Patent application title: ORNAMENT LOCK WITH WIDE OPENING ORNAMENT CLASP
Lutfi Ozkok (Istanbul, TR)
MIDAS CHAIN, INC.
Class name: Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc. clasp, clip, support-clamp, or required component thereof with specific mounting means for attaching to rigid or semirigid supporting structure or structure-to-be-secured
Publication date: 2012-11-08
Patent application number: 20120279026
An ornament lock with a clasp for holding pendants or other jewelry is
provided. A finger grasp is positioned on an arm of the clasp for opening
the clasp arms. A biasing member positioned inside the ornament lock
biases closed the clasp. The clasp may be opened to a wide open position
to accommodate a thicker pendant or pendant ring and to make it easier
and more convenient for the wearer to insert the jewelry into the clasp.
1. An ornament lock, comprising: first and second, substantially
symmetrical and juxtaposed ornament arms, each of said ornament arms
having a respective distal end; a lock body having a first portion and a
second portion coupled to each other so as to rotate around a common
rotation axis, said first ornament arm being integral with said first
portion of said lock body and said second ornament arm being integral
with said second portion of said lock body; and wherein said first and
second arms have a normal closed position defining a closed space for
receipt therein of an ornament, said closed space being defined by said
first and second ornament arms and said lock body, and an open position
wherein said distal ends of said ornament arms are spaced apart in
juxtaposition to one another.
2. The ornament lock of claim 1, wherein each of said ornament arms is arcuately shaped, substantially in the form of an arc of a circle.
3. The ornament lock of claim 1, wherein said lock body comprises internally thereof a spring that biases the ornament arms such that their distal ends are adjacent each other.
4. The ornament lock of claim 1, wherein said first and second portions of said lock body are coupled to each other via a stem integral with one of said portions and a tubular opening located on the other of said portions, said tubular opening being sized to receive therein said stem.
5. The ornament lock of claim 1, further comprising a finger grasp protruding from one of the ornament arms.
6. The ornament lock of claim 1, wherein each of said first and second portions of said lock body is disc shaped.
7. The ornament lock of claim 1, further comprising loop attached to one of said portions of said lock body for enabling the threading therethrough of a jewelry chain.
8. The ornament lock of claim 3, wherein said spring is a spiral spring.
9. The ornament lock of claim 1, wherein each of said portions has an exterior surface and said respective exterior surface contains a surface ornamentation thereon.
10. The ornament lock of claim 1, wherein each of the arms has an exterior surface and comprises ornamental shapes formed on said exterior surface.
11. The ornament lock of claim 3, wherein the spring is formed as a spiral spring made of spring wire with two distal ends.
12. The ornament lock of claim 11, wherein the distal ends are juxtaposed to one another, and extend outside a winding of the spring.
13. The ornament lock of claim 11, wherein the first and second distal ends are respectively secured to the first portion and the second portion of the lock body.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to the field of jewelry and more particularly to ornament holders and ornament locks, including ornament locks attached to necklaces or the like.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Ornament locks have been used for centuries to secure ornaments, such as pendants or other decorative objects to a necklace, bracelet or other type of chain or other device used for affixing jewelry, ornaments or other decorations to the human body.
 As illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, for example, an ornament lock 10 attached to a necklace 11 or to other types of chains by means of chain fastener 12 can be opened by sliding grasp 14 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 1A so that arm 16 of the clasp portion 17 moves in to create an opening 18 through which an ornament or decoration (not shown) can be inserted into clasp portion 17. FIG. 1A illustrates a clasp portion 17 in a closed position with the arms of clasp portion 17 joining or close to joining at the joining region 13. FIG. 1B illustrates clasp portion 17 in the open position with arm 16 pulled such that ornaments or chains or rings fastened to ornaments can be inserted into or removed from the clasp portion 17.
 One problem with such a prior art ornament lock is that opening 18 created by the movement inward of arm 16 accommodates only ornaments or ornamental rings of a certain maximum thickness. Further, the limited access provided by opening 18 may make it difficult to insert the ornament ring into the clasping portion 17, particularly for older users or for people with vision problems, hand-eye coordination challenges or the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 An ornament lock that is secured to a necklace, chain, bracelet or the like is disclosed. The ornament lock includes a clasp for securing decorations, such as pendants, pins, chains, rings or other decorative items or jewelry.
 The arms of the clasp are opened when a force is applied to a finger grasp positioned on one of the clasp arms. A biasing member, such as a spring, is positioned inside the body of the ornament lock to snap back the clasp to the closed position when the finger grasp is released. The clasp can be made of two clasp arms and can be positioned on a disc-shaped lock body on the side of the lock body away from a ring used to fasten the necklace that is worn by the wearer.
 In accordance with preferred embodiments of the invention, the ornament arms are arguably arcuately shaped, defining a closed space for an ornament therebetween. An internal spiral spring biased the ornament arms such that their distal ends are adjacent to each other, and the ornament arms are integral with the lock body which has a first portion and second portion, preferably disc-shaped, which are held together via a stem and tubular opening and a complementary tubular opening. A loop attached or integral with one of the half portions of the lock body enables the threading therethrough of a jewelry chain. Both the lock body and the arms have exterior surfaces which may be decorated with surface ornamental shapes or representations.
 Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention which refers to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1A is a schematic front view illustration of an ornament lock and a necklace according to the related art.
 FIG. 1B is a schematic front view illustration of the related art ornament lock in the clasp open position.
 FIG. 2A is a front schematic view of an ornament lock according to an example of the present invention.
 FIG. 2B is a schematic front view illustration of the ornament lock according to an example of the present invention with clasp in an open position.
 FIG. 2c is a schematic front view illustration of a biasing member that can be positioned inside the ornament lock illustrated in FIGS. 2A and 2B.
 FIG. 3A is a perspective view of an inside of a first portion of an ornament lock according to an example of the present invention.
 FIG. 3B is a perspective view of an inside of a corresponding portion of the ornament lock shown in FIG. 3A.
 FIGS. 4A and 4B show the aforementioned first portion and corresponding portion of the ornament lock shown, respectively, in FIGS. 3A and 3B.
 FIG. 5 is an exploded view, showing the portions in FIGS. 4A and 4B and a spiral spring which biases them in closed position.
 FIG. 6 is an exploded view showing the outwardly facing decorated surfaces of the mentioned first portion and corresponding portion.
 FIGS. 7A, 7B and 7C show, respectively, the assembled ornament lock in the closed, partially open and fully open positions.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
 Ornament lock 20 will herein be described with reference to FIGS. 2A-2C, 3A and 3B. As illustrated in FIG. 2B, clasp arms 26a and 26b are moved apart so that joining region 27 between clasp arms 26a and 26b is in the open position and decorations or ornaments can be inserted into the clasp 25. This opening of the clasp 25 is accomplished by pressing on finger grasp 29 positioned on clasp arm 26a. Biasing member 33, which may be a spring such as a spiral spring, inside the lock body 22 of the ornament lock 20 will then bias close the clasp 25 when the finger grasp 29 is released. A necklace, chain, bracelet, broach or other means for securing the ornament lock 22 to the wearer may be attached to ornament lock 20 by chain fastener 21 also attached to lock body 22. The ornament inserted into the clasp may be a ring, pin, lock or chain that secures a pendant, locket, broach or other decoration or jewelry.
 FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate the inside portion of lock body 22 of ornament lock 20. While lock body 22 is illustrated as a disc, other shapes, such as an oval shaped lock body, a square or rectangular or diamond-shaped lock body and other such shapes and combinations thereof are also contemplated. FIG. 3A illustrates a first integrally formed portion 38 of lock body 22. First portion 38 includes stem 31, which is designed to mate with aperture 32 located in receiving member 40 positioned on the second integrally formed portion 39 of lock body 22 illustrated in FIG. 3B. It will be understood that other ways of attaching the first portion 38 shown in FIG. 3A and the second portion 39 shown in FIG. 3B of lock body 22 are also contemplated.
 An attaching surface 35 may be provided near the inside of peripheral wall of first portion 28 of lock body 22 and may be positioned on a portion of the peripheral wall adjacent clasp arm 26b. Alternatively, attaching surface 35 may be provided on the second portion 29 In this way, biasing member 33, which may be a spring, such as a leaf spring, may be attached at either end, respectively, to first attaching surface 35 and to attaching point 37 located on receiving member 40 of second portion 39. Biasing member 33 may be a compression spring or an extension spring. FIG. 2c illustrates a spiral leaf spring with spirals that may be positioned around aperture 32 of second portion 39 of lock body 22 illustrated in FIG. 3B. In the alternative, biasing member 33 may be attached to second attaching surface 36 positioned on an inside of a peripheral wall of the second portion 39 of lock body 22.
 As finger grasp 29 on clasp arm 26a is pressed, the portion of lock body 22 illustrated in FIG. 3B will pivot as aperture 32 of the second portion 39 rotates about tongue 31 of first portion 38. Then, when finger grasp 29 is released, biasing member 33 urges second portion 39 of lock body 22 to rotate back about tongue 31 so that clasp arm 26a snaps back to the closed position illustrated in FIG. 2A.
 With reference to FIGS. 4A and 4B, the first integrally formed portion 38, similarly as before, has a stem 31 which is designed to be received in the aperture 32 of the receiving member 40 of the second integrally formed portion 39.
 With further reference to FIG. 5, the portions 38 and 39 are biased into the closed position by the spirally wound wire spring 63, which consists of two or more windings of its spring wire, having first and second, juxtaposed distal ends 71 and 73, and extending away from the windings. One of the distal wire ends is affixed in a receiving aperture 75 of the first ornamental portion 38 and the other free distal end is received in a similar aperture 77 in the second ornamental portion 39. The central opening 65 in the spring 63 is large enough to fit around the outer diameter of the receiving member 40 of the second portion 39.
 Normally, the spring 63 biases the two portions 38, 39 to the closed position shown in FIG. 7A. Pulling down on the finger grasp 29 can create a partial opening of the lock, as shown in FIG. 7B and the further pulling to the maximum and position produced the fully opened position, as shown in FIG. 7C. The fully opened position 7C provides much greater access, by comparison to the prior art device shown, for example, in FIG. 1B.
 According to an embodiment of the present invention, clasp arms 26a and 26b may be moved apart to an open position in which joining region 27 between clasp arm 26a and 26b provide no constraint or only minimal constraint on the size of the object that will be placed inside of clasp 25. That is, according to this embodiment, the distance between the ends of clasp arm 26a and 26b in the open position is almost as large or as large as the inside diameter of the clasp.
 It would have been understood that only one of the clasp arms 26a and 26b needs to move in relation to the lock body 22. That is, clasp arm 26a can move in response to pressure exerted on finger grasp 29 positioned on clasp arm 26a while clasp arm 26b can remain entirely stationary. Also it would be understood that while FIG. 2A shows clasp 25 in the almost closed position, clasp arm 26a and 26b preferably actually physically make contact with one another to secure the ornaments or ornament rings positioned inside clasp 25.
 Although the present invention has been described in relation to particular embodiments thereof, many other variations and modifications and other uses will become apparent to those skilled in the art. It is preferred, therefore, that the present invention be limited not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appended claims.
Patent applications in class With specific mounting means for attaching to rigid or semirigid supporting structure or structure-to-be-secured
Patent applications in all subclasses With specific mounting means for attaching to rigid or semirigid supporting structure or structure-to-be-secured