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Making A Coin Ring

bronze coin ring © cinnamon jewellery 2016

I've seen plenty of coin rings for sale online and thought I'd have a go at making one. The first thing I needed to do was find some suitable coins. I'd seen some really pretty examples of rings made with coins that have a decorative border around the edge on the front of the coin so I trawled ebay looking for some like this.

I found quite a few and decided to buy a couple of cheap coins I'd use to practice with before buying anything too expensive.
I found these...

A bronze 20 Reis coin from Portugal, a 2 Franc Swiss coin made of nickel silver and a rather lovely silver one Rupee coin from India.

I decided to try out the Portuguese bronze coin first.

First I annealed the coin to soften the metal.

I needed a hole in the coin so I used dividers to draw a circle in the centre of the coin. The dividers slipped a couple of times but any scratches would disappear once I started stretching the coin so I didn't worry too much about them.

I then made a divot inside the circle ready for the drill bit.

Piercing out the circle and tidying up the edges with a file.

After annealing the coin again I used my dapping block, a piece of leather and a nylon dapping punch to start to bend the coin over. This didn't really move the metal that much but it did start it off. I used the leather and the nylon punch so I didn't get any marks on the bronze.

I then slid the coin with the side I wanted as the face of the ring upwards onto a hoop mandrel that I'd fixed in my vice to keep it still. I used a piece of leather to protect the mandrel when it was in the vice.
I then started beating the coin with a leather mallet and a rubber/plastic hammer. The aim was to bend the coin over and down the mandrel so the decorative border was visible on the front of the ring. As I stretched the metal the hole got bigger. I had to anneal the coin several times as I did this.

I struggled for a while wondering why I couldn't get the metal completely flat - one side was higher than the other. Then I realized the outer edge of the coin was thicker than the rest of it so it would never be flat without removing some of the thicker edge.
I can be really slow on the uptake at times :D

You can see the difference in the thickness of the metal on each end in these photos.

The ring after filing off the thick outer edge. It was a shame to sacrifice the pretty beading around the thicker edge but it had to go.

I then sanded the ends to tidy them up and get them level.

At this point the ring had been stretched quite a lot and was a bit too big for my finger. I decided to try a trick I'd seen Soham Harrison use on a ring to curve the ends in and give the ring a slightly domed profile.

I put the ring into a hollow {for want of a better word} on my dapping block and put my steel block on top of it. Then I whacked the steel block with a hammer a few times. This pushed the ring down into the dapping block and forced it to follow the curve of the hollow. I turned the ring round and did the same to the other side.

Curving the ends of the ring inwards reduces the size and gives it a slight synclastic curve which makes a ring more comfortable to wear. I repeated this a couple of times until the ring fit my sausage finger :D

Not bad for a first attempt! I didn't bother to oxidize the bronze as it was just a practice piece and a bit chunky to wear but overall I am happy with it.

I did learn by practicing with the bronze coin that I need a smaller hole to start with otherwise the metal will stretch too much and the ring will end up too big. I'm planning on using the silver rupee coin next time and I'm hoping as silver is softer than bronze it will be slightly easier to form.

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  1. Great work done and a attractive and nice output at the end

  2. Nice work! The ring came out great. These would make a great gift idea for someone whose roots come from the country were the coin is from.

  3. Great Attempt Tracy, the ring looks good. I had seen a video on youtube where they mad a ring out of a copper coin and I wanted to try it. But then the only coins I have are antique collectible coins apart from the new Indian coins which are nickel or stainless steel.Do you know if the process will work on the alloys for I am scared of ruining the collectibles?

  4. Been wanting to try this version - your step by step is a lot clearer to follow than the ones I've seen - Turned out great - I'll have to find a way to get some of those euro coins although we have giant dollar and 2 dollar coins here now in Canada

  5. what a fantastic idea.the ring look awesome.

  6. I forgot to mention - that little trick of bringing in the edges - I was taught to use that when making the foldforming bead ends - but used a wooden block (the metal is only 30g so softer than that of the ring )- what a great idea on re sizing the ring and bringing in the edges - thank you for sharing that trick

  7. That's just brilliant! Well done. Looks great!

  8. I used a wooden peg with a rounded end on my first ones, pushed the coin into the cups on the reduction end of my stretcher. Got enough fold that I didn't need to hammer. Now I sand off the rim on a belt sander before starting too.


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