How to Make Jewelry out of Coins

By Kent Ninomiya

Coins have long been used in jewelry. It was a common practice in ancient Rome, and they are still a logical choice for jewelry: Coins are usually made of precious metals, feature beautiful art work, and demonstrate wealth and status. In the past coins were melted into jewelry or holes were drilled through them so they could be hung on string. This destroys the numismatic value of the coin, but you can make attractive jewelry out of coins without destroying the coins themselves.

Choose the coin or coins you wish to use to make jewelry. Consider the value of these coins. You can put them in jewelry that will protect them to a degree, but the coins could still suffer damage while the jewelry is worn. If the coins you want to use are extremely rare, valuable or pristine, you may want to reconsider using them to make jewelry.

Decide what kind of jewelry you want to make out of your coins. Coins look very nice in a necklace, bracelet or pendant, and can also be fit into a money clip, key chain, cuff links, earrings, a ring or a brooch. Coins can be used to make just about any kind of jewelry. Your choices should be logical based on the size of the coins, though. Large coins fit better in pendants while coins must be very small to use in earrings and cuff links.

Measure the coins you wish to use to make jewelry. Take a metric ruler and measure the coin diameters in millimeters, from one rim across to the other rim at the coin's widest point. You will need to know this measurement for each coin when you fit them into jewelry.

Find a jewelry dealer who sells coin-related jewelry. Ask the jewelers if they sell "bezels," which are jewelry mountings for coins. Look for jewelers with a wide selection, and check their inventory for jewelry that fits the measurements of your coins. Coin jewelry must fit exactly or the coin will spin around inside it. Do not buy coin jewelry that does not fit your coins to the millimeter. If you have difficulty finding a local dealer who sells coin jewelry there are several dealers on the Internet (see Resources below).

Choose the precious metal for your jewelry. It can be made of gold, silver, platinum or a combination. It makes sense for your jewelry to match the coins you use. Gold looks good with gold and silver looks best with silver.

Pick the style of your jewelry. Some people like simple jewelry that doesn't distract from the beauty and elegance of the coin. Others like their jewelry to be artwork and augment the artistic value of the coin. It all depends on your personal taste. Once you find what you like, buy it or order it.

Place your coins inside your jewelry. Bezels and other coin holders are very simple to use. There is either a screw or folding prongs that hold the coin in place. Simply open it and place the coin inside. Be sure the coins are situated how you like them before securing them. If you ever want to remove or replace the coins you can always take them out.

About the Author

Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.