HOME NEW Pearl Education Beading Q & A Tools Jewelry Tech Video Jewelry Glossary

Make a Ring from a Silver Coin

1. Obtain a silver coin. If you are using a U.S. coin, you need to use one from 1964 or earlier. (More recent coins are not made of silver and will not look as good as a silver coin but seem to be easier to shape. However, the content of copper and other metals will discolor your finger because it will start oxidizing on your finger.) You can get one from any coin dealer for $3. A quarter makes a woman's size ring (or a very thin ring for a man with below-average finger size) and a half-dollar makes a nice men's ring.

2. Tap the coin down to a smaller diameter while widening the edge. Hold the coin on edge between your thumb and finger and tap it with a hammer (or large spoon) against a hard surface (any smooth surface harder than silver, e.g. a steel plate).

•After 10 or 15 minutes of work, tapping and turning the coin on its edge, the reeding on the edge should disappear and the edge will get wider. Don't rush through this or hit it too hard, this will cause the ring to deform, as will be shown later.

•Continue until the coin's diameter is reduced to the desired size of the ring (in this case, just smaller than a nickel). This will take several hours.

3. Put the coin into a vice so you don't have to hold the coin because it gets really hot. Drill a hole in it and let it get "hung up" on the drill bit. With your adjustable-speed drill and coin spinning together, and a light touch on the trigger (perhaps 100 RPMs), use 200 grit sandpaper to remove the largest tooling marks.

4. Follow the 200 grit sandpaper with progressively finer grains, 400/500 and then 1000/1200. (Note: The ring pictured is warped as a result of rushing and hitting it too hard in previous steps. Take your time and your ring will not try to fold in half.)

5. Widen the hole in the center with a Dremel tool or hand file. When it is wide enough to allow a Dremel sanding barrel, use one or more to clear out the rest of the ring opening until the inside is sanded smooth.

6. Wedge it back onto a big drill bit with some cloth for padding on the inside. Slowly spin the ring, this time on the polishing compound on a clean rag. After a minute or two of polishing this way, it will pick up a nice shine and is ready to be worn and shown off!