Patent application title: DECORATIVE JEWELRY AND METHODS OF MAKING SAME
Thomas William Reid Ii (New York, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AA44C2700FI
Class name: Organic containing synthetic resin containing epoxy resin
Publication date: 2016-02-25
Patent application number: 20160051017
An article of jewelry includes a stone having a viewing surface and a
back surface and epoxy. The stone preferably is transparent or
translucent in that it preferably internally and externally reflects and
refracts light. The epoxy preferably is provided on the back surface of
the stone, the color of which is preferably viewable, including from the
stone's front surface. The epoxy may be colored, transparent, translucent
or colorless. The design is such that the epoxy surface and the viewing
surface of the stone are intended to be left at least partially exposed
and viewable in the final article of jewelry.
10. A method of forming an article of jewelry comprising the steps of: providing a stone comprising a first major surface and a second major surface, the stone allowing passage of light and having one or more facets on the second major surface; smoothing over the one or more facets on the second major surface by painting an epoxy on the second major surface of the stone, wherein the epoxy has a color, and the color of the epoxy provided on the second major surface is viewable from the first major surface of the stone through the stone; and having the first major surface of the stone and the epoxy painted to the second major surface of the stone remain at least partially exposed in a final form of the article.
11. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10, further comprising applying a special effect coating to the stone's surface.
12. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10, further comprising placing the epoxy-painted stone in an open setting.
13. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10, further comprising placing the epoxy-painted stone in a cast setting.
14. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10, wherein the first major surface is substantially exposed in the article of jewelry's final form.
15. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10 wherein the stone is a crystal.
16. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10 wherein the stone is a cut glass.
17. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10 wherein the article of jewelry is freestanding.
18. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10 wherein the stone is natural.
19. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10, wherein the smoothing comprises smoothing over all of the one or more facets on the second major surface to provide an unfaceted outer surface.
20. The method of forming the article of jewelry of claim 10, further comprising affixing a backing to the stone by using the epoxy as a glue, wherein the epoxy is used as both as the glue and as a colorant for the stone.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application for patent is a Divisional application of patent application Ser. No. 13/975,977, entitled "DECORATIVE JEWELRY AND METHODS OF MAKING SAME" filed on Aug. 26, 2013. This Divisional application is being filed as a result of a restriction requirement in the parent application. This application contains no new matter and claims priority from its parent, application Ser. No. 13/975,977, the entire contents of which application are incorporated herein by reference.
 The present invention relates to articles of jewelry and methods of making articles of jewelry.
 Jewelry and its manufacture continue to evolve. The desire by jewelry makers to develop and their customers to wear new and exciting jewelry is ongoing. Jewelry may be and has been manufactured using various shapes, sizes and designs. At the disposal of manufacturers is a vast selection of different materials, including crystals, glass, opaque stones and metals, and copolymers such as epoxy, which comprises a resin and a hardener or curing agent.
 In an effort to make interesting jewelry, some manufacturers design jewelry that includes painting crystal with paint such as acrylic. The design offers an interesting look, however, the paint is not durable, and the jewelry may be more vulnerable to wear. Others jewelry makers may incorporate the use of epoxy, but use it typically as a form of glue, and typically to attach some form of backing to protect the back of the jewelry piece and make the piece more durable.
 In a first embodiment, an article of jewelry includes a stone having a first surface, typically the viewing surface, and an opposing surface, typically a back surface. The stone preferably is translucent or transparent in that it preferably internally and externally reflects and refracts light. The article further includes an epoxy provided on one surface, typically the opposing surface, of the stone. The epoxy may have any of a variety of visual qualities, such that it may be any applicable combination of colored, opaque, transparent, translucent, tinted and/or colorless. The epoxy surface is preferably left at least partially exposed such that it may be viewable, and the viewing surface of the stone is preferably left at least partially exposed so that viewing surface of the stone is also viewable in the final article of jewelry.
 In another embodiment, an article of jewelry includes a stone having a viewing surface and an opposing surface, where the stone allows the passage, including via internal reflection and refraction of light. The article of jewelry further includes an epoxy having a color, the epoxy provided on the opposing surface of the stone, wherein the color of the epoxy provided on the opposing surface is viewable from the viewing surface of the stone, and wherein the epoxy on the opposing surface has a sufficient thickness and durability to be exposed to friction, wear and/or general handling when adorned.
 Another embodiment includes method of forming an article of jewelry. The method preferably includes a first step of providing a stone having a viewing surface and an opposing surface, the stone allowing the passage of light therethrough. The method includes a second step of applying an epoxy to the opposing surface of the stone, wherein the epoxy is colored and at least partially exposed. The epoxy may be opaque, pearlized, translucent, transparent or tinted. The method also includes a step of being designed to allow the viewing surface of the stone and the epoxy applied to the opposing surface of the stone to remain at least partially exposed in the final form of the article of jewelry.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)
 Having thus described the article of jewelry and methods of making jewelry in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:
 FIG. 1A depicts a view of a front side of an example of a piece of decorative jewelry, in accordance with a preferred embodiment;
 FIG. 1B depicts a view of a back side an example of a piece of decorative jewelry, in accordance with a preferred embodiment;
 FIG. 1C depicts a perspective view of an example of a piece of decorative jewelry, in accordance with a preferred embodiment; and
 FIG. 2 depicts a flow chart in accordance with a preferred method of making decorative jewelry as disclosed herein.
 A form of decorative jewelry and method of making such jewelry now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all embodiments are shown. Indeed, the inventions may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.
 FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C depict front, back and side views respectively of an example of a preferred embodiment of a piece of decorative jewelry 100 as disclosed herein. As depicted in FIGS. 1A-1C, the decorative jewelry 100 preferably is comprised of a stone 102, preferably in some form of cut glass or crystal, having a front section or side 104, a back section or side 106 and, optionally, a girdle 108. The reference to front and back sections is purely for ease of reference to distinguish one side of the jewelry piece from another. The front section or side generally refers to a first major portion of the article that typically may be the dominantly viewed surface or surfaces of the jewelry. The back section or side generally refers to a second major portion of the stone that typically may be the portion generally opposing the dominantly viewed surface or surfaces of the stone and is the portion generally selected to be at least partially covered with epoxy as disclosed herein. Indeed, stones used may be such that the two dominant portions are essentially identical in appearance. The choice, however, of whether one portion or the other of the jewelry is the front portion (or the back) is ultimately arbitrary, and is in no way intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.
 The cut glass stone 102 may be clear, translucent, tinted or opaque, and may include facets 112 to provide for a sparkling visual effect. Alternatively or in addition, one side may be dome-shaped, flat, partially flat, pointed, smooth, partially smooth, semi-smooth, and/or possess other forms of and any combination of convex or concave features. The stone generally may have any shape, including nugget or other free-form shapes. Preferably, the front side 104 of the cut glass stone 102 is exposed or partially exposed and not completely covered by any layer or layers of opaque materials.
 The stone may be natural or man-made with various cuttings and shapings, and in a form suitable as jewelry of different types, such as for earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, brooches, hairclips, etc. The stone, therefore, may be in a form of any stone that can be used with or without a setting such as a pendant, bead, sew-on, a cabochon, a cabochon chaton, a pointed back, faceted flatback, two table doublet, or any other type of stone which may possess none, one or more than one hole 114. The stone may have any size suitable for use in jewelry of any form.
 While the stone 102 is preferably a form of cut crystal or glass, it may also be a natural, semi-precious or precious stone, such as a gemstone. The stone 102 may also be provided with AB (referring to Aurora Borealis or Aurora Boreal) coating or other finish, such as special effect vacuum platings to enhance particular qualities of the stone. The AB coating may cover all or any designated portion of the stone 102. The stone 102 is typically clear but may also have an inherent color. The stone's inherent color may be uniform or non-uniform and may include metallic, reflective, colored or other visible streaks or particles within the stone 102.
 The decorative jewelry 100 also includes a wear-resistant epoxy 110 preferably covering the back side 106 of the stone 102. The epoxy may be, for example, the RBC brand such as is available at Epoxy.com or other brands such as may be found at Epoxy etc. The epoxy 110 may additionally cover the optional girdle 108 of the stone 102 and further may optionally cover a limited portion of the viewable front surface 104 of the stone 102.
 The epoxy 110 preferably has a thickness sufficient to allow the epoxy 110 to be left exposed in the jewelry's final form and therefore should be highly resistant to wear or damage such as, for example, when the jewelry 100 is in the form of a pendant and the back side 106 of the jewelry 100 may be in frictional contact with its wearer. That sufficient thickness typically given the epoxy-covered side of the jewelry 100 may present a thicker, more robust look than would typically be provided than if the jewelry 100 were colored with simple paint or lacquer. The thickness of the epoxy 110 may nevertheless be varied to change the look of the jewelry 100. A thicker layer of epoxy 110 will generally give the epoxy-covered side of the article 100 a more smooth or semi-smooth look and feel. Indeed, if the back side 106 of the stone 102 is faceted, the epoxy 110 may be applied in a sufficient thickness to smooth over the facets 112, such as is depicted in FIG. 1B. That look may be a pleasing contrast to a faceted front side 104 of the jewelry piece 100.
 The epoxy 110 covering the stone 102 preferably has one or more colors, and may possess any color or colors deemed decorative. Indeed, the epoxy 110 covering the stone's surface may also be multicolored. The use of multiple colors may or may not relate in some fashion to the different surfaces of the stone 102. For example, in the design, certain features of the stone's surface, such as indentations or protrusions, may be emphasized using different colors of epoxy than the surrounding surfaces. The epoxy may also be colorless. The epoxy may also be opaque or pearlized so as to have an emulsified and/or swirly appearance, or translucent. A multicolored epoxy's appearance may be in the form of a mix of epoxies of different colors to have partially blended looks where the colors may meet and mix on some parts of the stone, to have controlled looks where colors smoothly transition into each other, and/or to have distinct or hard edges that separate one color from another on the stone's surface, so as to create for example a color-blocked look, or any combination or variation of the foregoing. The colored epoxies may have a loose or lightly brushed-on look or may be more densely applied. The epoxy's color preferably is reflected and/or refracted through the stone 102 and is viewable from the front side of the stone 102 giving the stone a colorful appearance based on the color or colors of the epoxy at its interface with the stone's surface.
 In the jewelry product 102 as disclosed, the epoxy 110 is at least in part viewable. For example, the jewelry piece may be a free-standing pendant with a colored epoxy covering one side of the stone 102. In this instance, the epoxy's color may be viewable through the front surface of the jewelry or from directly viewing the epoxy's outer surface. The jewelry piece may also be provided in any setting where the epoxy is revealed, such as an open setting, channel, basket, open back or partially open back, or prong (such as for a ring), in addition to any cast setting, where the epoxy is viewable through the jewelry's front surface or again by directly viewing the epoxy's outer surface not covered by any setting elements. In another embodiment, the colored epoxy-covered surface of the stone is covered with a closed backing, such as a backing that might be provided for a pendant. In this embodiment, the colored epoxy on the stone's back surface is viewable via reflection and refraction through the stone's front surface giving the stone a colored appearance at least tinged by the color of the epoxy 110 at its interface with the stone's back surface. Because the epoxy gives a strong, durable adhesion to the stone as opposed to paints and lacquers, the stone is less likely to separate from the backing.
 In an alternative embodiment, vacuum plating or another finish is applied to the back of the stone 102, followed by a colorless epoxy to protect the vacuum plating. In this embodiment, the vacuum plating is preferably the source of the color that is viewable through the front face of the stone.
 A method 200 of manufacturing the decorative jewelry, an example of which is illustrated in FIG. 1, is depicted in FIG. 2. In a first step 202, the manufacturer provides a suitable base material, preferably a stone of a suitable size to be adorned as part of an earring, necklace, brooch, bracelet, ring, pin, pendant, etc. The stone may be obtained from any suitable suppliers, dealers or manufacturers of cut glass, crystal or other stones. Optionally, an AB or other finish may be applied to the acquired stone. In a second step 204, an epoxy is preferably applied to the stone's back surface in accordance with the proper application of the specific epoxy of choice, including the proper application of the resin and the hardener. Optionally, the epoxy is applied to the side or girdle of the provided stone, if applicable, and as a further option to a portion of the front or viewing surface of the stone.
 The epoxy may be applied by painting, brushing, pouring, needling, pneumatically dispensing or in any other way applying the epoxy to the stone. For the application of multiple colors of epoxy, various techniques may be used, including a wet-on-wet approach, a layered approach which may produce harder edges of color, laying different colors side-by-side, or a combination of such techniques. If the epoxy is colorless and clear, then alternatively, a precursor step to the application of the epoxy is preferably the application of a color finish to the back and optionally other surfaces of the stone. The colorless epoxy then serves to protect the color finish. Alternatively or in addition to the above, glitter, foil or other reflective and/or colored particles may be mixed into the colorless or colored epoxy and then applied to the surface of the stone. In yet another embodiment, additional layers of epoxy may be applied after curing the first layer or layers of epoxy. In yet another embodiment, epoxy may be applied to the stone and the reflective particles applied to the epoxy thereafter.
 In a next step 206, the stone's front or viewing surface, or optionally a substantial portion of that surface, is preferably permitted to remain exposed or at least partially exposed and viewable in the finished jewelry product. Preferably, the jewelry may be freestanding, such as with a pendant, or in an open setting, such as may be provided in a ring. In placing the epoxy-covered stone in an open setting, the epoxy may be wet or already cured or hardened. Keeping the viewing surface of the stone exposed may take full advantage of stone's brilliance or other special effects. In a next step 208, the hardened epoxy is allowed to remain exposed or at least partially exposed and viewable in the finished jewelry piece. The exposed but durable epoxy provides a unique appearance, such as the smoothing over of the facets or edges on the back surface of stone to give the epoxy a thick, robust look. With that, the piece may or may not be inset into any other material or backing, and may or may not be freestanding.
 For the alternative embodiment where a backing is provided on the epoxy-covered surface of the stone, the backing may be applied by using the epoxy as both as the glue to affix the backing to the stone and as the colorant for the stone when viewed from its front surface. Alternatively, the epoxy may be applied, cured and hardened before the backing is attached. In this case, an additional step of gluing would be used to attach the backing to the epoxy-covered surface of the stone to produce the final form of the article of jewelry.
 Many modifications and other embodiments of the articles of jewelry and methods of making them set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which these inventions pertain having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the inventions are not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.
Patent applications in class Epoxy resin
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