I added this article to WikiHow last year after I made my wife a birthday present. I’ll add in the pictures I took along the way.
If you can spare the change and a little bit of time, you can create a simple ring from any silver coin. It’ll be cheaper than buying one, and it makes a more personal keepsake as well.
- Obtain a silver coin. If you are using a U.S. coin, you need to use one from 1964 or earlier. You can get one from any coin dealer for just a few dollars. 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.
- 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 against a metal surface harder than silver.
- 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.
- Put the coin into your vice and drill a hole in it. Switch to the next larger bit and let it get “hung up” on the drill. 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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!
- Take it slow! Hitting the coin harder will seem like it’s going to save time, but will only make the coin warp and fold in half.
- The friction from sanding the inside of the ring can cause the ring to reach a high temperature. Securing the ring with a vice grip will keep you from burning your fingers.
- If the coin isn’t shiny, try using some cleaning liquid or vinegar and a cloth to polish it.
- Let the metal cool down if it gets too hot.
- Use common sense with hammers and power tools.
- When spinning the coin on the drill, take it very slowly, nowhere near the drill’s top speed, or the coin could fly off and hurt someone.
- This may be illegal with currency of countries outside the USA.
- Wear eye protection and gloves to avoid metal from embedding in skin or eyes.
Things You’ll Need
- Silver coin. US Quarters and half-dollars from 1964 and before are silver.
- Small hammer or large spoon
- Steel plate
- Drill and bits
- Dremel tool and bits
- Fine grades of sand paper
- Polishing compound and a rag
- Safety Glasses
- Safety Gloves
- Vice Grip (optional)