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Title:
HYPOALLERGENIC EARRINGS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/013560
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A hypoallergenic earring for a pierced human body part such as an ear may have an ear piece of a non-allergenic material removably directly connectable to a pierced ear and engageable with skin of the ear and a separate ornamental piece removably connectable by a fastener to the ear piece. The ear and ornamental pieces may be configured so that when the ear piece is connected to the ear, the ornamental piece normally does not engage the skin of the wearer of the earring.

Inventors:
MANCINI, Christina, M. (290 Third Avenue, Apt. 10DNew York, NY, 10010, US)
Application Number:
US2017/041527
Publication Date:
January 18, 2018
Filing Date:
July 11, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MANCINI, Christina, M. (290 Third Avenue, Apt. 10DNew York, NY, 10010, US)
International Classes:
A44C7/00; A44C9/00; A44C13/00; A44C17/02
Foreign References:
US4195492A1980-04-01
US6167725B12001-01-02
US6105392A2000-08-22
US8955355B12015-02-17
US20040093899A12004-05-20
US8499582B12013-08-06
Other References:
SAFEGUARDS: "CEN PUBLISHES AMENDMENT TO EN 1811 'NICKEL RELEASE", SGS, 4 April 2016 (2016-04-04), pages 2 - 4, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170822]
GREEN, R ET AL.: "The British Museum Encyclopedia of Native North America", THE BRITISH MUSEUM ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NATIVE NORTH AMERICA, 1999, Bloomington, pages 110, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170823]
LATTA, A: "Perfectly Pair Your Projects With 8 Types of Jewelry Clasps", CRAFTSY, 15 July 2015 (2015-07-15), Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170824]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRANCIS, William, H. (Reising Ethington P.C, P.O. Box 4390Troy, MI, 48099-4390, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims;

1.

A hypoallergenic earring for a pierced ear comprising:

a removable ear piece of a non-allergenic material configured to be removably directly connected to a pierced ear with at least a portion of the ear piece engageable with the skin of the pierced ear;

an ornamental piece separate from and connectable to the ear piece; and a fastener releasably connecting the ornamental piece to the ear piece. 2.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the fastener and the ornamental piece are configured so that when they are carried by the removable ear piece and when the ear piece is connected to the ear the ornamental piece does not engage the skin of the ear. 3.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the ear piece is made of a noble metal which, if it has any allergenic material migration, does not migrate at a rate greater than 0.2 μg/cm2/week as determined by the test method EN 1811 :2011 of the European Union and the REACH Regulation, specifically item 27 of Annex XVII to that regulation.

4.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the non-allergenic material comprises surgical stainless steel having a nickel migration rate not greater than

0.2 μg/cm2/week as determined by the test method EN 1811 :2011 of the European Union.

5.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the ornamental piece comprises a metal with a nickel constituent.

6.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the removable ear piece comprises a pad of a non-allergenic material carried by the removable ear piece and configured to bear on the skin of a wearer to dispose the ornamental piece spaced from the skin of the wearer when the wearer's head is in a normal upright position.

7.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the ear piece comprises a hook configured to be received in a pierced opening through the ear of the wearer of the earring.

8.

The earring of claim 1 , wherein the removable ear piece comprises an elongate pin configured to be received in a pierced opening through the ear of the wearer of the earring.

9.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the removable ear piece comprises a loop with an opening and a lever movable to opened and closed positions and when in the closed position, overlies the opening in the loop to retain the loop in a pierced opening of an ear of the wearer of the earring.

10.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the fastener comprises complementary threaded portions of the removable ear piece and the ornamental piece.

11.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the fastener comprises a releasable hook carried by one of the ornamental piece and the removable ear piece and a complementary eye engageable by the hook and carried by the other of the removable ear piece and the ornamental piece.

12.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the fastener comprises an eye carried by one of the removable ear piece and the ornamental piece and a and a lever carried by the other of the removable ear piece and the ornamental piece and the lever is movable between an open position permitting insertion into and removal from the eye and in closed position releasably retaining the eye.

13.

The earring of claim 1, wherein the non-allergenic material of the removable ear piece comprises at least one of, a noble metal, titanium, silicone, acrylic, PTFE, or surgical stainless steel.

14.

Jewelry for a pierced part of a body of a human wearer comprising:

a removable body piece of a non-allergenic material constructed to be received in a pierced opening in a part of a body of a human wearer;

a separate ornamental piece configured to be removably carried by the body piece without substantial contact with the skin of the human wearer; and

a fastener releasably attaching the separate ornamental piece to the body piece.

Description:
HYPOALLERGENIC EARRINGS

Reference to Co-Pending Applications

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 62/361 , 107, filed July 12, 2016, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to earrings and more particularly to hypoallergenic pierced earrings typically, but not necessarily, worn in a pierced earlobe of a human being.

Background

Many earrings and particularly relatively inexpensive earrings are made of a metal alloy with nickel and when worn for a period of time on a pierced body part, such as an earlobe, cause an allergic reaction in a significant number of human beings. Persons with a nickel allergy usually begin to develop a skin reaction within 6 to 48 hours after coming into contact with an earring containing nickel or a nickel alloy. Typical symptoms of a nickel allergy may include a skin rash or bumps, redness or other changes in skin color, dry patches on the skin that resemble a bum, itching, and blisters. In relatively rare cases a nickel allergy can also lead to respiratory problems including a runny nose, nasal inflammation, asthma, and sneezing. Most low cost earrings currently available in the market include nickel or other metals that cause irritation of the skin of those with a metal allergy. Commercially available hypoallergenic earrings that do not irritate the skin of human beings are made in one piece of precious metals principally argentium sterling silver, fine silver, silver, 14 karat and above yellow gold, gold, platinum and palladium which do not contain any nickel alloy. These one piece earrings are quite expensive and have a limited variety of ornamental designs or appearances.

Summary

In at least some implementations, a hypoallergenic earring for a pierced ear may have an ornamental piece removably connected by a fastener to an ear piece of a non-allergenic material and removably connectable to a pierced ear. A variety of different ornamental pieces may be removably connected one at a time to the same ear piece to provide a variety of earrings with a different ornamental appearance.

In at least some implementations, the ear piece may be in the form of a stud, a hook or an ear wire for removable attachment to a pierced ear. In some implementations, the fastener may be in the form of a complimentarily threaded stud and a portion of the ornamental piece or a hook and eye assembly releasably connecting the ornamental piece to the ear piece. The hook may have a releasable latch to releasably retain the hook in engagement with the eye at least while the earring is being worn.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The following detailed description of certain embodiments and best mode of earrings which will not cause a metal allergy in allergenic persons will be set forth with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is an exploded perspective side view of a stud form of a non-allergenic earring embodying this invention;

Figure 2 is a perspective side view of the earring of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a perspective view from one side of a hook form of an earring embodying this invention;

Figure 4 is a perspective view from another side of the earring of Figure 3;

Figure 5 is a perspective view of an ornamental ball of the earring of Figure 3; Figure 6 is a perspective view from one side of a lever back form of an earring embodying this invention;

Figure 7 is a perspective view from another side of the lever back earring of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a perspective view of an ornamental ball of the earring of Figure 6;

Figure 9 is an exploded side view of another stud form of a non-allergenic earring embodying this invention;

Figure 10 is a perspective back view of the ornamental piece of the earring of Figure 9; and

Figure 11 is a perspective front view of the earring of Figure 9.

Detailed Description

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate a stud form of a non-allergenic earring 10 having a stopper 12 removably receivable on a post 14 and a separate ornamental piece shown in the form of a ball 16 removably attachable to the post. The post may have an elongate pin 18 with a head 20 and a threaded shank or stud 22 adjacent one end. To removably attach the ornamental ball 16 to the post it has a threaded blind hole 24 engageable with the complementarily threaded shank 22 of the post 14. The pin 18 may be an elongate solid cylindrical rod with a rounded tip adjacent its free end and is preferably coaxial with the threaded shank 22 and the head 20 which may be generally cylindrical with generally planar opposed end faces extending transversely to the pin. The pin 18 may have a small enough diameter that in use it may be readily inserted through a pierced opening of an ear or the like. If desired the pin 18, head 20, and threaded shank 22 may be made in one homogeneously integral piece.

The stopper or ear back 12 may be a strip of resilient flexible material with curled ends and a central hole of sufficient diameter so that the pin can be slidably received through the hole and between the curled ends to releasably frictionally retain the stopper on the pin 18 of the post 14.

In accordance with this invention the stopper 12 and post 14, including the pin 18 and the head 20 are made of a non-allergenic plastic material or desirably a metal which does not have more than 0.05% of nickel therein on a weight or mass basis and a release or migration rate of the nickel when in contact with a pierced ear or other human body part of not more than 0.2 μg/cm 2 /week as measured by the European Union EN 1811 :2011 Test Method and the REACH Regulation, specifically item 27 of Annex XVII to that regulation. Typically the metal of the stopper and post may be a surgical grade stainless steel, a noble metal, or typically gold, silver, platinum, palladium, titanium and alloys thereof, which essentially do not have any nickel and, in any event, have a nickel or other allergen metal migration or release rate when in contact with the skin of a pierced human body part of not more than 0.2 μg/cm 2 /week. The head 20 of the post prevents the ornamental ball 16 from coming into any prolonged contact with the wearer's skin when the earring is received in a pierced earlobe or other human body part disposed between the head and the stopper 12. Therefore, the ornamental ball 16 may be made of relatively inexpensive materials including, without limitation, various metals which contain more than 0.05% nickel by weight and have a greater migration or release rate of the nickel than that noted above and thus could cause an allergic reaction in some humans.

With this construction the ornamental ball 16 may be disconnected and removed from the post 14 and a different ornamental piece having a complementarily threaded blind hole connected and secured to the threaded shank 22. With this construction and arrangement a wearer or user of the earring 10 may have a large variety of different ornamental pieces, each of which can be releasably connected to, and removed from, the post 14. This provides a desirable wide variety of earrings having a different ornamental appearance by simply changing the ornamental piece 16 and using each ornamental piece with the same post 14 which greatly reduces the cost and makes more affordable non-allergenic earrings.

Figures 3-5 illustrate a hook form of a non-allergenic earring 30 having a hook 32 and carrying a removable ornamental piece 34. The hook may have a generally u- shape with a first leg 36 having a generally semi-spherical tip 38 at its free end to facilitate insertion of the hook into a pierced opening of a wearer's earlobe or other human body part, a central bite 40 and a desirably longer second leg 42 having an eye 44 adjacent its distal end for receiving any one of a variety of ornamental pieces 34. Optionally, the hook 32 may also have a tab 46 adjacent the eye on which a pad of a non-allergenic material is received to ensure that the ornamental piece 34 does not substantially continuously contact the skin of the wearer of the earring. The pad may be made of a surgical grade silicone, Teflon, acrylic, vinyl, PTFE, nylon or other surgical plastic materials.

The ornamental piece 34 is removably connected to the hook 32 by a fastener 50. The fastener may have a hook 52 pivotally connected to a tang 54 attached to the ornamental piece 34 and with the tang and hook having generally L-shaped complementary catches 56 and 58 which releasably interlock. The hook may be made of a resilient and flexible material so that the catch 56 cams or slides over the catch 58 and snaps into underlying engagement with it. The ornamental piece 34 and the fastener 50 may be made of any suitable material which need not be non-allergenic. The hook 32 is made of a non-allergenic plastic or metal such as the noble metals and plastic materials noted above.

Figures 6-8 illustrate a lever back form of an earring 60 with an ornamental piece 62 removably connectable to an ear wire 64 by a fastener 66. The ear wire 64 has an open loop 68 with a gap or opening 70 releasably covered or closed by a lever 72 pivotally connected adjacent one end to the open loop 68 and having a closed position extending over the gap 70 and overlying a free end portion 73 of the loop. The ear wire 64 may have an eye 74 which can releasably receive the fastener 66 which has a hook 76 pivotally connected to a tang 78 attached to the ornamental piece 62. The hook 76 and tang 78 have generally L-shaped complementary catches 80 and 82 which releasably interlock. The hook 76 may be made of a resilient and flexible material so that the catch 80 cams or slides over the catch 82 and snaps into underlying engagement with it. The hook 76 is movable between open and closed positions and when open can be inserted into and removed from the eye 74 and when closed, can retain the ornamental piece 62 on the ear wire 64. The ornamental piece 62 and the fastener 66 may be made of any suitable material which need not be non- allergenic. The ear wire 64 is made of a non-allergenic material.

Figures 9-11 illustrate another stud form of a non-allergenic earring 90 having a stopper 12' removably receivable on a post 92 and a separate ornamental piece shown in the form of an ornamental ring 94 removably attachable to the post. The post 92 may have an elongate pin 95 with a head 96 and a threaded shank or stud 98 which may be fixed to the pin 95 adjacent one end. To removably attach the ornamental ring 94 to the post, it has a threaded collar 100 fixed to the ornamental ring 94 and engageable with the complementarily threaded stud 98 of the post 92. The pin 95 may be an elongate solid cylindrical rod 102 with a rounded tip 104 adjacent its free end and is preferably coaxial with the threaded stud 98 and the head 96 which may be generally cylindrical with a generally planar or convex inner end face 105 extending transversely to the pin. The pin 95 may have a small enough diameter that in use it may be readily inserted through a pierced opening of an ear or the like. If desired, the pin 95, head 96 and threaded stud 98 may be made in one homogeneously integral piece.

The stopper or ear back 12' may be a strip of resilient flexible material with curled ends 108 and a central hole of sufficient diameter so that the pin 95 can be slidably received through the hole and between the curled ends to releasably frictionally retain the stopper on the pin 95 of the post 92. To facilitate retention of the ear back 12' on the post, the pin 95 may have one or more grooves 106 in which the curled end portions 108 of the ear back 12' may be received.

In accordance with this invention, the stopper 12' and post 92 including the pin 95 and the head 96 are made of a non-allergenic plastic material or desirably a non-allergenic metal which does not have more than 0.05% of nickel therein on a weight or mass basis and a release or migration rate of the nickel when in contact with a pierced ear or other human body part of not more than 0.2 μg/cm 2 week as measured by the European Union EN 1811 :2011 Test Method and the REACH Regulation, specifically item 27 of Annex XVII to that regulation. Suitable non-allergenic plastic materials and metals are noted above and will not be repeated here. The head 96 of the post 92 may be configured to prevent the ornamental ring 94 from coming into any prolonged contact with the wearer's skin when the earring 90 is received in a pierced earlobe or other human body part disposed between the head 96 and the stopper 12'. Therefore, the ornamental ring 94 may be made of relatively inexpensive materials including, without limitation, various metals which contain more than 0.05% nickel by weight and have a greater migration or release rate of the nickel than that noted above and thus could cause an allergic reaction in some humans. If desired, the ornamental ring 94 may be set with real or imitation gems, stones, pearls, or the like 110, 112 in an ornate metal ring 114 to provide an ornamental appearance.

In all forms of the earring the ear piece (post 14 and stop 12, hook 32, ear wire

64, post 92 and stop 12') or other ear attachment piece which comes into contact with a wearer's skin, is made of a non-allergenic material such as a surgical plastic material, noble metal, titanium or surgical stainless steel, and the removably connected ornamental piece 16, 34, 62, 94 which normally does not come into contact with a wearer's skin may be made of allergenic materials which may be relatively inexpensive. This construction and arrangement provides relatively inexpensive earrings since the same non-allergic ear piece may be used and worn with a wide variety of different ornamental pieces which may be made of allergenic material for use with a single non-allergenic ear piece having a migration rate of nickel or other allergenic constituent of not more than 0.2 μg/cm 2 /week to thereby avoid an allergic skin reaction from contact therewith. For many metal allergies, once a wearer's skin becomes sensitized to nickel or other metal allergens, the user's skin is sensitized for a lifetime. Thus, once a user's skin becomes sensitized, such a user must be very careful to avoid any further contact with a metal allergen.