Appalachia Art Craft Etsy

Making Rings from Silver Coins

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 traveled 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.

Chitter decided she was going to make one. She used an old silver 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.

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!

She followed Ed’s directions (except for the hammer part 🙂 )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 (I’ll be teaching my Appalachian Cooking class next August).

And I can’t leave you without suggesting one more gift. Chitter’s Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop has some amazing creations in it. Go here to check them out.

Tipper

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Gigi
    December 6, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    My dad made my cousin one. I ‘ll never forget it. It was pretty. Wish he had made me one. I know alot of work goes into it. Home made things are so much better.

  • Reply
    Deanna Ammons
    December 6, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    My folks, R.L. and Mary (Ledford) Ramey, both we’re born and raised in Franklin, NC. Dad was born in 1915 and mother in 1920. Both told me about seeing “chain gangs”—men who were imprisoned and made to do road work. They would often come to someone’s door and ask if they could trade a ring for a jar of homemade jam or jelly. The rings were made by the prisoners out of the handles of toothbrushes. They were very smooth and well made. I don’t recall my folks ever mentioning silver rings made out of coins.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 6, 2019 at 11:50 am

    There were “war” nickels that were 35% silver, 56% copper and 9% manganese. During WW2 nickel was need for the war effort so from 1942 to 1945 they contained silver. to my understanding all the rest are 75% copper and 25% nickel. They don’t have enough nickel to be attracted to a magnet.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    December 6, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Tipper,
    My friend Ed Ammons made my girls each a ring out of ’48 Quarters a few years ago too. Both girls marveled at them and the way they were packaged. They were in a Drawstring. I think the rings were in a sexy Pettycoat material, just for girls, and kinda reminded me of the old timey Half and Half tobacco pouches. They loved them! I know a lot of work went into the making, Thanks again, Ed.

    I had never thought about rings being made out of a nickel. Ed was able to save the words “In God
    We Trust.” I bet Chitter’s ring is Pretty, too. Sometimes the “old Ways” are best. …Ken

  • Reply
    Dee
    December 6, 2019 at 9:57 am

    I looked at the link where Ed showed how to make the ring as I thought maybe I could make one but that is amazing tedious work and I might lose a finger. Better leave to people who have those skills. Glad that Chitter made one without doing damage to her hands. I really liked the look of the ring – simple but elegant.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 6, 2019 at 9:41 am

    I wish Ed had said how long it took but I expect he left that out on purpose. While a pre-1964 quarter may be the most important thing, I suspect patience is the next most. Anyway, there are several things to appreciate in the old 2012 post. The best one is the handmade wedding ring. How special that was. And who knew that a real silver quarter had $5.65 worth of silver in it in 2012? I would never have guessed the date and motto could remain readable either. And also no wonder you treasure your ring so.

    On exactly on the subject, but I have read that the Texas Rangers made their own Lone Star badges from a Mexican silver peso. I have no idea what size that would be but I would think it would have been on the order of a US quarter.

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    December 6, 2019 at 9:35 am

    I just ordered three pieces from Chitter. If you want beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces for yourself or others, go to her Etsy shop. Her prices are very reasonable for handmade jewelry.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    December 6, 2019 at 9:24 am

    In the early 60’s my brother decided to do this as well. He got one of mama’s silver plated spoons and started the process. The spoon was brass with silver plate so instead of deforming the coin, he bent the the cup of the spoon.
    He moved on to a stainless spoon and finally had a nice silver ring. I believe he used a quarter. He has a lot more patience to do something like this than I would ever have.

    I don’t think your nickel had any silver in it. As I remember, the old nickels had a percentage of nickel in them. Canadian nickels had so much that they were magnetic. I guess this is why they were called nickels.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    December 6, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Ed did a great job on the silver quarter. I started making a ring one time out of a Canadian silver quarter. Had it partially finished and ran out of patience and put it up. Lost that quarter in a house fire. That was over 9 yrs. ago. Funny how you keep remembering things you lost long ago that you didn’t notice at the time.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    December 6, 2019 at 8:48 am

    I remember Ed’s original post giving us detailed instructions on how to make a silver ring. I’ve got the coins, I just don’t have the nerve to try it. Ed should make them and sell them on Ebay. I’ll be watching.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      December 6, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      I have never sold one of my silver rings and would never even consider it. They take a long time to make the traditional way. I call that time spent “putting love into it”. If I sold one I would have to assign a value to my love. That would make one of my rings prohibitively expensive.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 6, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I’ve always thought those rings were pretty and very clever.

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