US 3465544 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D. R. TUCKER Sept. 9, 19 9 RING HAVING A HINGEDLY-SECURED, CRESCENT-SHAPED SIZING ELEMENT Filed April 1. 1966 Shets-Sheet 1 I NVENTOR. DALTON R. 7'UCKEE ZM/W A TTORNEY Sept. 9, 1969 D. R. TUCKER 3,465,544
RING HAVING A HINGEDLY-SECURED. CRESCENT-SHAPED SIZING ELEMENT Filed April 1, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 a1 34 37 ac l 1VVEAVTOR. 46 [5 aura/v 12 TUCKER ATTORNEY United States Patent RING HAVING A HINGEDLY-SECURED, CRESCENT-SHAPED SIZING ELEMENT Dalton R. Tucker, Scottsdale, Ariz., assignor to Cecil E. Cope, Phoenix, Ariz. Filed Apr. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 539,346 Int. Cl. A44c 9/02 US. Cl. 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE My invention relates to an improved ring with a sizing element forming a part thereof. It relates also to the sizing element as a subcombination adapted to be associated with a band of a circlet comprising a finger ring to permit the ring to be worn by a person such as an arthritic having enlarged knuckles.
Finger rings have been worn from time immemorial. The circlet comprising a finger ring is employed not only for personal adornment, but in very many instances, comprises a symbol of some form of association involving, for example, two people in the case of marriage or engagement to marry, or association or prior association with some organization, such as a lodge, fraternity, university, or service academy. Many people find it impossible to wear rings with grace or comfort because the knuckle over which the ring must be passed is enlarged as contrasted with the part of the finger which the ring will encircle. This condition is very often true of people who have had arthritis, but many people who are not basically arthritic, have sufficiently enlarged knuckles to make the wearing of rings at best difficult. Even When a knuckle is only slightly enlarged, so that the ring fits rather loosely, the heavier part of the ring which may comprise a fraternity, lodge or school emblem, or a stone such as a diamond, will invariably make its way to the palm portion of the finger so that the embellished portion of the circlet is not visible to the onlooker. While the term circlet technically identifies a finger ring, particularly one which bears a setting of some kind and is intended primarily as an adornment, I shall for convenience employ the more conventional and common term ring in further description of the invention.
Many designs and expedients have been utilized to fit or adjust a ring to a finger with an enlarged knuckle, so that the ring will fit properly and maintain its intended position. One method which went into use for a short time is to shape the band of the ring, sometimes called a shank in the jewelry trade, with telescoping side portions equipped with springs to bring two elements of the ring together into the form of a generally circular band, but to permit separation of these portions against the biasing action of the springs when the ring was passed over the knuckle. Even when it was possible to fit this particular device successfully to the finger of a purchaser, the device would fail to work after a very short time because of the gradual accumulation of moisture, particles of dirt and the like, which rendered the springs non-functional. There is still another approach to solving this problem as shown in Patent No. 2,771,753, which resembles in some 3,465,544 Patented Sept. 9, 1969 respects a circular key retainer, permitting the keys to be placed on or removed from the ring. When applied to a finger ring, this device presumably functioned to permit expansion of the band as it passed over the knuckle, and the accomplishment of a decrease in the diameter of the band by lever action after the ring was in place on the finger. This particular device has been available on the market for a number of years, but it has enjoyed no significant sale because it does not meet the problem for several reasons known in the jewelry trade. Still another attempt to solve the problem was made by producing a band large enough to pass over the knuckle, the band being provided with a thin wire like device which had a chordal position when fastened in place functioned to decrease the cross-sectonal area of :the opening through the ring to hold it in position on the finger. This particular device is objectionable because even if it holds the ring in position, it leaves an arcuate portion of the band of the ring projecting from the finger into the area of the palm, and this projection is not only unsightly but catches and snags on objects when the wearer handles them. The above examples are only illustrative of the types of devices which have been attempted over the years to meet problems caused by enlarged knuckles on ring fingers.
Accordingly, a principal object of my present invention is the provision of a ring structure which permits the band of the ring readily to be passed over an enlarged knuckle, but which is readily adjustable to fit the area of the finger beyond the knuckle to hold the ring firmly in position.
Another object of my invention is the provision of an improved means for decreasing the cross-sectional area of a finger ring to cause it to engage the finger snugly after it has passed over an enlarged knuckle.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of an accessory device which may be associated with a standard ring to reduce the cross-sectional area of a standard ring for the purpose described.
A further object of the invention is to adapt a standard ring in possession of an individual who has acquired a deformity resulting in enlarged knuckles for utilization by such individual without extensive alteration of the ring.
Other specific objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken With the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a finger ring embodying the features of the present invention, the ring parts being in the position they occupy when the ring is on the finger;
FIG. 2 is a slightly enlarged perspective view of the ring shown in FIG. I, adjusted to pass the same over an enlarged knuckle of the wearer;
FIG. 3 is a composite view showing the principal parts of one embodiment of the invention and indicating the manner in which they may be vended for assembly by the jeweler;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line of 44 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view showing the bottom portion of the circlet comprising the finger ring of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line of 66 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an elevational view of a finger ring produced in accordance with the present invention which may comprise a blank for utilization by the jeweler in incorporating the feature of the present invention into an old ring;
FIG. 8 indicates an ordinary ring such as would be in the possession of an individual who found it too small to fit over an enlarged knuckle;
FIG. 9 is a composite view indicating one manner in which the ring of FIG. 8 may be modified to make it wearable by the owner;
FIG. 10 shows a modification of the form of ring shown in FIG. 1 in which the band of the ring is elliptical so that the inner portion of the ring which fits around the finger, after the fitting element has been restored to position, is substantially round;
FIG. 11 is a composite view showing another method of adjusting a standard ring which may be owned by a customer;
FIG. 12 shows a modified form of a generally crescent shaped insert which is employed as part of the ring assembly;
FIG. 13 shows the insert of FIG. 12 set into a standard type of ring;
FIG. 14 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 14-14 of FIG. 13, showing one manner in which the element of FIG. 12 may be secured in position on the standard ring when assembled as shown in FIG. 13;
FIG. 15 is a perspective view, approximately actual size, of an insert adjusting tool which may be used to position the crescent shaped element as shown in FIGS. 1-6, and
FIG. 16 shows a modified ring which may be produced according to the present invention.
Referring now first to FIGS. 1 through 6 inclusive, the embodiment of the invention there shown shows a circlet indicated generally by the reference character 16 and comprising a generally circular band 17 and a setting 18 of conventional character for a stone indicated by the reference character 19. It should be understood that instead of the setting as shown in FIG. 1, any usual form of embellishment may be employed, or for that matter, the ring may comprise a plain ring of the wedding band type.
The band 17 is shown in a modern type of cross section, but it is, of course, understood that in cross section, it may be of any suitable shape commonly found in finger rings.
The band 17 has a reduced diameter shank portion 20 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which is non-curvilinear so as to act as a fulcrum for a hinge tube 21. The hinge tube 21 is formed of a pair of projections 22 on a center portion of the outer curved edge of a generally crescent shaped element 23 as shown particularly in FIG. 3. The crescent shaped element 23 has an outer curved surface 24 and an inner curved surface 26 against which the finger engages. The radius of curvature of the outer surface 24 is preferably somewhat greater than the radius of curvature of the inside surface of the ring, so that when element 23 is in a position in the same plane as the band 17, there will be a slight space 27 near the center portion on opposite sides of the hinge formed by the hinge pin 20 and the hinge tube 21. The inner surface of the band 17 of the ring has a pair of recesses 28 into which shaped portions 29 of the outer ends of the member 23 engage as shown particularly by the broken lines in FIG. 5. One of the recesses 28 appears in FIG. 2, but it is to be understood that there is a recess 28 on each side of the ring at approximately the same location. It will be noted by the referenced drawings that the hinge about which the member 23 rotates is directly opposite to the setting 18, but it should be understood that it is no essential that this exact arrangement be employed, although there is some advantage in the arrangement because it places the member 23 in the palm portion of the hand and out of sight. There may, however, be some reason for adjusting the position of the member 23. It will be noted also that preferably the hinge pin or shank 20 is of smaller diameter than the main portion of the band 17, so that when the hinge tube 21 is placed in position, its outer surface comprises substantially a continuation of the outer surface of the band 17, and the position of the hinge is fixed.
I referred hereinabove to the surface 24 and to the 4 surface 26, and it should be kept in mind that both of these surfaces and the radius of curvature thereof is important. The curvature of the surface 24 is determined by the size of the ring into which the crescent member 23 is to be fitted. The curvature of the surface 26, however, is determined primarily by two factors, namely, the distance which is desired between the two surfaces 24 and 26, which determines the thickness (which may be spoken of as height when the palm is horizontal and the band 17 is in a vertical plane) of the crescent portion of the member 23, and the desired ring size of the finished assembly in closed position as it appears in FIG. 1. The ring is vended preferably in unassembled condition, as shown in FIG. 3. The jeweler can then determine what size of band 17 is required to fit over the purchasers knuckle, and then the height of the member 23 which is required to hold the ring in snug position. on the finger of the customer. Hence, the jeweler will normally carry several thicknesses (or heights) of the crescent shaped members 23 for each ring size of the band 17, as shown in FIG. 1 or as modified as will be pointed out hereinbelow.
FIG. 7 shows a plain form of ring produced in accordance with the present invention, and useful as such or for the purpose of modifying an already existing ring, as will be explained. In FIG. 7, the ring itself indicated generally by the reference character 31 has a band 31 and a crescent shaped insert 32 pivoted to the band 31 at 33, and having, for example, the same general construction as shown in the previously described embodiment. It should be borne in mind also that even in the form of the ring shown in FIG. 7, the insert 32 may be of various dimensions although normally it would be delivered in non-assembled condition as indicated generally in FIG. 3.
FIG. 8 shows a conventional ring 34 with a band 36 and a setting 37. It is assumed for purposes of description that this is an old ring owned by a customer, and that the customer can no longer wear it because of an enlarged knuckle. FIG. 9 indicates one manner in which the ring shown in FIG. 8 may be modified, such as by utilizing a portion of the band 36 of the old ring with its setting 37 and a portion of the band 32 of the ring shown in FIG. 7. This band is shown with the same insert 32 hinged at 33. The cuts in the bands 32 and 36 may occur at any desired position. The cut or excised ends of the bands are welded together in accordance with known practices in the jewelry art and produce a finished ring with a composite band now large enough to fit over the enlarged knuckle, and with the insert 32 provided for tightening the ring on the portion of the finger where it will be worn. It should be understood that when ring blanks are to be furnished for the purpose of enlarging already existing rings, an entire band may be furnished as shown in FIG. 7, or any desired portion of a band, depending upon experience one encounters in the trade. From experience which I have had to date, it appears to me that the blank furnished for enlargement purposes should comprise only about half a circle, but large enough to accommodate the generally crescent shaped insert, and with this insert securable readily in position, and with provision made for snapping the ends into place in the preformed recesses, as indicated in FIG. 5 and previously described.
It will, of course, be noted that if the band 17 shown in FIG. 1 is truly circular, then the inner surface which engages the finger when the generally crescent shaped insert is in position as shown in FIG. 1, will not be truly circular. It is to be understood that any desired shape may be employed, it being obvious that when a selection of inserts is to be made available, the inside surface of the ring will not finish to exactly the same shape when a high insert is used as when a low insert is used. This situation can be corrected by the jeweler because usually he has available to him tools for restoring a band to a round condition. I may, however, facilitate this problem by the utilization of a combination of the general type shown in FIG. 10. Here, the composite ring indicated generally by the reference character 41 has an elliptical band 42 which may suitably be ovate and provided with a generally crescent shaped insert 43 hinged to the band 42 at 44 in the same manner previously described. A suitable setting 46 of any conventional type may, of course, be furnished. It will be noted by reference to FIG. that while the thickness of the insert 43 may vary in a given instance depending upon the difference between the knuckle diameter and the finger diameter of the wearer, in general, the inner surface of the band 42 and insert 43 taken together can be made to approximate a true circle, or in some instances may be a true circle.
In the previous forms of the invention discussed including the composite ring of FIG. 9, which utilizes a blank such as shown in FIG. 7, or a blank comprising a portion of a circle, any special hinge pin is formed of smaller diameter than the band itself, and, of course, when the hinge pin is of relatively small diameter, it is necessary that a special band be produced because normally a jeweler is not qualified to produce a special reduced diameter shank 20 shown in FIG. 3. At times, however, it may be desired that a ring such as shown in FIG. 11 at 47 be retained with as little mutilation or loss of the original band as possible. This may be particularly true if the band is of some special material or special shape. It is possible to utilize the entire ring 47 with my invention, particularly when the enlargement required to pass over the knuckle is not too great. Every jeweler is equipped with simple tools for enlarging the band of a ring, and in the case of FIG. 11, the original ring with its band 48 and setting 49 remain intact, but the band 47 is merely enlarged on a standard jewelers tool, for example, from a number six size to a number eight size. By means of a crimping tool, which jewelers also have available, a portion of the band 47 as shown at 51 is made substantially straight sothat it can act as a pivot, and a crescent shaped insert 52 applied in position with its hinged tube 53 extending around the straight shank 51. The inside face of the band 47 is scored at both sides to produce recesses similar to the recesses 28 described in connection with FIGS. 1 through 6. I have not shown these recesses in FIG. 11, but indicate by broken lines that ends of insert 52 extend partly into the band as shown. In this particular type of treatment, it should be noted that the hinge tube 53 has a greater outside diameter than the contiguous portion of the band 47, but this is not a serious situation because the hinge tube is concealed, and the portion of the insert 52 which engages the finger of the wearer is, of course, entirely smooth.
In still another form of the invention, I may provide a completely separable crescent shaped insert 56 with a smooth rounded surface 57 against which the finger engages and an outer surface comprising a channel like shape 58 which engages around the band 59 of a ring, as shown in FIG. 13. As in the other embodiments of the invention, the size of the separable insert 56 of generally crescent shape may vary, and when used is selected in accordance with the conditions encountered, including the size of the ring band which is required to fit over the knuckle and the size of the finished ring as it lies against the finger above the knuckle. I may employ various ways to hold the crescent shaped insert 56 in position, but one suitable means is the utilization of a small jewelers screw 61, as shown in FIG. 14, which extends through an opening drilled in the band 59 and is secured by threading in a previously tapped hole provided in the insert 56.
There are some details of the present invention which those skilled in the art will understand without lengthy description thereof. For example, the projections 22 shown in FIG. 3 and from which the hinge tube 21 is formed are preferably of somewhat greater dimension than required, because a jeweler can always snip off a portion of these projections so that when they are shaped around the hinge pin, they will meet and not overlap. By utilizing a standard shape and dimension of projection 22, the same inserts may be utilized to modify a ring in the manner shown in FIG. 11, or to produce a finished new ring as shown in FIGS. 1 through 6. It should also be pointed out, as every jeweler will understand, that the mutually abutting edges of the projections 22 are secured together by brazing or gold soldering or by silver soldering or such method as may be available to the jeweler and properly usable in a particular circumstance. It is also fundamental and should be obvious to the jeweler, that the materials used throughout may vary, but generally speaking when an old ring is repaired, the materials used should match, and as much as possible, the cross section of the band also should be matched. This is not always easy of accomplishment, so this sometimes indicates another reason why the particular approach shown in FIG. 11 is preferred. When a new ring is offered, of course, there should be no problem in matching the band of the ring and the crescent shaped insert, although this is not absolutely essential, particularly when an insert such as shown in FIG. 12 is used.
I have found that very frequently people do not have seriously enlarged knuckles, but the portion of the finger which the ring engages is smaller than normal, and a ring will not engage such a finger firmly. Many of such people do not wear rings because the ring will not be snug but will be loose and will rotate on the finger until the setting is in the palm area. Such people can be fitted with a ring with a very low or thin insert 23 (FIG. 1) and an excellent ring fit obtained. A very low insert may be difiicult to adjust particularly if the insert engages the recesses 28 firmly. In such case, I may employ a small special wrench 62 as shown in FIG. 15, with a shank 63 an inch to an inch and a half in length. An open end jaw fits over the insert at the hinge tube 21 and can be used to rotate the insert readily into or out of ring engagement as desired. An end hole 66 permits attachment on a key chain or ring for safe keeping in the purse, pocket or jewel case. The wrench 62 may be used with advantage regardless of the dimension of the crescent shaped insert, but it is of particular advantage under the conditons explained.
In line with the use of a shallow insert for use of the person with only a slightly enlarged knuckle, FIG. 16 shows a modified structure which is optional and of considerable utility under some conditions. The ring 71 has a band 72 with a top shank or hinge pin 73, and a setting 74 embodying a hinge tube which carries the low or shallow insert 76. Normally a ring like 71 will be sold as such without adjustment in the jewelry store. A ring like 71, or a ring like 15 (FIG. 1) besides fitting over a slightly enlarged knuckle, functions as safety rings to prevent ready loss of expensive ring settings from theft, accidental loss or forcible removal. The setting in FIG. 16, of course, may act in part as a wrench to rotate the hinge tube around the hinge pin forming part of the shank.
I have in part departed from the terminology of the jewelers industry in explaining some of the parts of the ring and it should be understood that words are used in their usual sense when they depart from the usage common to the jewelry trade. When I refer to a band as forming a part of a new subassembly or assembly, it should be borne in mind that this may comprise an entire band as shown in FIG. 1, or part of a band as shown in FIG. 3. I have described my invention in detail and shown several embodiments thereof in the drawings, but the scope of the invention is defined by the claim.
1. A finger ring of precious metal or the like comprising:
(a) a circlet with a band portion somewhat larger than the ring size of a finger of a wearer so as to fit over an enlarged knuckle,
3b) a generally crescent-shaped element with an outer curvature of a radius greater than that of the inner curvature of the band,
(c) releasable means for holding said crescent-shaped element within the body of the circlet to form a generally circular inner opening smaller than the normal opening through said circlet, said releasable means including 'd) a hinge pin forming a portion of said band and placed at a top portion of the band,
(e) a setting member carrying a hinge tube encircling said hinge pin for pivotal movement therearound, and
(f) said generally crescent-shaped element being attached to the hinge tube for movement to a posi- 8 tion within said circlet, and means on said element frictionally engaging inner surfaces of the band when the setting is projecting upwardly in normal position above the band.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,075,673 10/1913 Segmar 6315.6 1,115,764 11/1914 Applas 63-156 1,382,043 6/1921 Young 6315.6 1,442,738 1/1923 Seeler 63l5.6 3,028,736 4/1962 Kahre 63-15.6 X 3,261,181 7/1966 Scott 6315 15 F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner