Appalachia Art Craft Etsy Christmas

How to Make a Ring from a Nickel

Silver rings made from coins seem to hold so much meaning to me. Maybe it’s because you need patience and persistence to make them. Or maybe all the places the coin has been and all the things the coin has seen somehow remain in it’s composition in a measurable way.

I’ve wanted to ‘gift’ someone with a meaningful ring ever since Ed Ammons gifted me with one. My want hasn’t turned into action yet.

A few months ago Chitter decided she was going to make one. She used a nickel and The Deer Hunter inserted a small drill bit in the center of the coin to make it easier for her to hold onto as she pecked away at it.  She eventually wrapped masking tape around the bit to make it even easier to hold onto. You can see the widening of the band in the photo above-the arrow shows where she hit it with a spoon…and other things.

Chitter’s ring didn’t turn out as nice as Ed’s. She sort of tried to speed the process along with a hammer! I encouraged her to polish it, but she said she liked the worn beat up look. She followed Ed’s directions which are very easy to follow. If you’d like to see how he made mine-go here.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I think a handmade ring would make a dandy gift for someone. The gift of a class is also especially nice. You can follow this link to check out all the classes offered by the John C. Campbell Folk School. And I can’t leave you without suggesting one more gift or two-Chitter’s Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop has some amazing creations in it-go here to check them out.


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  • Reply
    December 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Hi this is for Tipper and Ed , how can I get in touch with the man on Cajah’s Mountain to see if I can have him make a ring for me, and which coin is better , a nickel or a quarter? I would love to have one and if not him, do you know of anyone else that might make one ! Thanks

  • Reply
    May 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the info.
    For those who read the first comments and worry about breaking the law, it is not against the law.
    Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

  • Reply
    Keith Jones
    August 13, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks for the mention about the folk school class. It’ll be fun!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    to Rev. Rose Marie – It is against the law to alter US currency to make it appear to be something it is not. The law originated many years ago when people used to shave bits off of gold and silver coins then spend them at face value and sell the shavings. Sometimes coins would lose half their bullion value to this practice. Now that precious metals are no longer used in currency, the point is moot.
    Your money is yours to use any way you wish. What is illegal is to use it as money after it has been altered. Using coins as jewelry has never been illegal. Here is a link to the US Mint website that explains it better than I can.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 18, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Ding, ding, ding, ding… but the result sure is pretty- I wouldn’t trade mine for anything!

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    December 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    It’s lovely, but isn’t it against Federal law to deface US money?
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    December 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    This is so cool, I think it turned out great! I saw this on Pinterest a few years ago and thought I might like to try my hand at making one. I haven’t done it yet!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I found an old man over in Cajah’s Mountain who has a coin shop. If Chitter wants me to get her a silver coin, just let me know what date she wants. It just needs to be before 1965.
    A nickel is made of ¾ copper and ¼ nickel. Both metals are fairly malleable but when combined it gets pretty hard to work with. Dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coin were made of 90% silver and 10% copper until 1965. Nickels used to be made of silver and called half dimes but that stopped way back in 1873.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    December 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    That’s a nice looking ring. Chitter is a talented girl. My friend made my daughters a ring from a quarter. They love their rings. I imagine my buddy looked far and wide for those 1948 Silver Quarters of my birthdate, and sent them to me in a crafty drawstring pouch…Ken

  • Reply
    Marylou Sweat
    December 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I have a ring made from a 1964 quarter…it was given by a good friend when I was 17. I wear it all the time…it’s very special to me. By the way, my new knife has gotten a big work out from when I got it before Thanksgiving. It’s used every day. My daughter loves it almost as much as I do. Thank you very much Tipper! Marylou Sweat

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 18, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Those Pressley girls are so crafty and talented…I love the ring and I kinda like the worn and crusty look too…Sort of antique-ish…ha I wonder if they could make a child’s ring out of a silver mercury dime?
    I’m sure they could…Great job Chitter!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS….Turned cold and wintery again here in East Tennessee….In fact it looks snowy on my hill! I strained to look for a snowflake when watching the hungry birds this morning. A flake or two would make it seem a bit more like Christmas…and enough snow to make a snowman would just be great…
    I then, could just snuggle up in the corner of the couch and hibernate for a few days or work on one of those Nickel rings!

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    December 18, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Nice job. If you can find a solid silver coin like an old quarter, the metal will move a lot easier. That nickel is harder than Japanese arithmetic.

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    December 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I like it. Nice story with some history and a good project for a cold wet winter day.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 18, 2015 at 8:31 am

    It’s a beautiful ring!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 7:30 am

    I love this post!
    Nick is always losing his wedding band. Now I know how to replace them.

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