Thursday, February 21, 2013

(DIY) Coin rings

Is making a ring from a coin legal?
First, lets clear up the legal issue of making a ring from a quarter, because you are physically changing the coin into something else. However, as long as you don't try to use it as currency you are not breaking any laws in making it into the product of a ring. Once it becomes a commodity it is no longer money and therefore can be sold as a ring or other work of art like Hobo nickels (future project...?).
For more information on legality click here.

Now that the legal mumbo-jumbo is out of the way lets get to making one:

What you'll need:
  • 1 U.S. quarter dollar - It's recommended to get a coin with a date earlier than 1965, but I used a rather new one. The reason for this it because the coins minted before 1965 are made up of mainly silver, and are easier to work and polishes up nicely.
Warning - It should be mentioned that quarters do contain copper, which can cause your skin to turn green (not permanently) or induce allergic reactions. In the case of an allergic reaction discontinue wearing the ring immediately  For those that just want a temporary fix for eliminating the green staining, apply a couple coats of clear fingernail polish on the ring. This may have to be done regularly if you wear the ring a lot.
  • A hammer and an anvil of some kind - I used the back of my hatchet as an anvil, some have used a weight. You can even use a spoon as a replacement for a hammer, people have said the results are better in the end, but it takes much longer. This is your decision, be creative. 
  • Leatherman or Dremel tool - Used my leatherman on this first one, which was lots of work, and a Dremel on following ones.
  • Possibly the size of the ring you want. (Here is a Ring Size Converter that could aid if you want to go that route, for me I just got lucky by guessing my size with the first one) 

Begin by taping the edge of the quarter with the use of the hammer and anvil until it is roughly the diameter size and you want (thickness can be changes later by filing it down). I am still perfecting the sizing myself so you'll need to rely on your own judgement. Just note bigger is usually better than smaller, and also this step is fairly annoying for people in your vicinity so do it when your alone or in a workshop where you won't get on peoples nerves.

Punch a hole in the center some how, for this one I used a nail and the hammer to start a small hole, then with my Leatherman made it larger and larger until it was the right size for my finger. NOTE: This is the long method, I went out and got a Dremel after this and made another much faster.

These are the ones I've created so far [as of 2/14], the one on the far right is a present for my girlfriend Julie as a late Valentines gift/Birthday present. This one is not made from a quarter, it's rather a nickel that I smashed down till the details where gone, and then shaped as previously mentioned above.

Here is one of the last stages of the ring.
The Heart is also a nickel shaped and ground, and the ring can be a holder when you put them together:

Happy Birthday Julie!!!

Original Sources for this idea: