The cut coin technique is a dramatic and beautiful way to turn coins into jewelry. The background of the of the coin is cut away, leaving the stamped figure floating inside the outer rim of the coin.Even small, common coins can be made into pendants, earrings, or cuff links. While the technique is simple, it takes a lot of practice to perfect.
Select the coin you wish to cut. For beginners this should be an inexpensive coin common to your location. Beginners might also choose a coin with a well-defined, smooth-edged image, like a head or profile. Save fine work, like cutting around letters or numbers, until you have more practice. Medium-sized coins work best, from penny size up to a half-dollar.
Drill small holes in the background portion of the coin. Use a 1/2 mm drill bit and place the holes near the center of the area you wish to remove. Do not drill right on the edge of the figure as it will indent the outline. For example, two holes drilled on either side of the image on a Lincoln head penny would be about right.
Insert a jeweler's saw into one of the pre-drilled holes. Use the saw to carve away the background material around the figure. Leave the top edge of the figure attached to the rim.
Apply a coat of clear acrylic to the coin to protect it and give it a luster. It can now be attached to a chain as a pendant, or made into other types of jewelry.
Practice on a small, thin, square sheet of copper or brass before working on a coin. Create your own design on paper, then glue it to the metal sheet and drill your holes through the paper and metal in the center of each area you wish to remove.
Don't put too much pressure on the saw or you will end up with jagged cuts instead of smooth curves.