US20150089976A1 - Jewelry and/or holder for coins or other objects - Google Patents

Jewelry and/or holder for coins or other objects Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150089976A1
US20150089976A1 US14/472,517 US201414472517A US2015089976A1 US 20150089976 A1 US20150089976 A1 US 20150089976A1 US 201414472517 A US201414472517 A US 201414472517A US 2015089976 A1 US2015089976 A1 US 2015089976A1
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Prior art keywords
piece
frame
recloseable
closed
disk
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Abandoned
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US14/472,517
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Eric Alulis
Paul Alulis
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Eric Alulis
Paul Alulis
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Application filed by Eric Alulis, Paul Alulis filed Critical Eric Alulis
Priority to US14/472,517 priority patent/US20150089976A1/en
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Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CPERSONAL ADORNMENTS, e.g. JEWELLERY; COINS
    • A44C25/00Miscellaneous fancy ware for personal wear, e.g. pendants, crosses, crucifixes, charms
    • A44C25/001Pendants
    • A44C25/002Pendants forming a container, e.g. for pictures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CPERSONAL ADORNMENTS, e.g. JEWELLERY; COINS
    • A44C15/00Other forms of jewellery
    • A44C15/003Jewellery holding or retaining articles, e.g. eyeglasses
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CPERSONAL ADORNMENTS, e.g. JEWELLERY; COINS
    • A44C17/00Gems or the like
    • A44C17/02Settings for holding gems or the like, e.g. for ornaments or decorations
    • A44C17/0208Settings for holding gems or the like, e.g. for ornaments or decorations removable
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CPERSONAL ADORNMENTS, e.g. JEWELLERY; COINS
    • A44C5/00Bracelets; Wrist-watch straps; Fastenings for bracelets or wrist-watch straps
    • A44C5/18Fasteners for straps, chains or the like
    • A44C5/20Fasteners for straps, chains or the like for open straps, chains or the like
    • A44C5/2071Fasteners for straps, chains or the like for open straps, chains or the like with the two ends of the strap or chain overlapping each other and fastened by an action perpendicularly to the main plane of these two ends

Abstract

A recloseable frame for securing an insert therein.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to and benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 61/885,279, filed Oct. 1, 2013, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety as if fully set forth herein.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The present invention is generally directed to jewelry and, more specifically, to frames configured to be hung on a chain or other object.
  • It may be advantageous to provide a frame that is preferably: conveniently recloseable; resistant to opening accidentally, a recloseable frame that is generally seamless, and/or a recloseable holder/frame where the force applied to the frame when the recloseable frame is hanging from a chain (or other object) is in a generally opposite direction than required to unlock and move the recloseable frame into an open position.
  • SUMMARY
  • Briefly speaking, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable disk frame configured to be carried on a chain. The recloseable disk frame includes a first piece and a second piece that are both generally semicircular in shape and have generally the same radius of curvature. The first piece includes first and second ends, and, the second piece includes third and fourth ends. The second end of the first piece and the fourth end of the second piece are pivotally connected such that the first piece and the second piece are configured for movement between a first open position in which a disk can be inserted therebetween and a second closed position in which the first and second pieces form a single annular member. At least one of the first piece or the second piece further includes a hoop extending radially outwardly. The hoop is configured for receiving the chain therethrough. The hoop is further configured such that when the first and second piece are in the second closed position, displacement of the hoop radially inwardly disengages the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame. The recloseable frame includes a first piece and a second piece. The first piece includes first and second ends, and, the second piece includes third and fourth ends. The second end of the first piece and the fourth end of the second piece are pivotally connected such that the first piece and the second piece are configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therebetween and a second closed position in which the first and second pieces form a single continuous member. At least one of the first piece or the second piece further includes a projection extending outwardly. The projection is configured such that when the first and second piece are in the second closed position, displacement of the projection inwardly disengages the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position to the open position.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therein and a second closed position in which the frame can secure an object therein. The frame being configured such that when hung, the weight of the frame creates a force in an opposite direction to that necessary to open the frame.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therein and a second closed position in which the frame can secure an object therein. The frame being configured such that spacer bars are used to secure the object within the frame.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therein and a second closed position in which the frame can secure an object therein. The frame being configured such that an elastic membrane is used to secure the object within the frame.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therein and a second closed position in which the frame can secure an object therein. Gems are preferably spaced about the perimeter of the frame such that depression of a single gem disengages the frame for movement from the second closed position to the first open position.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therein and a second closed position in which the frame can secure an object therein. Gems are preferably spaced about the perimeter of the frame such that depression of a single gem disengages the frame for movement from the second closed position to the first open position. A hoop may be located on the frame proximate to the single gem such that the hoop discourages accidental depression of the single gem.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured for movement between a first open position in which an object can be inserted therein and a second closed position in which the frame can secure an object therein. Gems are preferably spaced about the perimeter of the frame such that depression of a single gem disengages the frame for movement from the second closed position to the first open position. A hoop may be located on the frame proximate to the single gem such that a portion of the hoop extends at least partially over the single gem to discourage accidental depression of the single gem.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The first piece having a first end. The second piece having a third end configured to detachably engage the first end of the first piece. The first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which an insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body. A hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for engaging an object. When the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop inwardly the single annular member disengages the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position.
  • In a separate aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method of providing a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The method includes the steps of: providing a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece, the first piece has a first end and the second piece has a third end, the first piece and the second piece form pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which the insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body, and providing a hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for receiving an object, when the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop inwardly disengages the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The first and second pieces being connected by at least one additional piece that forms the frame body. The first piece having a first end. The second piece having a third end configured to detachably engage the first end of the first piece. The first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which an insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body. A hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for engaging an object. When the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop inwardly the single annular member disengages the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The first piece having a first end. The second piece having a third end configured to detachably engage the first end of the first piece. The first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which an insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which an insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body. A hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for engaging an object. When the frame is hung by the hoop the weight of the frame creates a force that acts against disengaging the first and second pieces to move the frame from the second closed position.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which an insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body. When the frame body is hung the weight of the frame creates a force that acts against disengaging the first and second pieces to move the frame from the second closed position.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The at least first and second pieces having holding members protruding inwardly from the at least first and second pieces and configured to secure the insert in at least one direction. The holding members being aesthetically appealing such as letters that combine to form a word.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The at least first and second pieces having holding members protruding inwardly from the at least first and second pieces and configured to secure the insert in at least one direction. The holding members being jewelry settings containing a stone, jewel, or other object therein.
  • In another aspect, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert. The recloseable frame may include a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece. The at least first and second pieces having holding members protruding inwardly from the at least first and second pieces and configured to secure the insert in at least one direction.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It is understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a recloseable frame according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention; the frame may be disk shaped; the recloseable disk frame is illustrated in the closed position generally without engineering lines, i.e. a seamless, annular piece with no mating lines prominently shown; the recloseable disk frame encloses a disk-shaped insert; a hoop extends radially outwardly from the recloseable disk frame and may receive a chain or other object therethrough; the hoop may be displaced radially inwardly to allow the recloseable disk frame to move from the closed position to an open position; although a preferred configuration of the hoop is shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that any suitable hoop or connector configuration can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of recloseable disk frame of FIG. 1 with mechanical attributes shown; the recloseable disk frame comprises first and second pieces that are both generally semicircular in shape and have generally the same radius of curvature; the first piece comprises first and second ends, and, the second piece comprises third and fourth ends; the second and fourth ends are pivotally connected; the first end has a tongue corresponding to and configured to rest in a groove in the third end when the first and second pieces are in the closed position; the hoop preferably extends radially outwardly from a first circumferential end of the latch, and, is configured to receive a chain or other object therethrough; the hoop may be displaced radially inwardly, thereby displacing the first circumferential end of the latch radially inwardly, in order to move the second circumferential end of the latch radially outwardly to allow the recloseable disk frame to move from the closed position to an open position;
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial view of the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 2; the hoop has been displaced radially inwardly thereby rotating the latch about its pivot point; the rotation of the latch results in the first circumferential end of the latch being displaced radially inwardly, and, the second circumferential end of the latch being displaced radially outwardly; the first and second pieces have begun to move from the closed position to the open position;
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged, partial perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of the present invention similar to that of FIG. 1; in this alternative embodiment of the recloseable disk frame, the hoop outwardly extends from a portion of the second piece that is adjacent to the latch and is not configured to be displaced radially inwardly; the outer circumferential surface of the first and second pieces have gems that extend radially outwardly with respect to the first and second pieces; the latch has gems on both circumferential ends; the gem on the first circumferential end of the latch is configured for displacement in the radially inward direction in order to rotate the latch about its pivot axis; one advantage of this embodiment is that opening of the latch can be performed without a tool as one of the gems forms an easy to finger-operate structure for depressing part of the latch; the preferred placement of the hoop proximate to the gem which needs to be depressed to disengage the latch also reduces the instances of accidental disengagement as the hoop effectively forms a shield against radially inward pressing of the gem needed to disengage the latch; it is preferred, but not necessary, that the degrees of arc between the hoop and the gem which needs to be depressed to disengage the latch is between approximately one degree and fifteen degrees; it is more preferred, but not necessary, that the degrees of arc between the hoop and the gem which needs to be depressed to disengage the latch is between approximately one degree and ten degrees; it is more preferred still, but not necessary, that the degrees of arc between the hoop and the gem which needs to be depressed to disengage the latch is between approximately one degree and five degrees; it is more preferred, but not necessary, that the degrees of arc between the hoop and the gem (“gem of interest”) which needs to be depressed to disengage the latch is between approximately one degree and ten degrees and that a portion of the hoop extends over the gem of interest such that a radial axis of the frame intersects both the gem of interest and the portion of the hoop extending thereover;
  • FIG. 5 is a partial, reduced view of the frame of FIG. 4 where the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece have begun to separate; the gem on the first circumferential end of the latch is displaced radially inwardly thereby rotating the latch about its pivot point; the rotation of the latch results in the first circumferential end of the latch being displaced radially inwardly, and, the second circumferential end of the latch being displaced radially outwardly; the first and second pieces have begun to move from the closed position to the open position;
  • FIG. 6 is an enlarged, broken away, cross sectional view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 2 as taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 2; the channel formed in the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces is shown in dashed lines; the pivot connections between the second and fourth ends of the first and second pieces, respectively, can be seen; the pivot connection between the latch and the second piece is shown; it can clearly be seen how each surface of the first end of the first piece and third end of the second piece correspond to each other in order to form a seamless, annular member when the first and second pieces are in the closed position;
  • FIG. 7 is another enlarged, broken away, cross sectional view of recloseable disk frame of FIG. 2 as taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 2; how the latch, tongue, and groove interact when the recloseable disk frame is in the closed position is shown; the cam of the latch is in contact with the third circumferential end of the tongue; the radially inward portion of the latch is inside the radially inward depression of the tongue that is created by the projection on the tongue and the first end of the first piece; the base of the channel is shown in solid lines and the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces is shown in dashed lines as it is obscured by the object secured by the frame;
  • FIG. 8 is an enlarged, broken away, cross-sectional view similar to that of FIG. 7 wherein the hoop and the first circumferential end of the latch are displaced radially inwardly thereby displacing the second circumferential end of the latch outwardly; as the latch rotates about its pivot point, the cam of the latch maintains contact with the third circumferential end of the tongue until the first and second pieces move with respect to each other from the closed position to the open position; a portion of the cam breaks the circumferential plane of the annular channel; although a preferred configuration of the latch is shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that any suitable latch configuration can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention;
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 2 wherein the recloseable disk frame is in the open position; the channel on the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces can be seen; the circumferential projection of the first piece can be seen projecting radially inwardly with respect to the channel of the second piece; by placing a disk-shaped insert between the first and second pieces such that the disk-shaped insert is axially aligned with the channel, the disk-shaped insert may be fixed with respect to the recloseable disk frame by moving the first and second pieces into the closed position thereby enclosing the disk-shaped insert; while a preferred configuration of the channel having a generally rectilinear radial cross-section is shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the radial cross section of the channel can be triangular, trapezoidal, semi-circular, or the like without departing from the scope of the present invention;
  • FIG. 10 is an enlarged, perspective view of the third end of the second piece of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 5; the first circumferential end of the latch is partially displaced radially inwardly; the latch has a radially inward portion; the surfaces of the third end of the second piece are shown; as can be seen, some of the surfaces of the third end are rounded, and, some are straight; while a preferred configuration of the tongue and groove is shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that any suitable interlocking configuration can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention;
  • FIG. 11 is an enlarged, perspective view of the tongue of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 2; the tongue may have a radially outward projection thereby defining a radial depression; the surfaces of the first end of the first piece are shown; as can bee seen, some of the surfaces of the first end are rounded, and, some are straight; each of the surfaces of the first end mimic the surfaces of the third end thereby allowing a seamless, annular member when the recloseable disk frame is in the closed position;
  • FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of recloseable disk frame of FIG. 13 as taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 13 illustrating the preferred spacing between the insert and the base of the channel in locations that are devoid of spacer bars;
  • FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 7 showing how spacer bars may optionally be used to secure an insert therein, the spacer bars project generally radially inwardly from the channel as shown; the spacer bars may have a round shape and may be composed of the same material as the first and second pieces; the dashed line around the inside of the annular member is the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces, showing that the channel and spacer bars have a greater radial distance than the axial ends of the first and second pieces; the disk-shaped insert can be seen contacting each of the spacer bars; the spacer bars apply a pressure to the disk-shaped insert in order to reduce or prevent movement and/or rotation of the disk-shaped insert; in addition, the spacer bars leave a gap between the disk-shaped insert and the channel thereby allowing the cam of the latch to project radially inwardly with respect to the channel when the hoop is displaced radially inwardly;
  • FIG. 14 is a cross sectional view of recloseable disk frame of FIG. 13 as taken along the line 14-14 of FIG. 13 illustrating the preferred abutment of the insert with a spacer bar;
  • FIG. 15 is a third preferred embodiment of the recloseable disk frame of the present invention; an elastic member may be placed in the channel of the recloseable disk frame to reduce or prevent rotation of the disk-shaped insert; the elastic member is annular and can be enclosed by the recloseable disk frame to prevent the elastic member from moving with respect to the recloseable disk frame; the elastic member may deform when a disk-shaped object, having a slightly larger diameter than the minimum diameter of the elastic member, is placed in the elastic member, thereby securing the disk-shaped insert in place relative to the recloseable disk frame;
  • FIG. 16 is a cross sectional view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 15 as taken along the line 16-16 in FIG. 15; the radial thickness of the elastic member, shown with thick black lines, with respect to the first and second pieces can be seen; the channel holds the elastic member in place; however, there need not be a channel; instead, an elastic member may be fixed to the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces by adhesive, or the like; the elastic member may have an axial length equal to that of the recloseable disk frame; in addition, the elastic member may have its own channel located in the same axial location, and being of similar axial length, as the channel formed in the first and second pieces; the channel of the elastic member may achieve its increased radial distance, with respect to the axial ends of the elastic member, by rounded surfaces extending radially outwards from the axial ends of the elastic member;
  • FIG. 17 is a fourth preferred embodiment of the recloseable disk frame of the present invention; this embodiment may have all the elements of the preferred embodiment with the addition of holding elements on both axial ends of the first and second pieces; the holding elements are spaced about the circumference of the first and second pieces and project radially inwardly with respect to the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces; the holding members help to fix the disk-shaped insert with respect to the recloseable disk frame in at least an axial direction and may be adapted to look aesthetically pleasing to observers; as an example, the holding members may be letters which cooperate together to form a word;
  • FIG. 18 is a cross sectional view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 17 taken at the location of a holding member; it can clearly be seen that the holding members are located on both axial ends of the recloseable disk frame; the holding members may be formed on the entire axial length of the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces and may have an axial bulge with respect to the first and second pieces; as can be seen, the recloseable disk frame may still include a relatively deep (i.e., full size) channel to house the disk-shaped insert; however, a channel is not necessary in this embodiment due to the holding members performing the function of fixing a disk-shaped insert in the axial direction with respect to the recloseable disk frame;
  • FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 17 in the open position; as can be seen, the recloseable disk frame opens and closes in the same manner as the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 20 is a side view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 17; illustrating possible axial bulging of the holding members;
  • FIG. 21 is a fifth preferred embodiment of the recloseable frame of the present invention; in this embodiment, the recloseable disk frame includes holding members spaced about the circumference of the first and second pieces; the holding members project radially inwardly with respect to an inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces and extend along the entire axial length of the recloseable disk frame; in this embodiment there is no channel in the first and second pieces; instead, a cutout is formed in the holding elements to fix a disk-shaped insert in at least an axial direction; the cutout formed in the holding members may have a smaller radial distance than the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces;
  • FIG. 22 is a cross sectional view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 21 taken at the location of a holding member; the dimensions of the cutout can be seen and are similar to the channel described in the preferred embodiment; the holding members may extend across the entire axial length of the first and second pieces, and, may extend past both axial ends of the first and second pieces;
  • FIG. 23 is a perspective view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 21 in the open position; as can be seen, the recloseable disk frame opens and closes in the same way as the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 24 is a sixth preferred embodiment of the frame of the present invention; in this embodiment, the holding members have no cutouts and secure the insert via direct contact; a friction generating material may be located on the contact portions of the holding members such as a gum, clear polymer patch; alternatively, the holding members may include magnetic elements capable of holding metallic objects in place; alternatively, the holding members may be somewhat deformable and/or elastic to secure inserts therein;
  • FIG. 25 is a cross sectional view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 24 taken at the location of a holding member;
  • FIG. 26 is a perspective view of the recloseable disk frame of FIG. 24 in the open position; as can be seen, the recloseable disk frame opens and closes in the same way as the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 27 is a front view of a seventh preferred embodiment of the present invention; in this embodiment, the frame body has first, second, and third pieces wherein the first and second pieces are pivotally connected to the third piece as to allow movement of the first and second pieces between a first open position and a second closed position; those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the frame body may have more than three pieces without departing from the scope of the present invention;
  • FIG. 28 is a front view of a seventh preferred embodiment of the present invention wherein the frame body is in the closed position; in the second closed position, the frame body forms a rectangular shape capable of securing an insert therein; the first and second pieces lock in the closed position in the same fashion as disclosed in the previous embodiments; the first, second, and third pieces may all have a channel extending throughout their length to secure an insert in at least two directions when the frame body is moved into the closed position around the insert; those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the frame body may secure the insert by the use of an elastic membrane, holding members, or any other suitable way without departing from the scope of the present invention; those of ordinary skill in the art will also appreciate from this disclosure that the frame body may form any desired shape when in the closed position without departing from the scope of the present invention;
  • FIG. 29 is an eighth preferred embodiment of the frame of the present invention; in this embodiment, the holding members may be jewelry settings; the settings shown in this embodiment are similar to the holding elements disclosed in FIG. 21 in that they have cutouts therein to fix an insert in at least an axial direction; in addition, varying settings are shown for example only, and, are not meant to be limiting in any way; as shown, the setting may be a circular band having a flush stone in its center; the setting may be a square band having multiple flush stones thereon; the setting may be a pronged setting having at least two prongs; although, those skilled in the art will recognize that the settings may have any suitable shape without departing from the scope of the invention; the stones are preferably diamonds, but, those skilled in the art will also recognize that the settings may have any type of stone, jewel, or any other object, therein, or, be devoid of any objects without departing from the scope of the invention; those skilled in the art will also recognize that the stones, jewels, or objects may be flush with the settings, protrude from the settings, or be depressed with respect to the settings without departing from the scope of the invention;
  • FIG. 30 is a cross sectional view of the recloseable frame of FIG. 29 taken at the location of the pronged setting; as can be seen, the protruding stone is held in place by prongs; it can clearly be seen that the cutout to hold the insert in place is similar to that of FIG. 21; however, those skilled in the art will recognize that the settings may be designed to fix an insert similar to the holding elements disclosed in FIG. 17, FIG. 24, or any other suitable design without departing from the scope of the invention;
  • FIG. 31 is a perspective view of the recloseable frame of FIG. 29 in the open position; as can be seen, the recloseable frame opens and closes in the same way as the preferred embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The term “radial length” means the length of an element in a direction parallel to a radial line. In other words, the radial length of a component is the length as measured along the radial direction. An axis 102 lying along and defining the radial direction is illustrated in FIG. 13. Similarly, the term “axial length” means the length of an element in a direction that is perpendicular to all radial and tangential lines of a circle or semicircle. In other words, the axial length of a component is the length as measured along the axial direction. An axis 100 lying along and defining the axial direction is illustrated in FIG. 20. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the recloseable frame. The term “radial distance” means the distance from a specified point to the center of the recloseable frame. The language “at least one of ‘A’, B′, and ‘C’,” as used in the claims and/or in corresponding portions of the specification, means “any group having at least one ‘A’; or any group having at least one ‘B’; or any group having at least one ‘C’; —and does require that a group have at least one of each of ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’.” Additionally, the words “a” and “one” are defined as including one or more of the referenced item unless specifically stated otherwise. The terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-3, 6-9, and 11-14, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout, there is shown a preferred embodiment of a recloseable disk frame 30 configured to hold a disk-shaped insert 32 and configured to be carried on a chain 52. The recloseable disk frame 30 includes a first piece 34A and a second piece 34B that are both generally semicircular in shape and have generally the same radius of curvature. While a preferred configuration of the frame 30 is circular, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that any frame shape can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • It is preferable that the first and second pieces 34A, 34B are made out of stainless steel. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the first and second pieces may be made with gold, silver, platinum, titanium, copper, brass, nickel, or any other suitable material without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • The first piece 34A has first and second ends 36A, 36B, and, the second piece has third and fourth ends 38A, 38B. The second end 36B of the first piece 34A and the fourth end 38B of the second piece 34B are pivotally connected to allow movement of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B between a first open position and a second closed position. As shown in FIG. 9, the second end 36B of the first piece 34A has a circumferential projection 76 that corresponds with a circumferential opening in the fourth end 38B of the second piece 34B. The pivotal connection 62 between the first and second pieces 34A, 34B may be performed by inserting the circumferential projection 76 of the first piece 34A into the circumferential opening of the second piece 34B and pivotally connecting the circumferential projection 76 therein. As seen in FIG. 9, the second and fourth ends 36B, 38B may be pivotally connected in a way as to limit the movement of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B when the pieces 34A, 34B are moving away from the closed position. Said another way, there may be a maximum angle that the first and second pieces 34A, 34B may rotate from the closed position. Still referring to FIG. 9, which can also be seen in FIG. 6, the outer radial portions of the second and fourth ends 36B, 38B may be rounded to allow for some movement of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B from the closed to the open position. It can further be seen that the inner radial portions of the second and fourth ends 36B, 38B may be linear and parallel with the radial direction. The location where the rounded portions of the ends 36B, 38B transition to the linear portions of the ends 36B, 38B may determine the maximum pivot angle of the first and third ends 36A, 38A with respect to the closed position. It is preferred, but not necessary, that the first and second pieces 34A, 34B can pivot with each other such that the maximum angle attainable between the first and third ends 36A, 38A is approximately between 55 and 105 degrees. It is more preferred, but not necessary, that the first and second pieces 34A, 34B can pivot with each other such that the maximum angle attainable between the first and third ends 36A, 38A is approximately between 65 and 95 degrees. It is more preferred still, but not necessary, that the first and second pieces 34A, 34B can pivot with each other such that the maximum angle attainable between the first and third ends 36A, 38A is approximately between 75 and 85 degrees.
  • As seen in FIG. 2, it is preferred that the first and third ends 36A, 38A of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B, respectively, have the same shape such that when the first and third ends 36A, 38A of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B, respectively, are placed in the closed position, a seamless, annular member is formed. The surfaces of the first and third ends 36A, 38A of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B can be seen in FIGS. 11 and 10, respectively. FIGS. 10 and 11 show how the surfaces of the first and third ends 36A, 38A resemble each other to form a seamless recloseable disk frame 30. Specifically, surface 38A7 corresponds and flushly contacts surface 36A5. Likewise, surface 36A4 flushly contacts surfaces 38A6, 38A5, 38A4. Similarly, surfaces 36A3, 36A2, and 36A1 engage and flushly contact surfaces 38A3, 38A2, and 38A1, respectively. While a preferred configuration of first and third ends 36A, 38A is shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that suitable configuration can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • As best seen in FIGS. 7, 9, and 11, the first end 36A of the first piece 34A may have a tongue 40 extending therefrom in the circumferential direction. The tongue 40 may have a radial and axial length less than the radial and axial length of the first end 36A of the first piece 34A. The tongue 40 may have a projection 60 thereon that extends radially outwardly from an outer circumferential surface of the tongue 40. The projection 60 may be formed by a concave and a convex surface that each extend from the outer circumferential surface 94 of the tongue 40 and connect at a maximum point. A radially inward depression 56 is formed in the tongue 40 and is created on a portion of the outer circumferential surface of the tongue that is between the projection 60 and the first end 36A of the first piece 34A. While a preferred configuration the tongue 40 is shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that suitable configuration can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, the third end 38A of the second piece 34B has a groove 42 therein. The groove 42 is located between the axial ends of the third end 38A of the second piece 34B such that the axial length of the groove 42 is less than the axial length of the second piece 34B. The groove 42 may have an axial length that is substantially similar to the axial length of the tongue 40. As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the second closed position, the tongue 40 is inserted in to the groove 42 and the first end 36A of the first piece 34A flushly contacts the third end 38A of the second piece 34B so as to form a single preferably annular member. As seen in FIG. 9, when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the first open position, the tongue 40 and the first end 36A of the first piece 34A are circumferentially spaced from the groove 42 and the third end 38A of the second piece 34B to allow a disk-shaped insert 32 to be inserted therebetween such that the first and second pieces 34A, 34B can enclose the disk-shaped insert 32 when moved into the second closed position.
  • The recloseable disk frame 30 preferably includes a channel 44 formed in an inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B that combine to form an annular groove (or an inside perimeter groove in the frame when the frame is non circular) when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the second closed position. When the first and second pieces 34A, 34B are closed around a disk-shaped insert 32, the channel 44 fixes the disk-shaped insert 32 in at least an axial and radial direction with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30. Said another way, a radial distance of the axial ends 70A, 70B (shown in FIG. 12) of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B may be less than a radial distance to the channel 44 located between the axial ends 70A, 70B of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. As seen in FIG. 8, the radial distance of the channel 44 may be equal to the radial distance of the inner circumferential surface of the tongue 40 such that the inner circumferential surface of the tongue 40 forms a part of the channel 44. The channel 44 may be formed by radially outwardly extending surfaces extending from the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B such that the radially outwardly extending surfaces are perpendicular with the channel 44 and the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. Furthermore, the channel 44 may be formed such that the channel 44 is located in the axial center of the recloseable disk frame 30. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the channel 44 may be formed by non-linear surfaces extending from the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B, by linear surfaces extending at an angle with respect to the radial direction, or any combination thereof without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • Referring again to FIG. 12, the inner circumferential surfaces 90 of the axial ends 70A, 70B of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B are preferably connected to a base 104 of channel 44 via radially outwardly extending surfaces 98. It is preferred that the radially outwardly extending surfaces 98 are generally perpendicular to the base 104.
  • As best seen in FIG. 13, the channel 44 preferably includes a plurality of spacer bars 46 that are evenly distributed around the circumference of the channel 44. The spacer bars 46 may be radially inward protrusions on the surface of the channel 44 for the purpose of applying a pressure to the disk-shaped insert 32 when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the second closed position around the disk-shaped insert 32. The pressure exerted by the plurality of spacer bars 46 may help prevent movement and/or rotation of the disk-shaped insert 32 when enclosed by the recloseable disk frame 30. The spacer bars 46 may have a rounded radial cross-section and may have the same texture and be made out of the same material as the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. Alternatively, the texture of the spacer bars 46 may have a rougher texture than the first and second pieces 34A, 34B, for example, by the use of small grooves or dimples in the surface of the spacer bars 46, to help further prevent rotation of the disk-shaped insert 32. Additionally, the spacer bars 46 may be made out of a softer and more easily deformable material than the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the spacer bars 46 can be formed in any suitable manner without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • Referring to FIG. 8, the third end 38A of the second piece 34B preferably includes a latch 48 that may be located in the same circumferential and axial position as the groove 42, but, having a greater radial distance than the groove 42 such that when the tongue 40 is inserted into the groove 42, the latch 48 may rest on top of the tongue 40 in order to secure the first and second pieces 34A, 34B in the second closed position. A brace 106 preferably extends across the groove 42 (shown in FIG. 10) to provide additional strength and/or stability to the third end 38A of the second piece 34B.
  • As can be seen in FIG. 7, the latch 48 may be pivotally connected with the second piece 34B such that the pivotal connection 64 is located between the latch's 48 radially inward portion 54 and cam 58 such that when the cam 58 moves radially inwardly, the radially inward portion 54 moves radially outwardly, and vice versa.
  • The recloseable disk frame 30 preferably, but not necessarily, further includes a hoop 50 that extends radially outwardly from one of the first piece 34A and the second piece 34B. The hoop 50 is preferably configured to receive a chain 52 therethrough. The hoop 50 may have two separate and symmetrical parts 50A, 50B that each are configured to receive the chain 52 therethrough. When viewing the radial cross-section of the hoop 50, each of the hoop parts 50A, 50B may extend in a direction that forms an angle with the radial direction, wherein, each hoop part 50A, 50B is symmetrical with respect to reflection about a radial line going through the center of the hoop 50. Preferably, the hoop 50 is configured so that radially inward pressure applied to it will displace the hoop 50 radially inwardly thereby allowing movement of the recloseable disk frame 30 from the second closed position to the first open position. The hoop 50 may extend radially outwardly from a first circumferential end 66A of the latch 48 such that when the hoop 50 is pushed through an arc of movement 86 that is along a generally radially inward direction a second circumferential end 66B of the latch 48 moves radially outwardly thereby unlocking the tongue 40 and allowing the recloseable disk frame 30 to move from the second closed position (shown in FIG. 13) to the first open position (shown in FIG. 9).
  • Alternatively, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the hoop 50 may be fixed to one of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. Gems 72, or other aesthetically pleasing objects, may be spaced about the outer circumferential surface of the recloseable disk frame 30. At least one gem 72 (“gem of interest”) may be configured so that radially inward pressure applied to the gem 72 will displace the gem 72 radially inwardly thereby allowing movement of the recloseable disk frame 30 from the second closed position to the first open position. It is preferable that the degrees of arc between the hoop 50 and the gem or interest is between approximately one and fifteen degrees. It is more preferable that the degrees of arc between the hoop 50 and the gem or interest is between approximately one and ten degrees. It is more preferable still that the degrees of arc between the hoop 50 and the gem or interest is between approximately one and five degrees and that one of the hoop parts 50A, 50B extends over the gem of interest such that a radial axis of the frame intersects both the gem of interest and the hoop part 50A, 50B extending thereover. The advantage of the hoop 50 being adjacent to the gem of interest is to shield the gem of interest from unwanted forces that might displace the gem of interest radially inwardly and unlock the recloseable disk frame 30.
  • As seen in FIG. 8, the first circumferential end 66A of the latch 48 may have a cam 58 that extends radially inwardly with respect to the latch 48. The cam 58 may be configured to rest against a third circumferential end 68A of the tongue 40 when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the second closed position. When the hoop 50 is pushed radially inwardly, the cam 58 may make sliding contact with the third circumferential end 68A of the tongue 40 while the latch 48 rotates about its pivot connection 64. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 11, the third circumferential end 68A of the tongue 40 may have a rounded radial cross-section to facilitate sliding contact by the cam 58. In addition, pushing the hoop 50 radially inwardly may displace the cam 58 in a radially inward direction 86 such that a portion of the cam 58 has a radial distance less than that of the channel 44.
  • As best seen in FIG. 7, the second piece 34B may be provided with a stopper 88 that is adapted to prevent rotation of the latch 48 in a counter-clockwise direction past a certain point. Preferably, the stopper prevents a portion of the cam 58 from having a radial distance smaller than the smallest radial distance of the spacer bars 46. The stopper may be a circumferential projection on the second piece 34B that extends into part of the groove 42. A minimum radial distance of the stopper 88 may be equal to that of the channel 44 such that the stopper also forms part of the channel 44. When the latch 48 rotates in a counter-clockwise direction, part of the first circumferential end 66A of the latch 48 may abut the stopper 88 thereby restricting further rotation in the counter-clockwise direction. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the stopper may prevent rotation of the latch 48 in a counter-clockwise direction at any point or be omitted entirely without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • The second circumferential end 66B of the latch 48 may have a radially inward portion 54 that corresponds to the radially inward depression 56 on the tongue 40 so that the radially inward portion 54 rests in the radially inward depression 56 when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the second closed position, thereby limiting circumferential movement of first and second pieces 34A, 34B with respect to each other. Still referring to FIG. 7, the circumferential length of the radially inward portion 54 may be less than the circumferential length of the radially inward depression 56. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the circumferential length of the radially inward portion 54 may be substantially equal to the circumferential length of the radially inward depression 56 so as to form a snap fit or interference fit without departing from the scope of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, the radially inward depression 56 may be located between the projection 60 and the first end 36A of the first piece 34A such that the radially inward depression 56 is located at the fourth circumferential end 68B of the tongue 40.
  • Referring to FIGS. 15 and 16, an alternate embodiment of the recloseable disk frame 30 is shown. Instead of the channel 44 securing a disk-shaped insert 32 in at least an axial and radial direction, an elastic liner 78 may be adapted to be secured in at least an axial direction by the channel 44 of the recloseable disk frame 30. The elastic liner 78 may be an annular body with a radially outward protrusion of substantially the same dimensions as the channel 44 of the recloseable disk frame 30. The elastic liner 78 may be placed between the first and second pieces 34A, 34B when the recloseable disk frame is in the open position such that when the first and second pieces 34A, 34B are moved into the closed position, the radially outward protrusion of the elastic liner 78 may engage the channel 44 of the recloseable disk frame 30 thereby fixing the elastic liner 78 with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30. Subsequently, a disk-shaped insert 32 having a slightly larger diameter than the inner diameter of the elastic liner 78 may be pressed into the elastic liner 78 by applying pressure. The pressure applied to the disk-shaped insert 32 may partially deform the elastic liner 78 thereby securing the disk-shaped insert 32 in all three directions with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the elastic liner 78 may be secured to the first and second pieces 34A, 34B via sonic welding, adhesive, or any other suitable method including not being positioned in a channel in the frame without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • In a similar alternative embodiment, the recloseable disk frame 30 may not comprise a channel 44. Instead, an elastic liner may be fixed to the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B by adhesive, or the like. In this embodiment, a disk-shaped insert 32 having a slightly larger diameter than an inner diameter of the elastic liner, when the first and second pieces 34A, 34B are in the closed position, is fixed with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30 by placing the disk-shaped insert 32 between the first and second pieces 34A, 34B when the pieces 34A, 34B are in the open position. When the first and second pieces 34A, 34B are moved into the second closed position around the disk-shaped insert 32, the deformation of the elastic liner, due to the pressure caused by the larger diameter of the disk-shaped insert 32, prevents the disk-shaped insert 32 from moving relative to the recloseable disk frame 30.
  • Referring to FIGS. 17-20, another alternative embodiment of the recloseable disk frame 30 is shown. In this embodiment, the recloseable disk frame 30 includes a plurality of holding members 74 positioned around the circumference of the single annular member. The holding members 74 may be located on both axial ends 70A, 70B of the recloseable disk frame 30, and, may project radially inwardly with respect to the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. The holding members 74 may help firmly secure a disk-shaped insert 32 with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30 in at least an axial direction. The holding members 74 may perform a dual purpose of being aesthetically appealing to observers. For example, the holding members 74 may be letters that each combine to form a word. As best seen in FIG. 20, the holding members 74 may extend outwardly in the axial direction with respect to the first and second pieces. In this embodiment, there need not be a channel 44 located in the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. Without a channel 44, the holding members 74 may perform the sole function of fixing the disk-shaped insert 32 with respect to at least an axial direction. Even without a channel 44, the inner circumferential surface of the recloseable disk frame 30 may include spacer bars 46 to help prevent rotation of the disk-shaped insert 32.
  • FIGS. 21-23 show yet another alternative embodiment of the recloseable disk frame 30. In this embodiment, the holding members 82 of the recloseable disk frame 30 extend across the entire axial length of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. As best seen in FIG. 23, the holding members 82 may have a cutout 84 therein, similar to the channel 44 described in the preferred embodiment, to secure and fix a disk-shaped insert 80 with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30. However, the cutout 84, instead of being an annular groove, is a groove only within the holding members 82 such that the cutout 84 allows the holding members 82 to fix in at least the axial and radial directions a disk-shaped insert 80 having a greater diameter than the smallest diameter created by the radially inward holding members 82, and, a diameter less than or equal to the diameter of the cutout 84 formed within the holding members 82.
  • The cutouts 84 may have a radial distance less than the diameter of the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B such that the disk-shaped insert 80 must have a diameter less than the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B. As best seen in FIG. 21, when the recloseable disk frame 30 is in the closed position around a disk-shaped insert 80, a gap is formed between the disk-shaped insert 80 and the inner circumferential surface of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B.
  • FIGS. 24-26 show another alternative embodiment of the recloseable disk frame 30. This embodiment is the same as the embodiment described in FIGS. 21-24, except, for the cutouts 84. The holding members 82 in this embodiment have no cutouts 84 therein, and, hence, rely on the innermost surface of the holding members 82 to secure a disk-shaped insert 80 with respect to the recloseable disk frame 30. Friction generating material may be located on the contact portions of the holding members 82 such as a gum, adhesive, dimpling, a clear polymer patch. Alternatively, the holding members 82 may include magnetic elements capable of holding metallic objects in place. The magnetic elements may be embedded therein or positioned theron. Alternatively, the holding members 82 themselves could be magnetic elements. Additionally, the holding members 82 may be somewhat deformable and/or elastic to secure inserts therein without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 29-31 show another alternative embodiment of the recloseable disk frame 30. In this embodiment, the holding members may be jewelry settings 120, 122, 124. The jewelry settings 120, 122, 124 shown in this embodiment are similar to the holding elements disclosed in FIG. 21 in that they have cutouts 84 therein to fix an insert 80 in at least an axial direction. Varying settings 120, 122, 124 are shown for example only, and, are not meant to be limiting in any way. As seen, the setting may be a circular band 120 having a flush stone 28 in its center, the setting may be a square band 122 having multiple flush stones 128 thereon, or the setting may be a pronged setting 124 having at least two prongs 126. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the settings 120, 122, 124 may have any suitable shape without departing from the scope of the invention. Multiple stones 128 may be arranged in an array. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the multiple stones 128 on the settings 120, 122, 124 may be arranged in any configuration without departing from the scope of the invention. The jewelry settings 120, 122, 124 preferably have diamond stones therein, however, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the jewelry settings 120, 122, 124 may have any type of jewel, stone, or object therein, or, be empty without departing from the scope of the invention. The jewel, stone, or object therein may be flush with the jewelry settings 120, 122, 124, similar to flush stones 128, may be protruding with respect to the jewelry settings 120, 122, 124, similar to the protruding stone 130, or may be depressed with respect to the jewelry settings 120, 122, 124. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that figurines, icons, iconic images, or decorative objects can be used in lieu of jewelry settings as holders without departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • As seen most clearly in FIG. 30, the protruding stone 130 is held in place by prongs 126. It can clearly be seen that the cutout 84 to hold the insert 80 in place is similar to that of FIG. 21. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the settings 120, 122, 124 may be designed similar to the holding elements disclosed in FIG. 17, FIG. 24, or be any suitable design such as non jewelry decorations, such as seasonal decorations, college associated material, corporate icons or indicia, or objects that coordinate with known brands such as those associated with those used with movies, books, cartoons, etc. without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • In addition to stones, iconic images, figurines, college logos, or the like, jewels, or other objects located on the recloseable frame 30, stones, jewels, or other objects may be located on the insert 80. The insert 80 shown in FIG. 29 may have multiple stones 132 thereon. The stones 132 may encircle the writing on the insert. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the stones 132 may be placed in any configuration, such as spelling a word, without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • FIGS. 27 and 28 show another alternative embodiment of the recloseable frame. Frame body 108 may have first, second, and third pieces 34A, 34B, 34C. The first and second pieces 34A, 34B are pivotally connected to the third piece 34C by pivot connections 110B, 110A, respectively. As can be seen in FIG. 28, the frame body 108, when moved into the closed position, generally forms a rectangle. The frame body 108 may be locked in the closed position in the same manner as disclosed in previous embodiments. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the frame body 108 may have more than three pieces, and, may form any desired shape without departing from the scope of the present invention. Those of ordinary skill in the art will also appreciate from this disclosure that only one of the first piece and the second piece may be pivotally connected without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, a frame body may include four pieces, wherein the second, third, and fourth pieces are fixed with respect to each other, and, the first piece is pivotally connected with one of the third and fourth pieces in order to allow movement of the first piece between a first open position and a second closed position wherein the first end of the first piece contacts the third end of the second piece.
  • When in the closed position, the third piece 34C may only encompass one side of the rectangular shape while the first and second pieces 34A, 34B form the other three sides of the rectangular shape—each of the first and second pieces 34A, 34B encompassing generally one and one half sides. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that the amount of sides that the first, second, and third pieces 34A, 34B, 34C comprise may be higher or lower without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, the third piece 34C could comprise of two sides while the first and second pieces 34A, 34B each comprise of one side. In addition, the first and second pieces 34A, 34B do not have to be equal with respect to the amount of sides or total amount of length they encompass. For example, the first piece 34A may encompass one and one half sides of the rectangular shape while the second piece 34B encompasses only one side of the rectangular shape.
  • A preferred implementation of the preferred method of the present invention will be described below (alone or in combination with various embodiments of the recloseable disk frame 30). The steps of the method of the present invention can be performed in any order, omitted, or combined without departing from the scope of the present invention. As such, optional or required steps described in conjunction with one implementation of the method can also be used with another implementation or omitted altogether. Additionally, unless otherwise stated, similar structure or functions described in conjunction with the below method preferably, but not necessarily, operate in a generally similar manner to that described elsewhere in this application.
  • One method according to the present invention is directed to a method of providing a recloseable frame 30 configured to hold an insert 32. The method includes providing a frame body having at least a first piece 34A and a second piece 34B. The first piece 34A has a first end 36A and the second piece has a third end 38A. The first piece 34A and the second piece 34B form pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which the insert 32 can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece 34A and the second piece 34B are engaged to secure the insert 32 within the frame body. Providing a hoop 50 extending outwardly from one of the first piece 34A and the second piece 34B. When the first end 36A of the first piece 34A and the third end 38A of the second piece 34B are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop 50 is configured such that displacement of the hoop 50 inwardly into the frame body allows the first end 36A and the third end 38A to disengage allowing the first piece 34A and the second piece 34B to move from the second closed position.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-3, 6-9, and 11-14, one embodiment of the recloseable disk frame 30 operates as follows. A user moves the first and second pieces 34A, 34B into the open position shown as shown in FIG. 9. The user then places a disk-shaped insert 32 between the first and second pieces 34A, 34B, such that the disk-shaped insert 32 is aligned axially with the channel 44, and, subsequently, moves the first and second pieces 34A, 34B into the closed position thereby enclosing the disk-shaped insert 32. Once the user has inserted the tongue 40 into the groove 42, the user locks the recloseable disk frame 30 in the closed position by pressing the second circumferential end 66B of the latch 48 downwards, thereby moving the radially inward portion 54 into the radially inward depression 56 of the tongue 40. The user may place a chain 52 through each portion of the hoop 50A, 50B and may wear the chain 52 around their neck. The force exerted on the hoop 50A, 50B when the recloseable disk frame 30 is hanging from a chain 52 that is around a user's neck, is a force in the opposite direction than required on the hoop 50A, 50B to remove the radially inward portion 54 from the radially inward depression 56, allowing the recloseable disk frame 30 to move into the open position.
  • To open the recloseable disk frame 30 in order to remove the disk-shaped insert 32, a user simply pushes the hoop 50A, 50B radially inwardly thereby allowing the first and second pieces 34A, 34B to move into the open position wherein the first and third ends 36A, 38A are circumferentially spaced apart from one another.
  • While various shapes, configurations, and features have been described above and shown in the drawings for the various embodiments of the present invention, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate from this disclosure that any combination of the above features can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, the frame may include holding members that are magnetic and an elastic liner without departing from the scope of the present invention. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but is intended to cover all modifications which are within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims and/or shown in the attached drawings.

Claims (32)

What is claimed is:
1. A recloseable disk frame configured to hold a disk-shaped insert and configured to be carried on a chain, the recloseable disk frame comprising:
a first piece being generally semicircular in shape having first and second ends;
a second piece being generally semicircular in shape and having generally a same radius of curvature as the first piece, the second piece having third and fourth ends;
the second end of the first piece and the fourth end of the second piece being pivotally connected such that the first piece and the second piece are configured for movement between a first open position in which a disk can be inserted therebetween and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece form a single annular member;
a hoop extending radially outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for receiving the chain therethrough, wherein when the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop radially inwardly into the single annular member disengages the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position.
2. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 1, further comprising a tongue extending from the first end of the first piece in the circumferential direction.
3. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 2, further comprising a groove in the third end of the second piece, the groove being of substantially the same dimensions as the tongue such that the groove is configured to receive the tongue when the recloseable disk frame is moved into the second closed position.
4. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 3, further comprising a latch located on the third end of the second piece and configured to rest on top of the tongue when the recloseable disk frame is in the second closed position such that the latch locks the tongue in place when the tongue is inserted in the groove such that the first piece and the second piece are secured in the second closed position.
5. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 4, wherein the hoop extends radially outwardly from a first end of the latch such that when pushed radially inwardly a second end of the latch moves radially outwardly thereby unlocking the tongue to allow the first piece and the second piece to move toward the first open position.
6. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 5, wherein the second end of the latch comprises a radially inward portion that corresponds to a radially inward depression on the tongue such that the radially inward portion rests in the radially inward depression when the recloseable disk frame is in the second closed position.
7. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 1, further comprising a channel formed in a radial inner surface of the first piece and the second piece such that when the first piece and the second piece are moved to the second closed position around the disk-shaped insert, an annular groove is formed for holding the disk-shaped insert therein.
8. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 7, wherein the channel further comprises a plurality of spacer bars evenly spaced around the circumference of the single annular member, the plurality of spacer bars being radially inward protrusions configured to apply a pressure to the disk-shaped insert when the recloseable disk frame is in the second closed position.
9. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 1, further comprising an elastic liner formed on an inner radial surface of the first piece and the second piece such that when the first piece and the second piece are moved into the second closed position around the disk-shaped insert, the elastic liner prevents the disk-shaped insert from moving relative to the recloseable disk frame.
10. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of holding members positioned around the circumference of the single annular member, the plurality of holding members being radially inward projections located on both axial ends of the recloseable disk frame such that when the first piece and the second piece are moved into the second closed position around the disk-shaped insert, the plurality of holding members prevent the disk-shaped insert from moving in the axial direction relative to the recloseable disk frame.
11. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 10, wherein the plurality of holding members are letters of the alphabet.
12. The recloseable disk frame according to claim 1, wherein the recloseable disk frame is configured such that when the recloseable disk frame is hanging from the chain, a force exerted on the hoop by the chain is in the opposite direction to the force required to disengage the first piece and the second piece to allow movement from the second closed position.
13. A method of providing a recloseable frame configured to hold an insert, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece wherein the first piece has a first end and the second piece has a third end; wherein
the first piece and the second piece form pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which the insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body;
providing a hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for engaging an object, wherein when the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop inwardly allows the first end and the third end to disengage allowing the first piece and the second piece to move from the second closed position.
14. The method of claim 13, further providing a tongue extending from the first end of the first piece.
15. The method of claim 14, further providing a groove in the third end of the second piece, the groove being of substantially the same dimensions as the tongue such that the groove is configured to receive the tongue when the recloseable frame is moved into the second closed position.
16. The method of claim 15, further providing a latch located on the third end of the second piece and configured to rest on top of the tongue when the recloseable frame is in the second closed position such that the latch locks the tongue in place when the tongue is inserted in the groove thereby securing the first piece and the second piece in the second closed position.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein the step of providing the hoop further comprises extending the hoop outwardly from a first end of the latch such that when pushed inwardly a second end of the latch moves outwardly thereby unlocking the tongue and allowing the first piece and the second piece to move toward the first open position.
18. The method of claim 13, wherein the step of providing the frame body further comprises a channel formed in an inner surface of the frame body such that when the first piece and the second piece are moved in to the second closed position around the insert, the channel fixes the insert with respect to the frame body.
19. The method of claim 13, further providing an elastic liner formed on an inner surface of the frame body such that when the first piece and the second piece are moved into the second closed position around the insert, the elastic liner prevents the insert from moving relative to the recloseable frame.
20. The method of claim 13, further providing a plurality of holding members positioned around the perimeter of the frame body, the plurality of holding members being inward projections such that when the first piece and the second piece are moved into the second closed position around the insert, the plurality of holding members prevent the insert from moving in at least one direction relative to the recloseable frame.
21. A recloseable frame configured to hold an insert, the recloseable frame comprising:
a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece;
the first piece having a first end;
the second piece having a third end configured to detachably engage the first end of the first piece;
the first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which the insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body;
a hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for engaging an object, wherein when the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop inwardly allows the first end and the third end to disengage allowing the first piece and the second piece to move from the second closed position.
22. The recloseable frame according to claim 21, further comprising a tongue extending from the first end of the first piece.
23. The recloseable frame according to claim 22, further comprising a groove in the third end of the second piece, the groove being of substantially the same dimensions as the tongue such that the groove is configured to receive the tongue when the recloseable frame is moved into the second closed position.
24. The recloseable frame according to claim 23, further comprising a latch located on the third end of the second piece and configured to rest on top of the tongue when the recloseable frame is in the second closed position such that the latch locks the tongue in place when the tongue is inserted in the groove thereby securing the first piece and the second piece in the second closed position.
25. The recloseable frame according to claim 24, wherein the hoop extends outwardly from a first end of the latch such that when pushed inwardly a second end of the latch moves outwardly thereby unlocking the tongue to allow the first piece and the second piece to move toward the first open position.
26. The recloseable frame according to claim 21, further comprising a channel formed in an inner surface of the frame body such that the first piece and the second piece can be moved to the second closed position around at least a portion of the insert to secure the insert in the frame body.
27. The recloseable frame according to claim 26, wherein the channel further comprises a plurality of spacer bars configured to apply a pressure to the insert when the recloseable frame is in the second closed position.
28. The recloseable disk frame of claim 10, wherein at least one of the plurality of holding members is a jewelry setting.
29. A recloseable frame configured to hold an insert, the recloseable frame comprising:
a frame body having at least a first piece and a second piece;
the first piece having a first end;
the second piece having a third end configured to detachably engage the first end of the first piece;
the first piece and the second piece forming pivotable portions of the frame body and are configured for movement between a first open position in which the insert can be positioned within the frame body and a second closed position in which the first piece and the second piece are engaged to secure the insert within the frame body;
a plurality of holding members positioned around an inner perimeter of the frame body, the plurality of holding members being inward projections located on the recloseable frame such that when the at least first piece and the second piece are moved into the second closed position around the insert, the plurality of holding members prevent the insert from moving relative to the frame body.
30. The recloseable frame of claim 29, wherein at least one of the plurality of holding members comprises a jewelry setting.
31. The recloseable frame of claim 29, wherein the plurality of holders position the insert such that the insert is spaced apart from the frame body.
32. The recloseable frame of claim 31, further comprising a hoop extending outwardly from one of the first piece and the second piece and configured for engaging an object, wherein when the first end of the first piece and the third end of the second piece are detachably engaged in the second closed position, the hoop is configured such that displacement of the hoop inwardly allows the first end and the third end to disengage allowing the first piece and the second piece to move from the second closed position.
US14/472,517 2013-10-01 2014-08-29 Jewelry and/or holder for coins or other objects Abandoned US20150089976A1 (en)

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US20150320156A1 (en) * 2014-05-09 2015-11-12 Michelle Meisenbach Wearable Device for Hiding Keepsakes and Valuables
USD774122S1 (en) * 2014-12-19 2016-12-13 Neckglasses, LLC Chain with pendant glasses
USD803092S1 (en) * 2016-10-03 2017-11-21 1010 Enterprises, LLC Jewelry article
USD810608S1 (en) * 2017-03-16 2018-02-20 Jacqueline Heller Circular jewelry enhancer
US20190191830A1 (en) * 2017-04-21 2019-06-27 Eva Linda Ruiz Ring Holder
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USD856187S1 (en) * 2015-04-30 2019-08-13 Terrieann Riffel Trinket for gifting or personal adornment
USD883842S1 (en) * 2019-03-16 2020-05-12 Âme Creations, Llc. Jewellery
USD909230S1 (en) * 2018-10-23 2021-02-02 Cecil James Pounder, III Article of jewelry

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