F I N K B U I L T

Today’s Ebay Item

missle tracker

Scale model cockpit FPV

fpv
cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Quadcopter FPV

Quadcopter FPV
Amazing remote first person view piloting.

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

Helmets

retro vintage motorcycle helmets Pictures of boxes full of sweet vintage motorcycle helmets

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.

Liberty

liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

null
Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!




Two-bit wedding rings

make a ring from a coin

I‘m not sure of the origins of the coin ring idea, but I would like to think that it was a product of the 1930′s dust-bowl when some down-and out but ingenious tinkerer with nothing but some idle time and 25 cents, managed to woo his young sweetheart with a fine sterling engagement ring.

I do remember where I learned of the concept. Someone on the sidewalk was handing out free copies of some new, doomed to fail fashion magazine aimed at the teen male segment. One of the articles was on how to make a coin ring. This is just the sort of project that I am powerless to resist, so I made immediate plans to visit a coin shop. I have always had a thing for the old silver coins. As a kid I used to go into my father’s top dresser drawer when no one was around and take out this green canvas bank bag that held the remains of his boyhood coin collection and admire them all.

To make your coin rings, you will need a coin minted prior to 1965. That is when the goverment decided that they could save a bundle by making money that no longer had any intrinsic value, and started making coins out of a copper-nickel sandwich. Coins minted in 1964 and earlier were made of almost pure silver. You’ll need one of those. A quarter will yield a medium width men’s ring, or a wide band for a woman’s finger, while a half-dollar will make a very stout ring for a man-sized finger. You could probably just buy your coin on ebay, but to get extra experiential value out the project, you should go into one of those coin shops run by some grumpy old kurmugeon who has been there since 1954 and hasn’t seen an unfamiliar customer in 6 months.

Converting your coin into a very nice shiny silver ring is really pretty simple. You take a heavy spoon and tap on the edge of the coin, rotating it as you work, so that you work the whole thing in an even manner. You continue this, until the coin edge has mushroomed down into a wide band with an inside diameter that meets your desired finger dimensions. The center portion of the coin is then drilled out, leaving a silver band inscribed with E. Pluribus Unum, Liberty, United States of America, and all that. Pretty cool.

You can click over to this page to see some nice photo-illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself.

30 Responses to “Two-bit wedding rings”


  1. KenOfSeattle Says:

    There is more magic in things mined at musty old stores on lonely sidewalks than those delivered by FedEx.

  2. jason Says:

    hey there,
    our mutual friend, patrick at hive, led me to your site today. it got my attention for a couple reasons. 1. you’re using wordpress which i just started tinkering around with. 2. these rings made out of coins. my wife made this ring as well and learned how to do it from the same source, DIRT magazine. she has every issue, it was the brother magazine to sassy and it was started and ran by spike jonze who we all know has gone on to bigger things…having the spiegel family fortune didn’t hurt to start a magazine.

  3. vladimer kerchenko Says:

    that reminds me of a familiar refrain our old mutual friend scott harbine would frequently shout out almost daily many moons ago: “and you’d sell a rat’s asshole to a blind-man for a wedding ring!”

  4. Greg Says:

    Wow! That’s awesome! :c) I can’t wait to try it out myself!

    (I like your site’s design too BTW.)

  5. Larry Says:

    I recall reading a sailors book about his WWII experiences. He mentioned that sailors found out about the ring from a coin thing and would tap the coin on the steel of the ship. During daylight hours there was a quit sort of tapping all over the ship. Likely the ship was in Pacific close to US so not too concerned about submarines.

  6. Drew Says:

    I just watched “Cool Hand Luke” for the 10th time the other day…and I think I finally figured out what the guard in the bunkhouse is doing when he’s tapping with the spoon while sitting at his desk. He’s making a coin ring. Seriously.

  7. Steve Says:

    Nice! I’ll check it out. Always looking for another excuse to watch Cool Hand Luke.

    “I’m shaki’n it boss…”

  8. Matt Zink Says:

    Wow! I didn’t know that about “Cool Hand Luke”! I only saw it last year – I’ll have to pay more attention.

    “What we have here is failure to communicate”

  9. Terry Trimmer Says:

    The rat’s asshole remark was actually a poem published by the late and sometimes great Richard Brautigan. Should have handed the man a squirt gun instead of a 45. But maybe he didn’t like living in the modern world!

  10. Glenn Fink Says:

    Funny seeing this here! I have a ring just like you show.
    My dad made it over 30 yrs ago and I just talked him into giving it to me.

    nice name BTW.

  11. rick Says:

    I had a potential brother in law at on time while I was working in the oilfield that was also a good friend of mine, GOD rest his soul he is no longer with us on earth. He wore a ring like y’all mention and he had told us he made it the way described here. Every time I see a ring mad out of a spoon, you know the ones made from a spoon handle, for some reason I think of him. “Pappy” told us he did it by tapping a silver spoon against a quarter untill it mushroomed out into the shape of a ring. I didnt know about the drilling the center out thing but I am fixin to try it. Do you have to sand it after you drill it?
    Thanx for the info,
    Eastreb
    Texas

  12. Will Says:

    I can`t get this link about the ring to open, I`m wondering if you have any more detials on how to make them? Could you please e-mail me you have some..
    Will.

  13. D.B.Couts Says:

    For a finished ring (with all the letters on the OUTSIDE as well as the inside) get in touch with Clyde Austin. He has a design patent on the process and sells the finished rings very cheap.
    Clyde Austin
    650-961-1904

  14. Jude Says:

    I used a half dollar from 1985(my Birth year), and it’s pretty cool. Though the copper is staining my fingers and probably poisoning me, but it still looks cool.
    My friends are totally inspired by it and are now making their own. One of my friends is using a Canadian quarter that’s from ’74, and I think it’s made out of nickel. It’s not finished yet, but I think it’s going to look pretty sweet.

  15. Steve Says:

    Jude,

    Nice, you are a coin ring innovator, Post some pictures of your copper-clad ring, I’d love to see it..

    steve

  16. Travis G. Says:

    Just for reference, it is ulikely that you will suffer any serious danger from the copper, in fact you would be more likely to get sick from not having enough copper in your blood. I’d be more worried about the nickle. Anyhow, you can solve that problem by coating it with polyurethane paint or clear fingernail polish, be sure your ring is as well polished as you can get it first. I had to find info about that recently when I decided to make a ring for my little sister, the end product turned out pretty good and I just ordered a 1985(my birthyear also) half dollar to make myself one, I’m excited as all get out right now waiting for it.

  17. Travis G. Says:

    Also, I would wonder if anyone had any further information on how to possibly mount a gemstone in one like in the photo. Any suggestions?

  18. Bands Says:

    I can`t get this link about the ring to open, I`m wondering if you have any more detials on how to make them? Could you please e-mail me you have some..
    Will.

  19. Maggie, England Says:

    Thought you’d like to know that I have an unfinished coin ring made from a Charles II copper halfpenny (1675) which is engraved around the outside with the date 1775. So people were making these things long before the Thirties.

  20. weddings Says:

    Glad I found this site, I’ve been searching for something like this for awhile now.

  21. Alex Smile Says:

    WoW ! I impressed. Fine post.
    Today I wrote some posts about wedding rings too. If this theme interesting for you, I abandon you link on my posts:
    http://jewelry.merelik.com/category/wedding-rings/

    Always welcome!

  22. Don Merideth Says:

    I made one from a quarter while at sea in the Navy in the Pacific on a minesweeper.. It was nice. I was wearing it when I went into the engine room thru a deck hatch and there was insufficient clearance between the ladder and side of the hatch. The rig caught and almost cut myfinger off. I didn’t wear anymore when I had the duty in thr engine room.

  23. Judy Johnson Says:

    I’m trying to research a ring found in my Grandmothers belongings. You can read some of the inside such as:Austrailia
    Flo Ren IVII. Do you have any idea what period this ring could have come from or maybe when this rings from coins originated. A jewelry maker once told me to have it appraised but I haven’t been able to find out much about it.

  24. Brandon Says:

    My wife’s grandfather made a ring during WW2 made out of an Australian coin. My grandfather was in the Navy during WW2 and he made six or seven of them during the was and post war. I have one of them. He used a ball peen hammer to make his. Neither my wife or I had ever seen one other then our own until we talked about it. We decided to use mine as my wedding band.

  25. josh Says:

    Great to hear that the copper wont harm. i was worring about that. i wanted to get a nz coin to make it from but no go there, i dont want to buy a silver coin from trademe to make it into a ring. i am making one now from a nickel copper alloy coin. its working fine so far. what i was wondering is does it have to have that fat part inside the ring isnt that uncomfortable? maybe if the ring is flattened more will it be able to have the writing fully inside the ring so it is totally flat?

  26. josh Says:

    Great to hear that the copper wont harm. i was worring about that. i wanted to get a nz coin to make it from but no go there, i dont want to buy a silver coin from trademe to make it into a ring. i am making one now from a nickel copper alloy coin. its working fine so far. what i was wondering is does it have to have that fat part inside the ring isnt that uncomfortable? maybe if the ring is flattened more will it be able to have the writing fully inside the ring so it is totally flat?

  27. Retro Fashion Says:

    I personally love retro anything including retro fashion. Thanks for the post.

  28. collectible coins Says:

    As a kid I made the mistake of polishing all of my coin collection. That devalued them. But they were shiny!

  29. ZippyStevey Says:

    I make my silver coin rings in an entirely different manner! I don’t use any electric tools, just hand tools like a hammer, files and sandpaper. The way I make them leaves the writing on the inside AND on the outside, as well. To take a look at some of them, go to http://www.zippystevey.com and see for yourself. Thanks for looking!

  30. Stacey Says:

    My friend Becky had one and I always tried it on everytime I saw her. I have been in love with it for years and I asked my Dad if saliors used to make them, because that’s the story we got. I cant wait to have my own!!! Thank you so much!