Make a Ring from a Coin – Make: Video Podcast

Craft & Design

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Watch the video and read the pdf to learn how use a hammer, dremel, and vise to make a silver ring out of a pre-1964 half dollar! – Subscribe Link

76 thoughts on “Make a Ring from a Coin – Make: Video Podcast

  1. MrH says:

    I like the idea BUT you can save some time and effort if you put the coin over a suitable hole – I generally use a large NUT or washer. Then beat the center in to dome the coin.

    Once you have a dome you can file off the raised portion to make your ring, more work with the hammer and or file will produce a similar end product.

  2. rybarnes says:

    I love this one, its a quick, simple project. I might try this if I can find a coin…

  3. Bird3149 says:

    Nice project. I did notice that when you were hammering, you extended your index finger. You might think you are getting more control but in the end, you will cause ligement damage to your wrist and hand. Keep up the good work.

  4. Bird3149 says:

    Nice project. I did notice that when you were hammering, you extended your index finger. You might think you are getting more control but in the end, you will cause ligement damage to your wrist and hand. Keep up the good work.

  5. Bird3149 says:

    Nice project. I did notice that when you were hammering, you extended your index finger. You might think you are getting more control but in the end, you will cause ligement damage to your wrist and hand. Keep up the good work.

  6. quiznak says:

    I have made a few of these and it can be a little bit easier if you drill a small hole in the center of the coin before you start hammering the edges. Then put a small bolt through hole and use that to hold and spin the coin (I have also heard of people attaching the bolt to a slow moving motor so that they do not have to spin the coin manually). Also, if you have one available, a stepped drill bit works well for drilling out the center after you are finished hammering the edge.

  7. technick29 says:

    Cool! There’s an Instructable for making a ring out of a nickel, though it’s kind of thin, especially compared to this one. Here’s my take.
    Nice job once again!

  8. lurker@make says:

    A little more patience or practice with your hammering technique and you could make the ring nice and round with smoother finish. The unintended twist is still a nice decorative touch. An earlier effort documented in a nice slideshow format i found here

  9. hivoltage says:

    i actually did this recently, except i used a pre ’64 quarter instead. if you slow down and hit the coin much softer, it will not warp. i’ve also found that it even works with new coins, and have successfully turned a golden dollar into a ring, although the middle has a copper band. the words liberty and united states of America are still legible on the inside edge of the ring.

  10. sloober says:

    Hey Bre- Nice job, but you were right. You hit it a little too hard at the end and that is why it got all wobbly. I was the guy that made the step-by-step instructions, and glad you gave it a shot. Next time call me and I will help you get a straight one.

    John Huber

  11. ed.b says:

    So what can you do with the drill shavings? Seems like you’re wasting a relatively large amount of the coin/silver. Next week show us how to melt down the leftovers from this project and MAKE something….

  12. struktur says:

    You’d waste less silver if you used a saw frame and a relatively thin blade to saw out the middle instead of drilling. But still, its a pretty neat way to make a ring.

  13. FrankZappa174 says:

    I have made similar rings out of quarters (American and Canadian) but the problem with them is that they turn your finger green. Never did figure out how to fix that. Maybe a clear coat of some kind… who knows.

  14. sloober says:

    I also agree, a jeweler’s saw will do better. I use them now, but started using a drill.

  15. sloober says:

    Frank Zappa? Is that you? I saw you once in New York City in the 80’s on the water next to the Intrepid, and you came out on stage in a pink leotard! I was was like wow this is gonna be one wacky night.

    You have to use silver coins or you will go green. For us quarters dimes and halves, that was 1964 and earlier.

  16. hepaestus says:

    You can make this much easier by annealing the coin. As you work many metals become harder even brittle. Annealing softens the metal by releasing internal stresses.

  17. Iteki says:

    I want to melt the shavings too, give us the skinny Make!

  18. xd1978 says:

    Here are a ton of pre-64 half dollars on Ebay


  19. poisonfist says:

    As a trained jeweler, this video made me cringe multiple times. I understand you’re working with tools you have on hand but there are things you can do like annealing the coin before and during the process and making a pickle with just simple stuff like citric acid to make working with metal easier.

  20. MtgSquirrel says:

    Here is another take on the coin ring for your viewing pleasure.

    Message me if you want one. I can’t do an instructable yet.

    Thanks -Rob

    BTW: Why didn’t you site your sources Bree? They probably would have helped you, if you had asked. This way you just you plagiarized them. That is very week.

  21. jerb says:

    that ring looks really cool rob, I’d love to know more!

  22. cmm67 says:

    hey rob, hook us up with those rings!

  23. MtgSquirrel says:

    I’m still working out the kinks on them. I’ll let you all know when I figure out how to size them and a couple of other misc problems.


  24. tmasman says:

    Um… You might want to try looking a little harder for answers in the future… Like the question “Is it illegal to destroy money?” The answer is YES!!!


  25. tmasman says:

    Oh, did I mention I still plan on making one myself? I know I know… I have a complete disregard for the law…

  26. mvd says:

    Tmasman, YOU need to look harder. Read the entire page you posted, in particular the second paragraph, which begins “Defacement of currency in such a way that it is made unfit for circulation comes under the jurisdiction of the United States Secret Service”

    The critical phrase is “Defacement of currency in such a way that it is made unfit for circulation” which means that you’ve altered the currency in such a way that you cannot reasonably expect anyone to accept it for payment. In such a case, the secret service (which falls under the purview of the treasury) is responsible, NOT the law cited in para 1.

  27. DH405 says:

    mvd, I would tend to disagree. If you read the page, it says that the punishment listed is for mutilating the currency “with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued.”

    I don’t think we can plop down this ring as legal tender. The criminal code cited and the statement of jurisdiction are two separate statements that relate to one subject. Paragraph A says it’s illegal. Paragraph B says who could go after you for it.

    That said, I don’t think anyone in the US SS cares about some geeks and their silver coins. Nobody who has a brain would be using these for legal tender anyhow. Despite my disagreement with the statement on the legality of such things(IANAL,) I still think this is a great idea. I’ll make one next time I’m at my folks’ place. They have the workshop AND the family coin collection. :)

  28. mogus says:

    Good project, if you want to save yourself 4 hours and get a ring that is quality, email me at, I make these and sell them online and locally.

  29. tonybr777 says:

    So is this video evidence of a misdemeanor or a felony? :)

  30. NRHAreiner says:

    Relax everybody….silver coins are not subject to the currency defacement law. Many, many companies do business buying and selling for the silver content only (for example These people are not going to pay you for silver content so they can put them back into circulation at face. They melt them. Remember that a Franklin or pre’64 Kennedy contains 0.36169 oz. silver or, approx. $4.34 in silver (hang on to those filings).

  31. Becky Stern says:

    I just noticed your Gotham Girls Roller Derby shirt. High five, which borough’s team is your favorite?

  32. sandraj says:

    Rob-I would LOVE to have a ring like the one you posted the link for here. I don’t know how you got the ring turned inside out but it’s really cool.
    Email me at:

  33. sandraj says:

    Rob-I would LOVE to have a ring like the one you posted the link for here. I don’t know how you got the ring turned inside out but it’s really cool.
    Email me at:

  34. Carl H says:

    Hey rob I also make rings like yours. I have been working on these for some time but I have a few problems i am trying to work out. They may be the same problems you are having with your rings. I think I know how to resize them. If you are interested in sharing your sytem of producing these, I will tell you mine. Email me

  35. red says:

    could you electroplate a quater before 1964 with silver after making it to stop it from making your finger green.

  36. rusty Garduno says:

    What I would like to see someone do some research on are the nice rings that aren’t smooth silver on the outside but the coin like the ones selling on ebay. Those are the coin rings i’d like to know how to make. I’ve looked and researced but have found very little. I’ve got a 64 half dollar in process of the smooth style w/ lettering on inside. but the perferred style is lettering on inside and outside. please email a line if you know anything that might be of help

  37. poodleface says:

    i actually did this a few weeks ago. they make great last minute gifts. i also agree that using a jewelers saw works well. i made mine out of a 1964 quarter and i wear it 24/7. i only take it off when i take a shower, just in case it slips off my finger. this is a really neat project and i recommend it to anyone who has a 1964 or before quarter or half dollar and a few hours that you don’t mind spending on this, because the hammering takes a couple of hours.

  38. Mariann says:

    My mother wore one of these throughout the entire time I knew her. When she died we could not find the ring. About 2 years after her death I had gotten into some jewelry making and could not get her quarter ring out of my mind. I remembered that she told me how she made hers when I was little and since I already had all the tools I needed. I decided to go to a coin shop and buy a few silver quarters, especially ones with the year of my birth on them “1960”. So, I started off with a spoon like my mother did (That took her 2 weeks). But, I got too impatient. I then took my jewelers hammer and started hammering and turning very evenly so that it would not warp. (Mine took me less than a day).
    When I got the quarter smoothed and a little bigger than the diamerter of a ring that I was wearing on the finger I wanted to wear it on. I stuck it in my vice and gradually drilled from smaller to the biggest drill bit that I had in the center on the quarter.
    When I got the hole in the ring to go over the first part of my finger before my first knuckle. I used my dremel to do some more “as in filing” to smooth things out in the center.
    Then before I could actually get the ring over my second knuckle. I stuck the ring on the round extention on my jewlers anvil. I then hammered some more so that I would smooth out the inside part that would be touching my finger. All this time you have to be sure not to do things unevenly or to hard so that when you have the finished product you will be able to see the words on the inside of the rim. On my favorite one. You can read my birthyear and Liberty.
    I made 2 for me so far and one for my sister.
    While I was making them, I drove my kids nuts with the banging of the hammer. But, When they saw the finished product. They insisted on trying it themselves. My middle son was patient enough at the age of 10 to make one to be proud of. My younger son at the age of 7 saw what his older brother did and decided to try it. But, He was in too much of a hurry and mangled his and it got really warped because he pounded to much and too hard on certain side. I am hoping he will try again in the future.
    You have to be really careful how you turn the quarter while hammering. You also have to turn the face so that you are hammering evening on both sides.
    I used professional fingernail files to smooth everything out after I was done hammering and filing.
    Going down to the fingernail buffer gets a real nice sheen on the ring.

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