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Title:
JEWELRY SYSTEM, JEWELRY KIT, JEWELRY, AND ASSOCIATED METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/067683
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure is directed to jewelry systems, jewelry kits, jewelry, and methods for assembly thereof, including a hoop-shaped earring member positioned to allow one or more additional earring members to be connected thereto. The hoop-shaped earring member can be positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe, and can have a slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof. The slot can be arranged to allow one or more additional earring members to be secured in the slot when positioned therein. Each of the one or more additional earring members can have a respective prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the slot, and securable in the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member.

Inventors:
AARON MARLA (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2018/053067
Publication Date:
April 04, 2019
Filing Date:
September 27, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
AARON MARLA BETH (US)
International Classes:
A44C7/00; A44C13/00
Foreign References:
EP2982261A12016-02-10
KR20100117392A2010-11-03
US20040011079A12004-01-22
US20080148773A12008-06-26
US20080314080A12008-12-25
US20120085129A12012-04-12
US20140150496A12014-06-05
US20060021381A12006-02-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOLDSMITH, Amy, B. (Krinsky & Drogin LLP,1350 Broadwa, New York NY, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An earring comprising:

a hoop-shaped earring member positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe, the hoop-shaped earring member having a slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof,

the slot being arranged to allow one or more additional earring members to be secured in the slot when positioned therein, each of the one or more additional earring members having a respective prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the slot, and securable in the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member.

2. The earring as defined in claim 1, the hoop-shaped earring member further including a fastener portion hingedly movable between an open position and a closed position to secure the earring member to the earlobe, to connect closely adjacent the slot, and to operate as a stop to prevent the respective prong member of the one or more additional earring members from disengaging from the slot of the hoop-shaped earring member when the fastener portion is in the closed position.

3. An earring comprising:

an earring member having a prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along a slot positioned in a rear periphery of a hoop-shaped earring member and extending to a lower periphery thereof, and securable in the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member, the hoop-shaped earring member being positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe.

4. The earring of claim 3, the earring member further having a slot positioned in a portion of a side periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof to thereby allow one or more additional earring members each having a respective prong member to be secured in the slot when positioned therein.

5. The earring as defined in claim 3, wherein the earring member has one or more jewelry stones positioned therein.

6. The earring as defined in claim 5, wherein the one or more jewelry stones of the earring member comprises a first jewelry stone positioned to face a front portion of the earring member and a second jewelry stone positioned to face a rear portion of the earring member, and wherein the slot enhances light entry between the first jewelry stone and the second jewelry stone to thereby enhance illumination of the respective first jewelry stone and second jewelry stone.

7. The earring as defined in claim 3, wherein the prong member includes a post portion connected to and extending outwardly from the upper periphery of the earring member and a bulbous portion having a larger circumferential periphery than a circumferential periphery of the post portion, connected to a distal end of the post portion, and forming a distal end portion of the prong member.

8. The earring as defined in claim 7, wherein the slot opening of the hoop-shaped earring member is formed to receive the bulbous portion of the prong member of the earring member when positioned therein, so that the bulbous portion extends through the slot opening to thereby allow the post portion to slidably engage the slot and to further thereby allow the post portion to slide along the slot to the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member and be retained therein by the larger bulbous portion, being operable as a stop to prevent the earring member from disconnecting from the slot.

9. A jewelry system comprising:

a first hoop-shaped earring member positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe, the first earring member having a first slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof;

a second earring member having a first prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the first slot of the first earring member, and securable in the lower periphery of the first earring member, the second earring member having a second slot positioned in a portion of a side periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof; and

a third earring member having a second prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the second slot of the second earring member, and securable in the lower periphery of the second earring member.

10. The jewelry system as defined in claim 9, wherein the first earring member further includes a fastener portion hingedly movable between an open position and a closed position to secure the first earring member to the earlobe, to connect closely adjacent the first slot, and to operate as a stop to prevent the first prong member of the second earring member from disengaging from the first earring member when the fastener portion is in the closed position.

11. The jewelry system as defined in claim 9, wherein the third earring member has a third slot positioned in a portion of a side periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof to thereby allow one or more additional earring members each having a respective prong member extending outwardly therefrom to be secured in the third slot when positioned therein.

12. The jewelry system as defined in claim 1 1, where each of the second earring member and third earring member has one or more jewelry stones positioned therein.

13. The jewelry system as defined in claim 12, wherein the one or more jewelry stones of each of the second earring member and third earring member comprises a first jewelry stone positioned to face a front portion of the respective earring member and a second jewelry stone positioned to face a rear portion of the respective earring member, and wherein the respective second slot and third slot enhances light entry between the first jewelry stone and the second jewelry stone to thereby enhance illumination of the respective first jewelry stone and second jewelry stone.

14. The jewelry system as defined in claim 9, wherein a circumferential periphery of the second earring member has a different overall shape from a circumferential periphery of the third earring member.

15. The jewelry system as defined in claim 9, wherein each of the first prong member and the second prong member includes a post portion connected to and extending outwardly from the upper periphery of the respective earring member and a bulbous portion having a larger circumferential periphery than a circumferential periphery of the post portion, connected to a distal end of the post portion, and forming a distal end portion of the respective prong member.

16. The jewelry system as defined in claim 15, wherein the first slot of the first earring member includes a slot opening and a narrower slot channel connected to and extending downwardly from the slot opening along the rear periphery to the lower periphery of the first earring member, and

the second slot of the second earring member includes a slot opening and a narrower slot channel connected to and extending downwardly from the slot opening along the side periphery to the lower periphery of the second earring member,

the slot openings being formed to receive the bulbous portion of the prong member of the respective earring member when positioned therein, so that the bulbous portion extends through the respective slot openings to thereby allow the post portion to slidably engage the narrower channel portion and to further thereby allow the post portion to slide along the channel portion to the lower periphery of the respective earring member and be retained therein by the larger bulbous portion, being operable as a stop to prevent the respective earring member from disconnecting from the respective slot.

17. A method of assembling a jewelry system comprising a first earring member and a second earring member, the method comprising:

inserting a first prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery of the second earring member into a first slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery of and extending to a lower periphery of the first earring member, the first earring member being positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe; and sliding the first prong member downwardly along the first slot to the lower periphery of the first earring member and securing the first prong member at the lower periphery of the first earring member.

18. The method as defined in claim 17, the method further comprising:

hingedly moving a fastener portion of the first earring member from an open position to a closed position to secure the first earring member to the earlobe, to connect closely adjacent the first slot, and to operate as a stop to prevent the first prong member of the second earring member from disengaging from the first earring member when the fastener portion is in the closed position.

19. The method as defined in claim 17, the method further comprising:

inserting a second prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery of a third earring member into a second slot positioned in a portion of a side periphery of and extending to a lower periphery of the second earring member; and

sliding the second prong member downwardly along the second slot to the lower periphery of the second earring member and securing the second prong member at the lower periphery of the second earring member.

20. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein inserting each of the first prong member and the second prong member into the respective first slot and second slot comprises:

inserting a bulbous portion of each of the first prong member and the second prong member into a slot opening of the respective first slot and second slot,

wherein each of the first prong member and the second prong member includes a post portion connected to and extending outwardly from the upper periphery of the respective earring member and a bulbous portion having a larger circumferential periphery than a circumferential periphery of the post portion, connected to a distal end of the post portion, and forming a distal end portion of the respective prong member.

Description:
JEWELRY SYSTEM, JEWELRY KIT, JEWELRY, AND ASSOCIATED

METHODS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a PCT, and claims priority to U.S. Non-Provisional Application No. 16/142,909, filed September 26, 2018, entitled "JEWELRY SYSTEM, JEWELRY KIT, JEWELRY, AND ASSOCIATED METHODS," which claims priority to, and the benefit of, U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/564,944, filed September 28, 2017, entitled "JEWELRY SYSTEM, JEWELRY KIT, JEWELRY, AND ASSOCIATED METHODS," each of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

BACKGROUND

[0002] 1. Technical Field

[0003] This disclosure relates generally to the accessory industry and jewelry industry.

[0004] 2. Background

[0005] Jewelry may feature various designs, patterns, colors, stones, metals, and the like, but often is confined to a single configuration, selected by a jewelry designer or jeweler. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and the like may be designed to have a particular arrangement of components, materials, jewels, and other permanent design features, limiting the pieces to their original design.

[0006] Other jewelry, for example charm bracelets, may allow for addition and removal of charms or other jewelry pieces from the primary bracelet in order to enable alteration of the original jewelry design. These modifications often require use of delicate jewelers' tools, however, requiring professional assistance to add or substitute decorative pieces.

[0007] Some jewelry may allow for consumer-facilitated interchangeability by allowing a wearer to connect one or more additional jewelry components to a base jewelry component, as with links in a chain. For example, a first hoop-shaped earring portion may be opened to allow a second hoop-shaped earring portion to be loosely positioned over an end of the first earring portion before closing the first earring portion onto the wearer's ear, to create a two- component, or more, earring piece. This configuration, however, may limit the wearer to only chain- link style earring or other jewelry chains, which may be aesthetically limiting, or may undesirably make apparent the piecemeal nature of the linked earring system. Further, this configuration may provide a loosely coupled earring system, where the individual pieces may undesirably and uncontrollably slide and move during wear.

[0008] Jewelry is a highly personalized and stylized accessory, such that wearers may wish to alter the size, shape, color, materials, and the like of their jewelry items frequently to coordinate with aesthetic tastes, personality types, particular outfits, activities, times of year, and the like. At the same time, wearers often wish to exhibit quality in the jewelry pieces they select, and may wish to maintain that quality by giving the appearance of a cohesive piece, while still preserving a potential for modification.

SUMMARY

[0009] Applicant has recognized that it may be desirable to provide systems and methods to easily configure and interchange jewelry items. Applicant has also recognized that it often is difficult to interchange or style jewelry configurations to meet personalized needs and desires. Applicant has further recognized that it may be aesthetically desirable to provide interchangeable jewelry systems that give the appearance of being single, unified jewelry pieces, rather than individual components clearly coupled together, while still maintaining the capability for such interchangeability. At the same time, Applicant has recognized that it may be desirable to inhibit loosely dangling or sliding jewelry pieces when coupled together, by instead securely interconnecting individual jewelry portions.

[0010] Accordingly, the present disclosure provides jewelry systems, jewelry kits, jewelry, and associated methods that enhance the ease of configuration and interchangeability to create individual jewelry styles and options. According to an embodiment, a hoop-shaped earring member can be positioned to allow one or more additional earring members to be connected thereto. The hoop-shaped earring member can be positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe, and can have a slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof. The slot can be arranged to allow one or more additional earring members to be secured in the slot when positioned therein. Each of the one or more additional earring members can have a respective prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the slot, and securable in the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member.

[0011] An embodiment of the present disclosure also is directed to a jewelry system that can include a first hoop-shaped earring member, a second earring member, and a third earring member. According to an embodiment, the first hoop-shaped earring member can be positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe. The first earring member can have a first slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof. In some embodiments, the second earring member can have a first prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the first slot of the first earring member, and securable in the lower periphery of the first earring member. The second earring member can include a second slot positioned in a portion of a side periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof. According to an embodiment, the third earring member can have a second prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the second slot of the second earring member, and securable in the lower periphery of the second earring member. This series of one or more earring members, for example, allows a user to create a style for different occasions, outfits, personalities, and the like.

[0012] In an embodiment, the first earring member can further include a fastener portion hingedly movable between an open position and a closed position to secure the first earring member to the earlobe, to connect closely adjacent the first slot, and to operate as a stop to prevent the first prong member of the second earring member from disengaging from the first earring member when the fastener portion is in the closed position and the first prong member is positioned in the first slot.

[0013] In an embodiment, the third earring member can have a third slot positioned in a portion of a side periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof to thereby allow one or more additional earring members each having a respective prong member extending outwardly therefrom to be secured in the third slot when positioned therein.

[0014] In an embodiment, each of the second earring member and third earring member can have one or more jewelry stones positioned therein.

[0015] In an embodiment, the one or more jewelry stones of each of the second earring member and third earring member can include a first jewelry stone positioned to face a front portion of the respective earring member and a second jewelry stone positioned to face a rear portion of the respective earring member. These jewelry stones, for example, can be the same or different types sizes, or shapes, as will be well understood by those skilled in the art. The respective second slot and third slot can also enhance light entry between the first jewelry stone and the second jewelry stone to thereby enhance illumination of the respective first jewelry stone and second jewelry stone.

[0016] In an embodiment, a circumferential periphery of the second earring member can have a different overall shape from a circumferential periphery of the third earring member.

[0017] In an embodiment, each of the first prong member and the second prong member can include a post portion connected to and extending outwardly from the upper periphery of the respective earring member. Each of the first and second prong members can also include a bulbous portion having a larger circumferential periphery than a circumferential periphery of the post portion, which can be connected to a distal end of the post portion, and can form a distal end portion of the respective prong member.

[0018] In an embodiment, the first slot of the first earring member can include a slot opening and a narrower slot channel connected to and extending downwardly from the slot opening along the rear periphery to the lower periphery of the first earring member, and the second slot of the second earring member can include a slot opening and a narrower slot channel connected to and extending downwardly from the slot opening along the side periphery to the lower periphery of the second earring member. In an embodiment, the slot openings can be formed to receive the bulbous portion of the prong member of the respective earring member when positioned therein. This, for example, can allow the bulbous portion to extend through the respective slot openings to thereby further allow the post portion to slidably engage the narrower channel portion and to thereby further allow the post portion to slide along the channel portion to the lower periphery of the respective earring member and be retained therein by the larger bulbous portion. The larger bulbous portion may operate as a stop to prevent the respective earring member from disconnecting from the respective slot.

[0019] An embodiment of the present disclosure also is directed to an earring having a hoop- shaped earring member that can be positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe. The hoop-shaped earring member can have a slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery thereof and extending to a lower periphery thereof. In an embodiment, the slot can be arranged to allow one or more additional earring members to be secured in the slot when positioned therein, each of the one or more additional earring members having a respective prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along the slot, and securable in the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member.

[0020] An embodiment of the present disclosure further is directed to an earring having an earring member that can have a prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery thereof, positionable into and to be slidable along a slot positioned in a rear periphery of a hoop-shaped earring member and extending to a lower periphery thereof, and securable in the lower periphery of the hoop-shaped earring member. The hoop-shaped earring member may be positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe.

[0021] An embodiment of the present disclosure still further is directed to a method of assembling a jewelry system. An embodiment of a method for assembly of a jewelry system, for example, may include a first earring member and a second earring member. The method may include inserting a first prong member extending outwardly from an upper periphery of the second earring member into a first slot positioned in a portion of a rear periphery of and extending to a lower periphery of the first earring member. The first earring member is positionable to insert into and secure to an earlobe. In an embodiment, the method further can include sliding the first prong member downwardly along the first slot to the lower periphery of the first earring member and securing the first prong member at the lower periphery of the first earring member.

[0022] An embodiment of the present disclosure still further is directed to a jewelry kit for storage, presentation, transport, and sale of one or more jewelry items. The one or more jewelry items may be connectable and interchangeable to form one or more jewelry systems, according to the wearer's individual tastes and preferences.

[0023] Other aspects and features of embodiments of the present disclosure will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art after reading the detailed description herein and the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0024] Some of the features and benefits of the present disclosure having been stated, others will become apparent as the description proceeds when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0025] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, and a second earring member disconnected from the first hoop-shaped earring member, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0026] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a second earring member being connected to a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0027] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second earring member being partially secured to a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0028] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second earring member being fully secured to a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0029] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position and secured to an earlobe, shown in phantom lines, at a top periphery of the first earring member and connected to a second earring member at a lower periphery thereof to form a jewelry system, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0030] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position and connected to a second earring member, and a third earring member disconnected from the first hoop-shaped earring member and second earring member, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0031] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a first-hoop shaped earring member in an open position and connected to a second earring member, and a third earring member being connected to the second earring member, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0032] FIG 8 is a perspective view of a first-hoop shaped earring member in an open position and connected to a second earring member, and a third earring member being partially secured to the second earring member, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0033] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position and connected to a second earring member, and a third earring member being fully secured to the second earring member, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0034] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position and secured to an earlobe at an upper periphery of the first earring member and connected to a second earring member at a lower periphery thereof, and a third earring member connected to a lower periphery of the second earring member to form a jewelry system, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0035] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position and secured to an earlobe at an upper periphery of the first earring member and connected to a fourth earring member at a lower periphery thereof to form a jewelry system, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0036] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position and secured to an earlobe at an upper periphery of the first earring member and connected to a second earring member at a lower periphery thereof, and a fourth earring member connected to a lower periphery of the second earring member to form a jewelry system, according to an embodiment of a jewelry system.

[0037] FIG. 13 is perspective view of a jewelry kit, according to an embodiment of a jewelry kit.

[0038] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0039] FIG. 15 is a front elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item. [0040] FIG. 16 is a rear elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0041] FIG. 17 is a left-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0042] FIG. 18 is a right-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0043] FIG. 19 is a top elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0044] FIG. 20 is a bottom elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in an open position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0045] FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0046] FIG. 22 is a front elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0047] FIG. 23 is a rear elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0048] FIG. 24 is a left-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0049] FIG. 25 is a right-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0050] FIG. 26 is a top elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0051] FIG. 27 is a bottom elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment of a jewelry item.

[0052] Although the disclosure will be described in connection with various exemplary embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the disclosure to that embodiment. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as may be included within the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DISCLOSURE

[0053] The jewelry system, jewelry kit, jewelry, and associated methods of the present disclosure will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings in which embodiments are shown. The method and system of the present disclosure may be in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the illustrated embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey its scope to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.

[0054] It is to be further understood that the scope of the present disclosure is not limited to the exact details of construction, operation, exact materials, or embodiments shown and described, as modifications and equivalents will be apparent to one skilled in the art. In the drawings and specification, there have been disclosed illustrative embodiments and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for the purpose of limitation.

[0055] Described herein are examples of jewelry systems, jewelry kits, jewelry, and associated methods. In particular, embodiments of a jewelry system, a jewelry kit, jewelry, and associated methods are provided that allow for customization of an earring set through easy addition and removal of various earring members having different shapes and designs to form a complete, wearable jewelry system. [0056] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, and a second earring member 200 disconnected from the first earring member 100. The first earring member 100, although illustrated in a hoop shape, may take any shape as aesthetically desired, such as more circular, squared, tear-drop, or the like.

[0057] The first earring member 100 may include a fastener portion 105 for insertion into an earlobe or other body part, such as navel, nose, or the like, to allow a consumer to wear the jewelry system. In the illustrated embodiment, first earring member 100 may include a front periphery 1 10 and a rear periphery 1 15 coupled by a hinge member 120 secured by a pin 122. Although illustrated as a hinge 120 and pin 122, in other embodiments other rotatable couplings between front periphery 110 and rear periphery 1 15 may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. Hinge member 120 may allow first earring member 100 to move between an open position as illustrated in FIG. 1 and a closed position as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 5.

[0058] In the open position as illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the front periphery 1 10 of first earring member 100 may be separated from rear periphery 1 15 by the rotation of hinge 120 about pin 122 at least as far as needed to insert an earlobe or other body part between a distal end of fastener portion 105 and rear periphery 1 15. In some embodiments, the front periphery 110 and rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100 may each have a length a, b, respectively, of 12 millimeters (mm) and may each have a width c, d, respectively, of 4 mm, for example, while in other embodiments various other dimensions may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0059] In a closed position as illustrated in FIG. 5 and as discussed in more detail below, the front periphery 110 of first earring member 100 may be rotated toward rear periphery 115 by the rotation of hinge 120 about pin 122. As the rotation occurs, the distal end of fastener portion 105 may be brought into contact with and secured within a slot opening 135 positioned in an upper periphery 125 of the rear periphery 1 15 of first earring member 100. A groove 107 located on the top surface of fastener portion 105 may facilitate securing fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135 by catching a portion of the perimeter of slot opening 135 within groove 107. Although illustrated in FIG. 1 as being positioned on a top surface of fastener portion 105, in other embodiments groove 107 may be positioned on a side or bottom surface of fastener portion 105, or may extend partially or entirely around a circumference of fastener portion 105 at any point proximate the distal end of fastener portion 105 to facilitate securing fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135.

[0060] In other embodiments, front periphery 1 10 and rear periphery 1 15 may be fixedly attached. In such embodiments, hinge 120 may be positioned at the base of fastener portion 105, such that fastener portion 105 may rotate between an open position in which a distal end of the fastener portion 105 is elevated above the upper periphery 125 to allow insertion of fastener portion 105 into an earlobe or other body part, and a closed position in which the distal end of the fastener portion 105 is rotated downward to be secured in slot opening 135 of first earring member 100 to secure first earring member 100 to an earlobe or other body part.

[0061] In some embodiments, fastener portion 105 may have a length e of 7.25 mm, for example, and may be slightly arcuate. In other embodiments, fastener portion 105 may have various lengths and may have varying degrees of curvature or may be straight, as necessary and suitable for insertion into an earlobe or other body part, and as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0062] Front periphery 110 of first earring member 100 may be solid and arcuate, as shown in the illustrated embodiment. In various embodiments, the curvature of front periphery 1 10 may vary according to aesthetic preference, as the front periphery 1 10 may be the portion visible when first earring member 100 is worn. For example, in some embodiments front periphery 110 may present a flattened front surface when worn, while in other embodiments front periphery 110 may present a convex or curved surface. In still other embodiments, front periphery 1 10 may include inlays or channels to accommodate one or more precious stones, natural materials, or manufactured materials, such as turquoise, carnelian, cachalong, malachite, onyx, chrysoprase, white jade, lapis, mother of pearl, amethyst, rhodolite, garnet, aquamarine, tourmaline, diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearl, spinel, or wood, or metal inlays in various designs and colors, according to aesthetic preference. The first earring member 100 - as well as each of second earring member 200, third earring member 300, and fourth earring member 400, as discussed below - may also be formed of any suitable material, such as gold of various carat (K) weights and colors, such as 14K or 18K yellow, rose, or white gold, as an example, or silver, platinum, or other metal materials, as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0063] Rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100 may include a slot opening 135 positioned at an upper periphery 125 thereof, and a slot channel 140 extending downwardly from slot opening 135 to a lower periphery 130 of earring member 100. In some embodiments, slot channel 140, for example, may extend at a length / of 1 1 mm, while in other embodiments other lengths, including but not limited to 12.5 mm, may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. In some embodiments, slot opening 135 may have a width g of 2 mm, while slot channel 140 may have a width s of 1.5 mm. In other embodiments, various other widths may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0064] Slot opening 135 may be sized and shaped to receive the distal end of fastener portion 105, as discussed above. In the illustrated embodiment, slot opening 135 is generally circular, and is sized and shaped to receive the generally circular distal end of fastener portion 105. For example, as front periphery 1 10 is rotated toward rear periphery 1 15 about hinge 120 and pin 122, the distal end of fastener portion 105 may be inserted and secured into slot opening 135. This insertion into slot opening 135 may act as a stop, effectively preventing removal of a first prong member 250 of second earring member 200 from slot opening 135 when positioned therein, as discussed in more detail below. It is noted that the distal end of fastener portion 105 need not be large enough to occupy and fill the entirety of slot opening 135, but rather, as illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, need only be large enough to act as a stop to prevent removal of first prong member 250 from slot opening 135 when second earring member 200 is connected to first earring member 100.

[0065] Slot opening 135 may additionally be sized and shaped complementarily to a bulbous portion 255 of a first prong member 250 of second earring member 200. Slot channel 140 may also be sized and shaped complementarily to a post portion 260 of the first prong member 250 of second earring member 200. Such complementary sizing and shaping may allow bulbous portion 255 to be inserted into and through slot opening 135, and may allow post portion 260 to engage and slide along slot channel 140 from the upper periphery 125 of first earring member 100 to the lower periphery 130 thereof, as illustrated in FIGS. 2-4 and discussed in more detail below.

[0066] As illustrated in FIG. 1, bulbous portion 255 may have a generally spherical shape, but may include one or more flattened face to facilitate insertion of bulbous portion 255 into slot opening 135. In the illustrated embodiment, the flat face of bulbous portion 255 faces a rear portion of second earring member 200, while in other embodiments the flat face may face a left, right, front, or angled direction with respect to a front portion of second earring member 200.

[0067] Second earring member 200 may be shaped as a square having rounded corners, having dimensions h of 11.7 x 1 1.7 mm in the illustrated embodiment. In other embodiments, second earring member 200 may be formed in various shapes and dimensions according to aesthetic preferences, as will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. In the illustrated embodiment, second earring member 200 is formed having an outer periphery 275 securing two jewelry stones 265a, 265b therein. In some embodiments, the outer periphery 275 may be formed of a precious metal, such as gold, silver, platinum, or the like, while the jewelry stones 265a, 265b may be the same or different precious or semi-precious stones, natural materials, or manufactured materials, such as turquoise, carnelian, cachalong, malachite, onyx, chrysoprase, white jade, lapis, mother of pearl, amethyst, rhodolite, garnet, aquamarine, tourmaline, diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearl, spinel, or wood, or other precious or semi-precious stones or materials, as will be understood by those skilled in the art. The two jewelry stones 265a, 265b may be cut and positioned to each face outwardly from opposite sides of second earring member 200, such that second earring member is aesthetically reversible or double-sided.

[0068] As illustrated in FIG. 4 and discussed in more detail below, once second earring member 200 is securely attached to first earring member 100, second earring member 200 may be positioned to freely or manually rotate in slot channel 140 at the lower periphery 130 of first earring member 100, such that each of jewelry stones 265a, 265b may be alternately fully, or simultaneously partially, viewable when the jewelry system is worn.

[0069] A side periphery 245 of second earring member 200 may include a slot opening 235 at an upper periphery 225 thereof, and a slot channel 240 extending downwardly from slot opening 235 to a lower periphery 230 of earring member 200. In some embodiments, slot channel 240 may extend at a length i of 1 1 mm, while in other embodiments other lengths, including but not limited to 12.5 mm, may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. In some embodiments, slot opening 235 may have a width j of 2 mm, while slot channel 240 may have a width k of 1.5 mm. In other embodiments, various other widths may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. [0070] Slot opening 235 may be sized and shaped complementarily to a bulbous portion 355 of a second prong member 350 of a third earring member 300, as illustrated in FIG. 6 and discussed in more detail below. Slot channel 240 may also be sized and shaped complementarily to a post portion 360 of the second prong member 350 of third earring member 300. Such complementary sizing and shaping may allow bulbous portion 355 to be inserted into and through slot opening 235, and may allow post portion 360 to engage and slide along slot channel 240 from the upper periphery 225 of second earring member 200 to the lower periphery 230 thereof, as illustrated in FIGS. 6-9 and discussed in more detail below.

[0071] In addition to allowing for coupling of a third earring member 300, the presence of slot opening 235 and slot channel 240 may allow for light rays 272 to enter into a space between and behind jewelry stones 265a, 265b, to thereby enhance illumination of jewelry stones 265a, 265b from behind. Second earring member 200 may also include one or more light channels 270a, 270b, 270c, 270d positioned about the outer periphery 275 thereof to provide additionally enhanced illumination of jewelry stones 265a, 265b from various angles. Although illustrated as rectangular light channels, in various embodiments, light channels 270a-d may be formed in any shape, size, or number, as aesthetically desired, as will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art.

[0072] FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of second earring member 200 being connected to first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. As discussed above, slot opening 135 in the upper periphery 125 of first earring member 100 may be generally complementarily sized and shaped to bulbous portion 255 of first prong member 250 positioned on the upper periphery 225 of second earring member 200, allowing for insertion of bulbous portion 255 of first prong member 250 into and through slot opening 135 of first earring member 100. [0073] As shown in the illustrated embodiment, first earring member 100 is in an open position, such that fastener portion 105 is not blocking slot opening 135, thereby allowing for insertion of bulbous portion 255 into and through slot opening 135. Were first earring member 100 in a closed position, for example as illustrated in FIG. 5, fastener portion 105 would at least partially block slot opening 135, thereby preventing insertion or removal of bulbous portion 255 into or from slot opening 135.

[0074] As bulbous portion 255 is inserted into slot opening 135, second earring member 200 may be pushed in and rotated in either direction in order to facilitate insertion of bulbous portion 255 through slot opening 135, as illustrated between FIGS. 1 and 2. Once bulbous member 255 is positioned within and beyond slot opening 135, post portion 260 may engage slot opening 135 and slot channel 140.

[0075] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of second earring member 200 being partially secured to first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. After insertion of bulbous portion 255 of first prong member 250 of second earring member 200 into slot opening 135 on the upper periphery 125 of first earring member 100, bulbous portion 255 may be extended into and through slot opening 135, such that post portion 260 may enter slot opening 135. Post portion 260 of first prong member 250 may be sized and shaped to be complementary to slot channel 140 extending along rear periphery 1 15 of first earring member 100. This complementary formation allows post portion 260 to engage and slide along slot channel 140 from the upper periphery 125 of first earring member 100 towards the lower periphery 130 thereof. As post portion 260 slides along slot channel 140, bulbous portion 255 may remain on an interior of the rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100, securing second earring member 200 to first earring member 100.

[0076] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of second earring member 200 being fully secured to first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. After insertion of bulbous portion 255 of second earring member 200 into and through slot opening 135 of first earring member 100, post portion 260 can slide along slot channel 140 as illustrated in FIG. 3 and discussed above, from an upper periphery 125 to a lower periphery 130 of first earring member 100, along the rear periphery 1 15 thereof. Upon reaching the lower periphery 130 of first earring member 100, first prong member 250 may be stopped by termination of slot channel 140 proximate to hinge 120. At this terminal position, first prong member 250 may be freely rotatable within slot channel 140 as shown by arrow 405, such that each of jewelry stones 265a, 265b may be alternately fully, or simultaneously partially, visible during wear. Such rotation may occur freely during wear, or may be achieved manually by turning second earring member 200 as shown by arrow 405.

[0077] FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, with the first earring member 100 secured to an earlobe 505 at the upper periphery 125 of the first earring member 100 and connected to second earring member 200 at the lower periphery 130 of the first earring member 100 to form a jewelry system 500.

[0078] As previously discussed, the front periphery 110 and rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100 may be brought into proximity by rotation about hinge 120 and pin 122, until the distal end of fastener portion 105 is inserted into slot opening 135. Before closing first earring member 100, fastener portion 105 may be inserted through earlobe 505 or another suitable body part. When in a closed position as illustrated, fastener portion 105 may have a length / of 7 mm in some embodiments, or may have various lengths appropriate to accommodate an earlobe 505 or other body part in other embodiments.

[0079] Groove 107 located on the top surface of fastener portion 105 may facilitate securing fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135 by catching a portion of the perimeter of slot opening 135 within groove 107. Although illustrated in FIG. 1 as being positioned on a top surface of fastener portion 105, in other embodiments groove 107 may be positioned on a side or bottom surface of fastener portion 105, or may extend partially or entirely around a circumference of fastener portion 105 at any point proximate the distal end of fastener portion 105 to facilitate securing fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135.

[0080] When fastener portion 105 is secured to earlobe 505 and inserted into slot opening 135, fastener portion 105 may serve as a stop to prevent second earring member 200 from disengaging from first earring member 100 when first earring member 100 is in the closed position and worn. In particular, fastener portion 105 may at least partially block slot opening 135 such that, even if post portion 260 of second earring member 200 were to slide up slot channel 140 towards slot opening 135 during wear or transport, slot opening 135 is effectively blocked by fastener portion 105 such that bulbous portion 255 cannot exit slot opening 135. In this way, jewelry system 500 may remain securely coupled during wear or transport.

[0081] As illustrated in FIG. 5, when worn, jewelry system 500 may not show the functional slot channel 140, 240 and slot opening 135, 235 elements of first earring member 100 and second earring member 200, such that jewelry system 500 may appear to be a complete, unified jewelry system. For example, slot opening 135 and slot channel 140 may be positioned on a rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100, such that slot opening 135 and slot channel 140 are not visible when first earring member 100 is worn, with the front periphery 110 facing forward with respect to the wearer's earlobe 505. Similarly, slot opening 235 and slot channel 240 may be positioned on a side periphery 245 of second earring member 200, such that slot opening 235 and slot channel 240 are not visible when the second earring member 200 is coupled to first earring member 100 and worn, with the side periphery 245 facing to the side with respect to the wearer's earlobe 505.

[0082] This arrangement of the functional elements of the individual earring members 100, 200 to be hidden from view during wear advantageously provides a jewelry system 500 that presents the illusion of being a single, cohesive piece, while still maintaining the flexibility of interchangeability. When worn, earring members 100, 200 may appear to be originally and permanently connected, such that jewelry system 500 may appear as a singular piece as designed by a jewelry designer or jeweler. Yet, if the wearer opts to substitute or add earring members 200, 300, 400 to first earring member 100, as discussed in more detail below, those jewelry systems 1000, 1100, 1200, for example, will also appear to be unified pieces. Such configuration may allow the jewelry systems to maintain an appearance of quality craftsmanship and design.

[0083] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position and connected to a second earring member 200, and a third earring member 300 disconnected from the first hoop-shaped earring member 100 and second earring member 200, according to an embodiment. In some examples, a wearer may wish to add additional earring members to the first earring member 100 and second earring member 200 jewelry system for aesthetic purposes.

[0084] Although illustrated in FIGS. 6-8 as adding third earring member 300 to the first earring member 100 and second earring member 200 jewelry system when first earring member 100 is in an open position, in other embodiments third earring member 300 may be added to jewelry system 500 when first earring member 100 is in a closed position, either worn by the wearer or not.

[0085] As illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, third earring member 300 may be shaped and sized differently from second earring member 200, according to aesthetic preferences. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, third earring member 200 may have an oval outer periphery 375, having a height m of 14.5 mm and a width n of 9.2 mm. In other embodiments, third earring member 300 may have various shapes and sizes according to design inclinations. Like second earring member 200, third earring member 300 may include two jewelry stones 365a, 365b positioned within and shaped complementarily to outer periphery 375. Each of jewelry stones 365a, 365b may be cut and positioned to face outwardly when positioned in outer periphery 375, and may be formed with a gap behind and therebetween to allow light rays 372 to enter through a plurality of light channels 370a, 370b, 370c, 370d positioned about the outer periphery 375 and thereby enhance illumination of jewelry stones 365a, 365b from behind.

[0086] Third earring member 300 may include a second prong member 350 positioned at an upper periphery 325 thereof to facilitate connection of third earring member 300 to second earring member 200. In other embodiments, second prong member 350 may enable connection between third earring member 300 and first earring member 100 directly. Second prong member 350 may include bulbous portion 355 positioned at a distal end of post portion 360, extending upwardly from the upper periphery 325 of third earring member 300.

[0087] In some embodiments, bulbous portion 355 may have a diameter o of 2.1 mm and post portion 360 may have a height p of 1.6 mm, while in other embodiments alternate dimensions may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. The relative sizes and materials used to form bulbous portion 355 and post portion 360 may be selected with particularity in order to ensure that first prong member 250 does not bend or snap off of second earring member 200 during the inserting, pushing, and twisting motions used to connect second earring member 200 to first earring member 100 via slot opening 135 and slot channel 140. In some embodiments, bulbous portion 355 and post portion 360 may be sized and shaped consistently with bulbous portion 255 and post portion 260, respectively, of second earring member, and with respective bulbous portions and post portions of any additional earring members, such that each of second earring member 200, third earring member 300, and any additional earring members may be interchangeably connectable to first earring member 100 or to each other for formation of various jewelry systems having various designs, earring member combinations, numbers, lengths, and colors.

[0088] As illustrated in FIG. 6, bulbous portion 355 may have a generally spherical shape, but may include one or more flattened face to facilitate insertion of bulbous portion 355 into slot opening 235. In the illustrated embodiment, the flat face of bulbous portion 355 faces a rear portion of third earring member 300, while in other embodiments the flat face may face a left, right, front, or angled direction with respect to a front portion of third earring member 300.

[0089] Bulbous portion 255 and post portion 260 may similarly be complementarily sized and shaped to slot opening 135 and slot channel 140, respectively, of first earring member 100, and to slot opening 235 and slot channel 240, respectively, of second earring member 200, and to respective slot openings and slot channels of any additional earring members, such that each of second earring member 200, third earring member 300, and any additional earring members may be interchangeably connectable to first earring member 100 or to each other for formation of various jewelry systems having various designs, earring member combinations, numbers, lengths, and colors.

[0090] Slot opening 335 may be positioned at an upper periphery 325 of third earring member 300, and may extend along slot channel 340 along a side periphery 345 to a lower periphery 330 thereof. This configuration may allow first earring member 100, second earring member 200, and third earring member 300 to be vertically connected for wear.

[0091] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of first-hoop shaped earring member 100 in an open position and connected to second earring member 200, and third earring member 300 being connected to the second earring member 200, according to an embodiment. In the illustrated embodiment, second earring member 200 may be connected to first earring member 100 by inserting first prong member 250 of second earring member 200 into slot opening 135 of first earring member 100, and sliding first prong member 250 along slot channel 140 of first earring member 100 to a lower periphery 130 thereof Such connection may be facilitated by first earring member 100 being in an open position, such that fastener portion 105 is not partially or fully blocking slot opening 135.

[0092] After connection of second earring member 200 to first earring member 100, third earring member 300 may be connected to second earring member 200. In some embodiments, third earring member 300 may first be connected to second earring member 200 before connecting second earring member 200 to first earring member 100. In the illustrated embodiment, second prong member 350 of third earring member 300 may be inserted into slot opening 235 of second earring member 200, such that bulbous portion 355 extends into and through slot opening 235 until post portion 360 engages slot opening 235 and slot channel 240.

[0093] Although third earring member 300 is illustrated as being connected to second earring member 200 with jewelry stone 365a in an upward facing position in FIG. 7, in other embodiments third earring member 300 may be rotated at any position with respect to jewelry stones 365a, 365b, so long as second prong member 350 is inserted generally perpendicularly into slot opening 235.

[0094] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of first-hoop shaped earring member 100 in an open position and connected to second earring member 200, and third earring member 300 being partially secured to the second earring member, according to an embodiment. After insertion of bulbous portion 355 into and through slot opening 235, post portion 360 may engage slot opening 335 and slot channel 240 such that post portion 360 may slide down slot channel 240 from an upper periphery 225 of second earring member 200, along a side periphery 245 thereof, in the direction indicated by the arrow toward a lower periphery 230 of second earring member 200. [0095] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position and connected to second earring member 200, and third earring member 300 being fully secured to the second earring member 200, according to an embodiment. After insertion of bulbous portion 355 of third earring member 300 into and through slot opening 235 of second earring member 200, post portion 360 can slide along slot channel 240 as illustrated in FIG. 8 and discussed above, from an upper periphery 225 to a lower periphery 230 of second earring member 200, along the side periphery 245 thereof. Upon reaching the lower periphery 230 of second earring member 200, second prong member 350 may be stopped by the termination of slot channel 240 at lower periphery 230. At this terminal position, second prong member 350 may be freely rotatable within slot channel 240 as shown by arrow 905, such that each of jewelry stones 365a, 365b may be alternately fully, or simultaneously partially, visible during wear. Such rotation may occur freely during wear, or may be achieved manually by turning third earring member 300 as shown by arrow 905.

[0096] FIG. 10 shows a perspective view of first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, with the first earring member 100 secured to an earlobe 505 at the upper periphery 125 of the first earring member 100 and connected to second earring member 200 at the lower periphery 130 thereof, and third earring member 300 connected to the lower periphery 230 of second earring member 200 to form a jewelry system 1000.

[0097] As illustrated in FIG. 10, when worn, jewelry system 1000 may not show the functional slot channel 140, 240, 340 and slot opening 135, 235, 335 elements of first earring member 100, second earring member 200, and third earring member 300, such that jewelry system 1000 may appear to be a complete, unified jewelry system. For example, slot opening 135 and slot channel 140 may be positioned on a rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100, such that slot opening 135 and slot channel 140 are not visible when first earring member 100 is worn, with the front periphery 110 facing forward with respect to the wearer's earlobe 505. Similarly, slot opening 235 and slot channel 240 may be positioned on a side periphery 245 of second earring member 200, such that slot opening 235 and slot channel 240 are not visible when the second earring member 200 is coupled to first earring member 100 and worn, with the side periphery 245 facing to the side with respect to the wearer's earlobe 505. Further, slot opening 335 and slot channel 340 may be positioned on a side periphery 345 of third earring member 300, such that slot opening 335 and slot channel 340 are not visible when the third earring member 300 is coupled to second earring member 200 and worn, with the side periphery 345 facing to the side with respect to the wearer's earlobe 505.

[0098] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 secured to an earlobe 505 at an upper periphery 125 of the first earring member 100 and connected to a fourth earring member 400 at a lower periphery 130 thereof to form a jewelry system 1100, according to an embodiment. In the illustrated embodiment, fourth earring member 400 may be formed as a disk having a substantially circular outer periphery 475 with a double-sided jewelry stone 465 positioned therein. In some embodiments, the jewelry stone 465 of fourth earring member 400 may have a diameter q of 45 mm and a thickness r of 1 mm, while in other embodiments the dimensions and thickness of fourth earring member 400 may vary. Additionally, although illustrated in FIG. 1 1 as a circular disk, in other embodiments fourth earring member 400 may have an oval, squared, or other geometric shape according to aesthetic preferences.

[0099] Like second earring member 200 and third earring member 300, fourth earring member may include a third prong member 450 extending from an upper periphery 425 thereof. Third prong member 450 may include a bulbous portion 455 for insertion into and through slot opening 135, and a post portion 460 for engaging slot opening 135 and slot channel 140. Unlike second earring member 200 and third earring member 300, however, fourth earring member 400 may not include a slot opening 235, 335 or slot channel 240, 340, such that fourth earring member 400 may terminate the jewelry system 1100, rather than allowing for connection of additional earring members to fourth earring member 400. In other embodiments, fourth earring member 400 may include a slot opening and slot channel, enabling connection of additional earring members to fourth earring member 400.

[0100] As illustrated in FIG. 11, bulbous portion 455 may have a generally spherical shape, but may include one or more flattened face to facilitate insertion of bulbous portion 455 into slot opening 135. In the illustrated embodiment, the flat face of bulbous portion 455 faces a rear portion of fourth earring member 400, while in other embodiments the flat face may face a left, right, front, or angled direction with respect to a front portion of fourth earring member 400.

[0101] In the illustrated embodiment, fourth earring member 400 may be connected to first earring member 100 by inserting third prong member 450 of fourth earring member 400 into slot opening 135 of first earring member 100, sliding third prong member 450 along slot channel 140, and securing third prong member 450 at a lower periphery 130 of first earring member 100. Once secured, third prong member 450 may be freely rotatable within slot channel 140 at lower periphery 130 of first earring member 100.

[0102] First earring member 100 may be secured to earlobe 505 or another body part by inserting fastener portion 105 through earlobe 505 and securing the distal end of fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135. Insertion of fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135 may serve as a stop to effectively prevent third prong member 450 from being removed from slot opening 135 when jewelry system 1100 is worn.

[0103] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 secured to an earlobe 505 at an upper periphery 125 of the first earring member 100 and connected to a second earring member 200 at a lower periphery 130 thereof, and a fourth earring member 400 connected to a lower periphery 230 of the second earring member 200 to form a jewelry system 1200, according to an embodiment. Similarly to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 11, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 12 fourth earring member 400 may be formed having a substantially disk-shaped outer periphery 475 having a double-sided jewelry stone 465 positioned therein. Fourth earring member 400 may be connected to second earring member 200 via third prong member 450, and second earring member 200 may be connected to first earring member 100 via first prong member 250, to form jewelry system 1200.

[0104] In other embodiments, fourth earring member 400 may be connected to a third earring member 300, which may be connected to a second earring member 200, which may in turn be connected to a first earring member 100. In other embodiments, fourth earring member 400 may be connected to a third earring member 300, which may in turn be connected to a first earring member 100. In various embodiments, various numbers, orders, patterns, styles, shapes, sizes, and colors of earring members may be arranged to form a variety of jewelry systems for wear on an earlobe or other body part.

[0105] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a jewelry kit 1300, according to an embodiment. In the illustrated embodiment, two of each of first earring member 100, second earring member 200, third earring member 300, and fourth earring member 400 may be positioned within a storage device 1305 for storage, presentation, transportation, and sale as a jewelry kit 1300. Storage device 1305 may include designated storage compartments complementary to each of the earring members 100, 200, 300, 400, as well as to store additional or various combinations of earring members. In the illustrated embodiment, storage device 1305 may be a leather box, for example, with a hinged lid and suede forms therein to receive one or more earring members. In other embodiments, storage device 1300 may be a pouch, case, bag, or any suitable storage container constructed of various suitable materials as will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. Such storage may allow for ease of use, assembly, and wear of the jewelry systems by wearers. [0106] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. As discussed above with respect to FIG. 1, first earring member 100 may include a fastener portion 105 for insertion into an earlobe or other body part, to allow a consumer to wear first earring member 100 alone or as an assembled jewelry system having various configurations as discussed above. In the illustrated embodiment, first earring member 100 may include a front periphery 110 and a rear periphery 1 15 coupled by a hinge member 120 secured by pin 122. Although illustrated as a hinge 120 and pin 122, in other embodiments other rotatable couplings between front periphery 1 10 and rear periphery 115 may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. Hinge member 120 may allow first earring member 100 to move between an open position as illustrated in FIG. 14 and a closed position as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 21.

[0107] In the open position as illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIG. 14, the front periphery 1 10 of first earring member 100 may be separated from rear periphery 1 15 by the rotation of hinge 120 about pin 122 at least as far as needed to insert an earlobe between a distal end of fastener portion 105 and rear periphery 115. In some embodiments, the front periphery 110 of first earring member 100 have a length a of 12 mm and a width c of 4 mm, while in other embodiments various other dimensions may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0108] In a closed position as illustrated in FIG. 5 and as discussed in more detail above, and as further illustrated in FIG. 21, the front periphery 110 of first earring member 100 may be rotated toward rear periphery 115 by the rotation of hinge 120 about pin 122. As the rotation occurs, fastener portion 105 may be brought into contact with and secured within a slot opening 135 positioned in an upper periphery 125 of the rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100. [0109] Groove 107 located on the top surface of fastener portion 105 may facilitate securing fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135 by catching a portion of the perimeter of slot opening 135 within groove 107. Although illustrated in FIG. 1 as being positioned on a top surface of fastener portion 105, in other embodiments groove 107 may be positioned on a side or bottom surface of fastener portion 105, or may extend partially or entirely around a circumference of fastener portion 105 at any point proximate the distal end of fastener portion 105 to facilitate securing fastener portion 105 within slot opening 135.

[0110] In other embodiments, front periphery 1 10 and rear periphery 1 15 may be fixedly attached. In such embodiments, hinge 120 may be positioned at the base of fastener portion 105, such that fastener portion 105 may rotate between an open position in which a distal end of the fastener portion 105 is elevated above the upper periphery 125 to allow insertion of fastener portion 105 into an earlobe or other body part, and a closed position in which the distal end of the fastener portion 105 is secured in slot opening 135 of first earring member 100 to secure first earring member 100 to an earlobe or other body part.

[0111] In some embodiments, fastener portion 105 may have a length e of 7.25 mm and may be slightly arcuate. In other embodiments, fastener portion 105 may have various lengths and may have varying degrees of curvature or may be straight, as suitable for insertion into an earlobe or other body part.

[0112] Front periphery 110 of first earring member 100 may be solid and arcuate, as shown in the illustrated embodiment. In various embodiments, the curvature of front periphery 1 10 may vary according to aesthetic preference, as the front periphery 1 10 may be the portion visible when first earring member 100 is worn. For example, in some embodiments front periphery 110 may present a flattened front surface when worn, while in other embodiments front periphery 110 may present a convex or curved surface. In still other embodiments, front periphery 110 may include inlays or channels to accommodate one or more precious stones or metal inlays in various designs and colors, according to aesthetic preference. The first earring member 100 may also be formed of any suitable material, such as gold of various carat (K) weights and colors, such as 14K or 18K yellow, rose, or white gold, as an example, or silver, platinum, or other metal materials, as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0113] Rear periphery 1 15 of first earring member 100 may include a slot opening 135 at an upper periphery 125 thereof, and a slot channel 140 extending downwardly from slot opening 135 to a lower periphery 130 of earring member 100. In some embodiments, slot channel 140 may extend at a length /of 11 mm, while in other embodiments other lengths, including but not limited to 12.5 mm, may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art. In some embodiments, slot opening 135 may have a width g of 2 mm, while slot channel 140 may have a width s of 1.5 mm. In other embodiments, various other widths and width ratios may be used as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0114] Slot opening 135 may be sized and shaped to receive the distal end of fastener portion 105, as discussed above. For example, as front periphery 110 is rotated toward rear periphery 115 about hinge 120 and pin 122, the distal end of fastener portion 105 may be inserted and secured into slot opening 135. This insertion into slot opening 135 may act as a stop, effectively preventing removal of a prong member of a second, third, fourth, or other earring member from slot opening 135.

[0115] Slot opening 135 may additionally be sized and shaped complementarily to a bulbous portion 255, 355, 455 of a prong member 250, 350, 450 of an additional earring member 200, 300, 400 or another earring member. Slot channel 140 may also be sized and shaped complementarily to a post portion 260, 360, 460 of the prong member 250, 350, 450 of another earring member 200, 300, 400 or some other earring member. Such complementary sizing and shaping may allow bulbous portion 255, 355, 455 to be inserted into slot opening 135, and may allow post portion 260, 360, 460 to slide along slot channel 140 from the upper periphery 125 of first earring member 100 to the lower periphery 130 thereof, as illustrated in FIGS. 2-4 and discussed in more detail above.

[0116] As illustrated in FIG. 12, bulbous portion 455 may have a generally spherical shape, but may include one or more flattened face to facilitate insertion of bulbous portion 455 into slot opening 235. In the illustrated embodiment, the flat face of bulbous portion 455 faces a rear portion of fourth earring member 400, while in other embodiments the flat face may face a left, right, front, or angled direction with respect to a front portion of fourth earring member 400.

[0117] FIG. 15 is a front elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, front periphery 110 of first earring member 100 may be solid and arcuate. In various embodiments, the curvature of front periphery 110 may vary according to aesthetic preference, as the front periphery 1 10 may be the portion visible when first earring member 100 is worn. For example, in some embodiments front periphery 1 10 may present a flattened front surface when worn, while in other embodiments front periphery 110 may present a convex or curved surface. In still other embodiments, front periphery 1 10 may include inlays or channels to accommodate one or more precious stones or metal inlays in various designs and colors, according to aesthetic preference. The first earring member 100 may also be formed of any suitable material, such as gold of various carat (K) weights and colors, such as 14K or 18K yellow, rose, or white gold, as an example, or silver, platinum, or other metal materials, as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0118] FIG. 16 is a rear elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, fastener portion 105 may extend in an arcuate shape from an upper periphery 125 of the front periphery 110 of first earring member 100. Fastener portion 105 may be inserted into an earlobe or other body part before securing a distal end of fastener portion 105 in slot opening 135 by rotating front periphery 110 toward rear periphery 1 15 about hinge 120 and pin 122. Once fastener portion 105 is inserted into slot opening 135, slot opening 135 may be effectively blocked by fastener portion 105 such that any additional earring members connected to first earring member 110 cannot be removed or added through slot opening 135.

[0119] FIG. 17 is a left-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, front periphery 110 is rotatably connected to rear periphery 115 at hinge 120 and pin 122. Rotation about hinge 120 and pin 122 may bring front periphery 110 in closer proximity to rear periphery 115 such that a distal end of fastener portion 105 may be secured to slot opening 135. FIG. 18 is a right-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment.

[0120] FIG. 19 is a top elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, front periphery 1 10 is rotatably connected to rear periphery 115 at hinge 120 and pin 122. Rotation about hinge 120 and pin 122 may bring front periphery 110 in closer proximity to rear periphery 115 such that a distal end of fastener portion 105 may be secured to slot opening 135. FIG. 20 is a bottom elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in an open position, according to an embodiment.

[0121] FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, fastener portion 105 may extend in an arcuate shape from an upper periphery 125 of the front periphery 1 10 of first earring member 100. A distal end of fastener portion 105 may be inserted into an earlobe or other body part before securing the distal end of fastener portion 105 in slot opening 135 by rotating front periphery 1 10 toward rear periphery 115 about hinge 120 and pin 122. Once the distal end of fastener portion 105 is inserted into slot opening 135, slot opening 135 may be effectively blocked by fastener portion 105 such that any additional earring members connected to first earring member 110 cannot be removed through slot opening 135. As illustrated in FIG. 21, the distal end of fastener portion 105 need not occupy the entirety of slot opening 135 to serve as an effective stop. Rather, the positioning of the distal end of fastener portion 105 in slot opening 135 effectively prevents removal of a bulbous portion of an additional earring member prong member by making the slot opening 135 fractionally smaller than the diameter of the bulbous portion.

[0122] FIG. 22 is a front elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, according to an embodiment. Front periphery 1 10 of first earring member 100 may be solid and arcuate, as shown in the illustrated embodiment. In various embodiments, the curvature of front periphery 110 may vary according to aesthetic preference, as the front periphery 1 10 may be the portion visible when the jewelry system is worn. For example, in some embodiments front periphery 110 may present a flattened front surface when worn, while in other embodiments front periphery 110 may present a convex or curved surface. In still other embodiments, front periphery 110 may include inlays or channels to accommodate one or more precious stones or metal inlays in various designs and colors, according to aesthetic preference. The first earring member 100 may also be formed of any suitable material, such as gold of various carat weights and colors, such as 14K or 18K yellow, rose, or white gold, as an example, or silver, platinum, or other metal materials, as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

[0123] As illustrated in FIG. 22, when worn, first earring member 100 may not show the functional slot channel 140 and slot opening 135 elements, such that first earring member 100 may appear to be a standard earring hoop. For example, slot opening 135 and slot channel 140 may be positioned on a rear periphery 115 of first earring member 100, such that slot opening 135 and slot channel 140 are not visible when first earring member 100 is worn, with the front periphery 1 10 facing forward with respect to the wearer's earlobe.

[0124] FIG. 23 is a rear elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, fastener portion 105 may extend in an arcuate shape from an upper periphery 125 of the front periphery 110 of first earring member 100. A distal end of fastener portion 105 may be inserted into an earlobe or other body part before securing fastener portion 105 in slot opening 135 by rotating front periphery 110 toward rear periphery 1 15 about hinge 120 and pin 122. Once fastener portion 105 is inserted into slot opening 135, slot opening 135 may be effectively blocked by fastener portion 105 such that any additional earring members connected to first earring member 110 cannot be removed through or inserted into slot opening 135.

[0125] FIG. 24 is a left-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, front periphery 110 is rotatably connected to rear periphery 115 at hinge 120 and pin 122. Rotation about hinge 120 and pin 122 may bring front periphery 110 in closer proximity to rear periphery 1 15 such that fastener portion 105 may be secured to slot opening 135. FIG. 25 is a right-side elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member 100 in a closed position, according to an embodiment.

[0126] FIG. 26 is a top elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment. As illustrated, front periphery 110 is rotatably connected to rear periphery 115 at hinge 120 and pin 122. Rotation about hinge 120 and pin 122 may bring front periphery 110 in closer proximity to rear periphery 1 15 such that fastener portion 105 may be secured to slot opening 135. FIG. 27 is a bottom elevational view of a first hoop-shaped earring member in a closed position, according to an embodiment.

[0127] Although described throughout with respect to earring members, in other embodiments the described jewelry systems, jewelry kits, jewelry, and associated methods may include bracelet, necklace, keychain, belt, and various other accessory members for wear or use, as would be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art.

[0128] The present disclosure described herein, therefore, is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as others inherent therein. While a presently preferred embodiment of the disclosure has been given for purposes of disclosure, numerous changes exist in the details of procedures for accomplishing the desired results. These and other similar modifications will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art, and are intended to be encompassed within the spirit of the present disclosure disclosed herein and the scope of the appended claims.

[0129] This application is a PCT, and claims priority to U.S. Non-Provisional Application No. 16/142,909, filed September 26, 2018, entitled "JEWELRY SYSTEM, JEWELRY KIT, JEWELRY, AND ASSOCIATED METHODS," which claims priority to, and the benefit of, U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/564,944, filed September 28, 2017, entitled "JEWELRY SYSTEM, JEWELRY KIT, JEWELRY, AND ASSOCIATED METHODS," each of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

[0130] Although the disclosure has been described above in connection with various exemplary embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the disclosure to that embodiment. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as may be included within the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the appended claims.