BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention pertains to money and/or card holding devices. More particularly, the present invention pertains to holding devices typically referred to as money clips.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Money clips have existed for many years. They are primarily for clampingly receiving folded currencies to be carried in the user's pocket. They are especially desired by individuals who do not find it convenient to carry a wallet.
Money clips are normally formed from a single piece or ribbon of metal having a flat base portion and bent to provide a lever portion which yields to folded currency placed in the money clip but is biased against the flat base portion to clampingly hold the currency against the flat base portion. These money clips vary in sophistication, complexity, shape and material. Most money clips are made of silver, gold or other precious metals. Other less expensive versions may be made of stainless steel or other metals.
- SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
With the increased use of plastic credit cards and individuals who do not prefer to carry a wallet, a number of devices have been developed which provide combination money and credit card holding characteristics. This allows an individual to carry folded currency and credit cards, separated but in a single device without the inconvenience of a wallet. This is particularly useful to individuals wearing shorts, swimming trunks or other such apparel typically worn for casual wear or outdoor activities. Examples of such devices are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,077,869; 5,913,618 and 6,082,422. The fact that combination money/card holding devices continue to be developed indicates a continuing search and need for such devices.
The present invention provides a money/card holding device formed from a continuous ribbon or band of metal having an intermediate support portion and first and second clip portions at opposite ends and sides thereof. Each of the clip portions provides a lever portion connected to a respective end of the intermediate support portion by a spring portion formed by bending the ribbon of metal into an arcuate form so that the distal end of the lever portion is resiliently biased against a flat surface of the intermediate support portion. In a preferred embodiment, the distal ends of each of the lever portions is bent away from the corresponding flat surface of the support portion to provide a tab for urging the lever portion away from the corresponding flat surface upon engagement by money and/or credit cards. At the point where the tab is bent away from the flat surface of the base portion an elbow is formed for gripping engagement with the money or credit card placed in the clip portions.
Thus, folded currency may be placed in and held by one of the clip portions and one or more credit cards or other card-like objects may be placed in the other clip portion so that the folded currency and cards are held and conveniently separated on opposite sides of the support portion. Each are selectively and independently disengageable when needed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The money/card holding device may be conveniently carried in one's pocket or purse without the need of a wallet, providing easy access for currency, credit cards, driver's license or the like. Many other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from reading the description which follows in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the money/card holding device of the present invention illustrating, in dotted lines, the holding of folded currency and cards therein;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the money/card holding device of the present invention, according to a preferred embodiment thereof;
FIG. 3 is an edge view of the money/card holding device of the present invention; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 4 is a side view, opposite the side of FIG. 2, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a money/card holding device 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The intended use of the holding device 1 of the present invention is to hold money, in the form of folded bills or currency B, illustrated by dotted lines in FIG. 1, and cards c, such as credit cards, and as illustrated by dotted line in FIG. 1. Although these are the primary intended uses, the holding device 1 could be used for folded receipts, notes, etc. on one side and credit cards, driver's license, business cards or similar items on the opposite side.
Referring now to FIGS. 2-4, the holding device 1 of the present invention will be described in greater detail. The holding device 1 is formed from a continuous ribbon of metal having an intermediate support portion 2 with first and second clip portions at opposite ends and on opposite sides of the support portion 2. It is of course noted that support portion 2 provides first and second flat surfaces 2 a and 2 b on opposite sides thereof.
The first clip portion is formed of a lever portion 4 connected to a first end of the intermediate support portion 2 by a spring portion 3. The spring portion 3 is formed by bending the ribbon of metal into an arcuate form so that the distal end of the lever portion 4 is resiliently biased against the first flat surface 2 a of the intermediate support portion 2.
The second clip portion, at the opposite end and on the opposite side of support 2, has a lever portion 8 connected to the second end of the intermediate support portion 2 by a spring portion 7 which is also formed by bending the ribbon of metal into an arcuate form so that the distal end of the lever portion 8 is resiliently biased against an opposing flat surface of the intermediate support portion 2.
In the preferred embodiment, the distal ends of each of the lever portions 4, 8 is bent away from the corresponding flat surface 2 a, 2 b of the intermediate support portion 2 to provide a tab 6, 10, respectively, for urging the lever portions 4 and 8 away from the corresponding flat surfaces of the intermediate support portion 2 upon engagement by money or credit cards such as illustrated in FIG. 1. Along the line of bending of the lever portions 4 and 8 to provide tabs 6 and 8, as illustrated at 5 and 9 in FIG. 3, is provided an elbow or gripping surface for gripping engagement with money, credit cards or the like when placed in a respective clip portion.
The money/card holding device of the present invention is created by cutting a strip or ribbon of metal to an appropriate length. The metal can be carbon steel, stainless steel or any other suitable metal. An alloy of titanium has been found to be particularly suitable. Titanium has excellent memory characteristics and is attractive and light (approximately two thirds weight of silver). The ribbon of metal is bent, around a mandrel or the like, first at one end to form the spring portion 3 and then at the opposite end to form the spring portion 7. It is bent in an arcuate form, such as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, slightly more than one hundred and eighty degrees so that the distal ends of the lever portions 4 and 8 are resiliently biased against the opposing flat surfaces 2 a and 2 b of the intermediate support portion 2. It is, of course, noted that the ribbon of metal is bent in one direction to form the spring portion 3 and lever portion 4 at a first end of the support portion 2 and then in the opposite direction at the opposite end of the support portion 2 to form the spring portion 7 and lever portion 8.
The tabs 6 and 10 are formed by bending the distal ends of the lever portions 4 and 8 so that they will be bent away from the corresponding flat surfaces of the intermediate support portion 2. They are bent at approximately thirty degrees from the flat surfaces of the support portion 2. Actually, the tabs 6 and 10 may be bent into the proper shape prior to the bending which forms the spring portions 3 and 7.
In use, one or more bills or currency B may be folded and placed under one of the tabs, e.g. tab 6, with enough force to urge the lever portion 4 away from the corresponding flat surface 2 a until the currency is fully engaged, such as shown in FIG. 1, and held in gripping engagement by the elbow 5. Likewise, one or more credit cards, driver's license, or other card-like objects C may be placed under the tab 10 with enough force to urge the lever portion 8 away from the corresponding flat surface 2 b of the support portion 2 and slid into full engagement, such as illustrated at 3 in FIG. 1 for gripping engagement by the elbow 9. The money/card holding device and the currency and/or cards held thereby may be conveniently placed in the user's pocket, purse or the like. Of course, the currency and/or cards may be easily removed from the device when needed.
A single preferred embodiment of the invention has been described herein. However, many variations of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the scope of the invention be limited only by the claims which follow.