 2002-02-21 2003-08-21 Planet Co. Jewel and personal ornament
US6901771B2 (en) * 2002-02-21 2005-06-07 Planet Co. Jewel and personal ornament
US6739052B2 (en) * 2002-04-19 2004-05-25 Ronald Pratt Method of making striped metal beads
US20040129023A1 (en) * 2002-12-23 2004-07-08 Bernhard Hofer String of beads

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10308851B2 (en) * 2013-12-19 2019-06-04 Klingspor Ag Abrasive particle and abrasive exhibiting high grinding performance
US9451813B1 (en) * 2014-06-04 2016-09-27 National Chain Company Method of making self-stopping beads
US9808056B1 (en) * 2014-06-04 2017-11-07 National Chain Company Self stopping bead with outer shell and inner resilient tube
US10081747B2 (en) 2014-06-18 2018-09-25 Klingspor Ag Multilayer abrasive particle
US10000008B2 (en) 2014-12-01 2018-06-19 Alex Toys, Llc Bracelet mold and method of use
US10016928B2 (en) 2014-12-01 2018-07-10 Alex Toys, Llc Ring mold and method of use
USD914531S1 (en) * 2019-09-27 2021-03-30 Egjhz, Llc Bracelet

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Legal Events

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AS Assignment

Owner name: RONALD PRATT COMPANY, INC.,RHODE ISLAND

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PRATT, RONALD;REEL/FRAME:023909/0566

Effective date: 20090415

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION