US 3307375 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 7, 1967 ESTRIN E-TAL' 3,307,375
FINGER RING WITH INTERCHANGEABLE HEADS Filed May 14, 1964 INVENTORS G /A ES 657791 By Aer/10,9 6/6661 ml dllfi. a ,4?" M96 United States Patent 3,307,375 FINGER RING WITH INTERCHANGEABLE HEADS Charles Estrin, 7303 183rd St., Flushing, N.Y. 11363, and Arthur Siege], 63-61 99th St., Forest Hills, N.Y.
Filed May 14, 1964, Ser. No. 367,429 4 Claims. '(CI. 63-15) This invention relates to a finger ring with interchangeable heads.
It is the primary object of our invention to provide an improved finger ring including a head which is connected to a ring band in a unique fashion that enables it to be easily removed by a wearer when desired and a different head substituted therefor.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character described Which is economical to manufacture, which constitutes only a small number of low cost components, and which, therefore, can be marketed to the purchasing public at an attractive price.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character described which is a highly attractive pleasant-appearing finger ornament, and which therefore is readily saleable to a mass market.
It is another object of our invent-ion to provide a finger ring of the character described, including a unique means for easily and speedily coupling the removeable head to a ring band, wherein said coupling means is of such construction that the head when connected to the ring band, will be snugly and positively held in its proper location and cannot shift in any direction relative to the ring band.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character described in which the head coupling means is small and in fact is completely concealed from view when the head is fixed to the ring band.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character described wherein the head coupling means engages the ring band in such a manner that it does not noticeably add to the overall height of the head, is unobtrusive and thereby permits numerous variants in the design of both the band and the mounting, and does not intrude radially inwardly so as to prevent the ring from being taken off or put on a wearers finger.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character described in which the head coupling means provides-firm inter-engagement between the ring band and the head While at the same time being so designed that it can be readily opened, one head replaced for another, and the ring band reclosed by a person having little manual skill or dexterity.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character-described in which the head coupling means cannot be opened so as to detach the head from the ring band when the ring is on a Wearers finger.
It is another object of our invention to provide a finger ring of the character described wherein with the same ring ban-d, one head can be substituted for another, or, with the same head, one ring band can be substituted for another, so that with but a few ditferent heads and ring bands, a large number of attractive rings can be formed, to suit the mood, style and taste of the wearer.
Other objects of our invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
Our invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the finger rings hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings in which are shown various possible embodiments of our invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a finger ring including a ring band and a head detachably coupled to the band in accordance with our invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the finger ring with the two band sections in their open position, and indicating the positioning path of the head;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the head and a detail of the coupling means;
FIG. 4 is is view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the head after it has been partially engaged by the coupling means;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the finger ring taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of a ring embodying a modified form of our invention.
In general, we achieve the several objects of our invention by providing a head that is removably coupled to a ring band. The head may itself be decoratively and ornamentally shaped, with such decoration being the only and primary decorative portion of the ring, except for the ring band, or the head may be in the form of a mount or a setting for other ornamental parts, for example, the head may hold gems, semi-precious or imitative stones, Masonic or lodge emblems, the initials of the wearer, specially carved or sculptured plates, cameos, or other similar items of attractive appearance.
Pursuant to our invention, new and improved quickly operable latch means is provided for detachably coupling the head to the ring band. Essentially, the band of a finger ring embodying our invention is divided into two sections by an equatorial split, that is, a split perpendicular to the central axis of the finger opening of the ring band. The two sections of the band are joined by a hinge remote from the head, and the band sections move mutually relatively toward and away from one another about a hinge axis that is disposed perpendicular to said central axis of the finger opening of the band. The band sections are moveable from an open (remote) position to a juxtaposed position in which each band section defines a different portion of an outwardly open-ing seat in which the shank of the detachable head is nested.
The latch means couples the two band sections to one another in their juxtaposed position and also detachably holds the head in the mouth of the seat when the band sections are in said juxtaposed position. To this end, the head has a passageway and this passageway is engaged by a tongue which is connected to the band and forms an element of the latch means. The tongue at one end is connected to one of the sections, the length of the tongue extends through the passageway in the head, and the tip, i.e., the free end of the tongue, is detachably engaged by a catch on the other band section.
When the ring is worn, the snug fit between the band of the ring and the wearers finger prevents the band sections from moving away from one another so that at this time, both the latch means and the snug fit between the ring and the wearers finger prevent accidental loss of the head. When the wearer desires to substitute one head for another, he merely pulls apart the band sections so that they rotate away from one another about their interconnecting hinge, slips the head off the tongue, places another selected head on the tongue, and snaps shut the band sections.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 5, the reference numeral 10 denotes a finger ring with interchangeable heads constructed in accordance with our invention. Said finger ring includes ring band 12, i.e., a hoop of rigid self-formmaintaining material such as a metal, a precious metal preferably being employed. The band 12, of course, has a central finger opening 13, the band encircling the finger of a wearer when the finger ring is placed thereon in a conventional fashion. The finger opening has a central axis which is substantially parallel to the elongated axis of a finger when the finger ring is being worn and is perpendicular to the plane of the opening. The band may be suitably externally decorated as with stones, or with appropriate sculptured work, as is quite well known in the jewelry art.
Although not at all critical, it will be noted herein that the band 12 is relatively narrow in its lower segment, i.e., that portion of the band which circles under the finger and which is not thereafter readily visible when the head is exposed at the back of the hand. From said narrow segment, the band 12 swells to present an enlarged surface adjacent the head.
The band 12 is divided into two sections, to wit, a first section 14 and a second section 16, by an equatorial split which lies in a plane perpendicular to the central axis of the finger opening of the band 12 and, accordingly, parallel to the plane of the finger opening. In the first form of our invention here being described, each of the two sections 14 and 16 are of like dimensions and contour, being mirror images of one another that are symmetrical about the plane of the equatorial split.
Hinge means 18 connects the band sections 14 and '16 for relative mutual rotary movement about a hinge axis perpendicular to the central axis of the finger opening. Said hinge means comprises a pin 19 having its ends fast in a pair of spaced sleeves S integral with the section 14 and its center rotatable in a sleeve S integral with the section 16. The hinge means 18 is located at the portion of the ring band remotest from the head, i.e., diametrically opposed thereto. Said hinge means allows the band sections to relatively move between a juxtaposed closed position (see FIG. 1) to a remote (spaced apart) open position (see FIG. 2). When the band sections are in their juxtaposed position the proximate edges of the band sections are closely matched so that the equatorial split between the sections is barely noticeable. The surface ornamentation of the ring band may be selected to incorporate this junction split therein as part of the design.
The band sections 14, 16 when juxtaposed conjoin to form a seat 24), i.e., an opening, part of the seat being defined by one of the ring band sections and the remainder of the seat being defined by the other ring band section. In the embodiment of our invention which is being described, the seat 20 is formed in part by the interior walls of the upper portions of the sections 14, 16 and in part by the rims of the sections immediately adjacent the opening. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, each of the sections defines a like half of the seat 20.
The seat 20 has an outwardly opening mouth 22, i.e., that portion of the seat 20 which is first entered by the interchangeable head.
An interchangeable detachable head 24 is provided for use with the ring band 12 and constitutes an integral component of the finger ring 10. The head carries a decorative portion 26. The head 24 and decorative portion 26 may include a setting with suitable prongs and nibs thereon to hold one or more stones. The decorative portion 26 may further comprise a monogram or a cameo, and in fact any type of decorative ornamentation which may be found attractive to the purchasing public. The function of the decorative portion 26 is purely ornamental and does not, therefore, act as a utilitarian component of our invention. The head is formed of a rigid self-form-maintaining material such as metal, a precious metal preferably being employed in more expensive embodiments of our invention.
The head 24 has a shank A which is of a configuration that matches, nests in, and interfits with the seat 20 formed by the ring band sections 14, 16. To this end, but only by way of example, the shank A is essentially tubular and is formed by a round shallow wall 28 as well as by an overhanging lip 30 of a slightly larger diameter than the diameter of the wall 28. The lip 30 may either be an integral part of the shank A, or may be formed by the decorative portion 26. The configuration of the shank and lip match the configuration of the seat20 so that the shank passes through the mouth 22 and nests firmly within the seat 20. Other configurations for the shank, e.g., oval and polygonal, and matching configurations for the seat, are within the scope of our invention.
The bottom of the seat is defined by an inwardly extending flange 31 which forms a shoulder against which the bottom of the shank A rests or is adjacent when the shank is fully received in the seat 20. The depth of the shank is such that at this timethe tip 30 rests on or is adjacent the mouth 22. I
Latch means is provided to detachably hold the head 24- with its decorative portion 26 within the seat 20 and to simultaneously hold the band sections 14, 16 together in their juxtaposed position. D'esirably, a single latch means carries out both of the aforesaid functions. Said latch means comprises a tongue 32, i.e., an elongated slender relatively thin bar of sheet material which is attached at one end 34 to the portion of the section 16 adjacent the seat 29. The tongue 32 projects transverse ly across the seat 20 below the mouth 22 and is sub stantially parallel to the central axis of the opening. The end 34 of the tongue is anchored to the section 16 as by inserting said end in a well in said section and then soldering the same therein. The tongue 32 is formed from a springy (resilient) self-form-maintaining material. The tip 36 of the tongue, i.e., the free end thereof, has on its internal, i.e., finger-facing, surface a shallow transverse groove 38 and the terminal portion of the groove 38 is slightly inwardly sloped toward the finger opening.
A skeleton passageway is defined within the shank A parallel to the central axis of the finger opening and traversing said shank. By the word skeleton is meant that only the shape of the passageway is defined by struc tural elements, this being efiectuated by a slot 40 in the wall 28 of the shank, the length of this passageway being interrupted by the hollow nature of the shank A. The" slot is of proper contour and dimension to freely yet not loosely admit the tongue 32. The shank passageway is further defined by a narrow bridge 42 which connects opposed internal areas of the wall 28. It will be noted that notch 44 is formed in the wall 28 so as to provide space to admit the free end 36 of the tongue.
The other section 14 of the band 12, i.e., that section not carrying the tongue 32, includes a catch for detachably engaging the tip 36 of the tongue. Said catch comprises a wire 46 which is in registry with the passageway in the head, and which is positioned to be engaged by the groove 38 when the sections 14, 16 are in closed position. The wire 46 is so located that the resilient tongue 32 must be flexed slightly outwardly to permit the groove 38 to engage the wire 46. The notch 44 also passes said wire.
Alignment means is provided to prevent the shank from shifting within the seat 26 due to a loose fit between the tongue and the passageway. To this end a stud 48 extends internally into the seat 20 from the band section 14. An aperture 50 in the wall of the shank A is of the same cross-sectional outline as the stud 48 and is located to receive the stud when the ring sections are in closed position.
With the foregoing structural description of our finger ring with interchangeable heads in mind, a reader skilled in the art can readily comprehend the operation involved in replacing one head with another. Starting with the finger ring 10 is its open position, i.e., with the sections 14, 16 remote from one another, as illustrated in FIG. 2, a desired head 24 is slipped over the tongue 32, by first passing the tongue through the slot 40 and then over the bridge 42 and through the notch 4-4. The aforesaid steps are most clearly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The sections 14, 16 are then snapped closed so that the wire 46 lies in the groove 38 of the tongue 32. As has been previously mentioned, the wire 46 is so located that in order for the groove 38 to engage it, the tongue 32 must be flexed slightly upwardly toward the decorative portion 26 and for this purpose, the tongue 32 is formed from a resilient metal. Upon closing the sections, the Wire- 46 first abuts the tip of the tongue. The tongue flexes away from the wire sufficiently to ride over the same and finally the wire engages the groove 38 and the tongue presses against the bridge 42. The action of interengaging the wire and groove locks the two sections 14, 16 to one another entirely apart from the detachable coupling of the shank A to the ring band. The location of the tongue in the passageway 40 and pressed against the bridge 42 effects the desired captive securement of the head 24 to the ring band. Moreover, the inter-engagement of the stud 48 and the aperture 50 stabilizes the shank within the seat 20. Thus the single latching means constituted by the tongue and wire performs both func tions of detachably inter-engaging the two sections 14, 16 to one another and of detachably engaging the shank A to the ring band.
It will be apparent that additional stability is given to the head 24 in its mounted position by the abutting cooperation between the bottom rim of the shank A and the top surface of the flange 31.
It further will be apparent that the split seat 20, i.e., the seat having ditTerent portions constituted by each of the diiferent sections 14 and 16, acts in closed position to assist in retaining the head 24 on the ring band; but when the seat opens up upon separation of these sections the head is released thereby.
In FIG. 6 we have illustrated a ring 60 embodying a modified form of our invention which differs from the ring only in that instead of locating the hinge 18 that pivotally connects the ring sections at a zone diametrically opposd to the head, the said hinge is positioned closer to the head. More particularly, the ring 60 is constituted by a ring band 62 including a section 64 and a section 66. The two sections meet at an equatorial zone 68 that runs from a seat 70 approximately half the way to the portion of the ring band diametrically opposed to the head 72.
The two sections 64, 66 are joined by a pair of registered hinge means 74, 76 which may be of very simple construction comprising, for example, studs, that is to say, short rivets, passing through pairs of apertures in the two sections at the opposite sides of the ring band, each pair being removed 90 from the center of the head 72. The two hinge means are diametrically opposed and aligned so that they provide but a single axis of pivotal interconnection between the ring band sections 64, 66.
The sections 64, 66 are provided with a latching means consisting of a tongue and wire construction which is identical to that described in detail in respect to the ring 10 and the head 72 likewise has a construction which is identical to the one detailed with regard to the head 24.
It thus will be seen that we have provided devices which achieve the several objects of our invention and which are well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of our above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiments above set forth, it is to be understood that all matters herein described or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrated and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described our invention, we claim as new and useful and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A finger ring with interchangeable heads, said ring including a circular band comprising two sections, hinge means mounting said sections for relative mutual movement about an axis perpendicular to the central axis of the finger opening of the band between remote and juxtaposed positions, said sections in juxtaposed position defining a seat having an outwardly opening mouth, a head, said head including a shank configured for reception in the mouth and to nest in and interfit with the seat, and latch means detachably holding the shank in its nested interfitted position in the seat and detachably retaining the sections in their juxtaposed position, said latch means including a resilient tongue secured at one end to one section, a catch carried by the other section and detachably engaging the free end of the tongue and a passageway in the shank shaped to match the cross-sectional shape of the tongue, said tongue extending through the passageway and resiliently engaging the shank.
2. A finger ring with interchangeable heads, said ring including a circular band comprising two sections adapted to be abutted at an equatorial zone of the band, hinge means mounting said sections for relative movement about an axis perpendicular to the central axis of the finger opening of the hand between remote and juxtaposed positions, said sections in juxtaposed position defining a seat having an outwardly opening mouth, said hinge means being diametrically opposed to said seat, a head, said head including a shank, said shank constituting a tubular wall configured for reception in the mouth and nested in and interfitted with the seat, a bridge extending across the space defined by the tubular walls of the shank, and latch means detachably holding the shank in its nested interfitted position in the seat and detachably retaining the sections in their juxtaposed position, said latch means including a resilient tongue secured at one end to one of said sections and extending through a passageway in the head, said tongue bearing against the bridge, said latch means further including a wire carried by the other of said sections and detachably engaging the free end of the tongue.
3. A finger ring as set forth in claim 2 wherein the free end of the tongue includes a groove for engagement with the wire.
4. A finger ring with interchangeable heads, said ring including a circular band comprising two sections adapted to be abutted at an equatorial zone of the band, hinge means mounting said sections for relative movement about an axis perpendicular to the central axis of the finger opening of the band between remote and juxtaposed positions, said sections in juxtaposed position defining a seat having an outwardly opening mouth, said hinge means being disposed away from the seat, a head, said head including a shank, said shank constituting a tubular wall configured for reception in the mouth and nested in and interfitted with the seat, a bridge extending across the space defined by the tubular walls of the shank, and latch means detachably holding the shank in its nested interfitted position in the seat and detachably retaining the sections in their juxtaposed position, said latch means including a resilient tongue secured at one end to one of said sections and extending through a passageway in the head, said tongue bearing against the bridge, said latch means further including a wire carried by the other of said sections and detachably engaging the free end of the tongue.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,133,331 5/1963 Marticorena 63-29 X FOREIGN PATENTS 455,177 7/ 1913 France. 1,001,782 10/ 1951 France.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
F. BARRY SHAY, Examiner.