CD Jewel Cases

The CD jewel case is a standard format of packaging that's been continually in use since the introduction of the compact disc by Philips in 1982. A jewel case supplements a compact disc while shielding its sensitive data from harmful elements such as dirt, scratches and exposure. The first album released in a jewel case was Billy Joel's 52nd Street. Billions of jewel cases have now been manufactured since its inception.

CD Jewel CaseThe jewel case allegedly derives its name from its Philips designer Peter Doodson, who named it the jewel case because of what he said was the perfect case design that also picked up the light from certain angles. Initial mock-ups made of glass, wood and other materials were rendered ineffective for the case's desired function.

The case consists of three pieces of plastic constructed into a book-like style that measures 142 mm by 125 mm by 10 mm and contains a tray to hold the disc. This construction provides storage for not only the compact disc but a back card and tabs for inserts. The back card typically provides a table of contents for the disc while the front facing inserts will display artwork, logos or titles, with additional information in the proceeding insert pages. The case itself weighs between 68 grams and 100 grams.

A black or transparent disc tray is molded to conform to the CD's dimensions while a center hub contains grooves that grasp the disc and anchor it to the tray. The disc tray also rests in the middle of the case to prevent damage to the CD's surface from a closer proximity.

First generation CD jewel cases had a more heavy durable construction than their subsequent counterparts. Some of the detail flaws include flimsy hub teeth and fragile hinges. Jewel case replacements of higher durability are now available on the market for purchase.

The classic jewel case has spawned a variety of other media cases. These derivitave products include a slimmer, more colorful version of the jewel case called a Slimline and a multi case that can hold up to six discs. A Digipak is an eco-friendly gatefold alternative to the jewel case with cardboard panels.

The use of jewel cases has also expanded to include the portability of blank DVDs and Blu-rays. However jewel cases for these formats are not generally distributed for commercial game, film or music capacities-these formats have their own unique packaging as well.

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