4 Quick Tips For Making Jewelry Out Of Coins-Is it Illegal?

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Can you and should you make jewelry out of coins? And if you can, what are some of the tips and tricks you should know about to create the best kinds of coin jewelry?

Here, we take a look at all the important things you need to know about making jewelry from coins and what you need to do to create good jewelry options using coins.

But first,


Is it illegal to make jewelry out of coins in the USA or UK?

No, it isn’t illegal to create unique jewelry options from coins. The only time that this would be considered illegal will be if you attempt to alter the design of the coin in a fraudulent way. A look at some of the legal provisions surrounding coins and currency, in general, shows that the problem around coin handling being illegal only happens in the case of fraudulent actions.

Making Jewelry Out Of Coins

And because we’ve all seen the penny smashing machines in public places and no one gets arrested doing that, it is clear that you can use coins to create jewelry. You only get in trouble if you alter a coin then pass it off as something else.

And though the US Mint doesn’t support or encourage plating, coloring, or any other forms of alterations to the US coinage, there are no sanctions put in place to bar these actions – problems only arise when there is fraud. In other words, if you don’t pass the 1883 no-cents nickel coin for a $5 gold coin, you won’t be in trouble.

Owning one particular type of coin in the US would be illegal, though – we are talking about the 1933 double-eagle coin. This coin was never issued to the public, which is why it would be illegal to have it in your possession.

Making Jewelry Out Of Coins

In the UK, however, specifically under Section 10 of the Coinage Act of 1971, it is illegal, unless licensed by Treasury, to break down or melt any metallic coin if the coin is, at that time, current or ceased to be in use after May 16th, 1969.

Generally, as long as you are altering the coins with no intention to counterfeit them, then you are good to go.


How to make jewelry out of coins

Now that you know you can make jewelry out of coins let’s look at how to carve jewelry from coins.

Making Jewelry Out Of Coins

But before we look into the steps for making jewelry from coins, we’ll first take a look at the history of coins. You’ve probably seen that coin jewelry has been around for as long as mankind has been on earth, as documented in movies and TV shows, but when exactly did coins first come into existence? Well, historical records show that Emperor Severus Alexander was the very first or, rather, the earliest adopters of the use of coin jewelry. And today, it is quite the hottest trend that has been adopted by some of the biggest fashion houses around.

Most of the unique designs of coin jewelry, however, tend to be simple designs made by local jewelers. This is often the case because coin jewelry is often one of the most sentimental kinds of jewelry in the jewelry world.

To get started, you will need the right set of jewelry-making tools. These tools include:

  • The jeweler’s Saw
  • A small drill
  • Clear Acrylic
  • Working gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Coins


Choosing the right coin for your coin jewelry

You want to choose the silver coins. Gold coins are already too valuable as they are, and we don’t think it would be wise to turn them into jewelry when you could make a good chunk of money off them if you choose to sell them later. Silver coins are also a preferable option to coins made of metal alloys of other kinds of metals like brass, nickel, or copper.

Making Jewelry Out Of Coins

These cheap metals, though stunning, are not skin-friendly, and they cause a myriad of skin problems. Some cause irritation (nickel and metals with nickel), and copper or copper-alloyed metals result in the discoloration of the skin. If you must use these metals, you may want to get them electroplated to protect the skin.

Note that the size of the coins is also very important. As a beginner, you want to choose medium-sized coins that are also inexpensive. Your options include the cents to the half-dollars. These also work great for making coin jewelry because the size is just right.

The other thing you want to do when choosing your coin is to find a coin whose edges are well-defined and smooth. The picture of the profile or head also needs to be perfectly smooth. The smoothness and good definition of the coin are crucial in that it makes it easy for you to work with it, compared to the coins that have more complex designs.


How to make a hole in a coin for a necklace

To make coin jewelry, say a coin pendant necklace, you’d have to drill a hole in the coin. Once you’ve selected the coin you’d like to use for this project; the next step is to drill a small hole on the backside of the coin.

Making Jewelry Out Of Coins

  • Now, drilling the hole in the coin is the most important step in the coin jewelry creation process. To get started, you will need the jeweler’s drill and a hardwood surface to put the coin and to keep it steady. Get the ½ mm drill bit to the place that you’d like to have the hole. The hole could be close to the edge or more at the center. You should have your protective goggles and gloves on to protect your hands, fingers, and arms, especially if you are inexperienced. When getting ready to drill the hole, you need to be extra careful not to have the hole right on the edge of the coin because this would indent the coin’s outline, ruining its overall design.

Note that you will only need the jeweler’s saw if you plan on changing the design of the jewelry to a thinner design or the ring shape. Otherwise, the coin can work as a necklace pendant with just a single hole.

While you could use a hammer and chisel to drill the hole, it tends to be time-consuming and also unsafe.

  • Once the hole is made, smooth it out using a file.
  • Next, attach the jump ring and chain through the hole, and voila, a coin pendant necklace.



Wondering how to make your jewelry out of coins? We hope that this guide has helped you get it all figured out, and you can now make your jewelry with ease from coins.

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