These are the best rings to be made from the most common material. I have been making coin rings for a few weeks now. My aunt got me started by saying how she loved her ring she made As a child. I was touched and spent countless hours and coins trying an trying to re create it. I made my brother in laws brother a set of these for wedding rings.
Tools and cost:
Tap and die punch set- 25$ harbor freight
Steel hammer- 15$ any store with tools
Nylon tear drop mallet- 10$ harbor freight
Mandrel- amazon.com 15$
Torch and propane- 25$ any tool store and camping section if Walmart or sporting goods.
Coin- any country any coin. USA coins before 1964 are 90% silver, 10% copper. Post 1965 are made from 90% copper and 10% nickel.
Step 1: Punching or Drilling the Whole.
So to start you should find the approx. center of the coin. Whether it's be a quarter, nickel, half dollar or a coin from another country. The place where the whole is decides the beauty of the ring. It's heart breaking when you mess up the whole. Once you find the center drill or use a punch and die set. (I use a punch and die set it is much faster and I find it easier.)
Once the whole is drilled or punch is punched you are ready for the next step.
Step 2: Folding the Coin
In this step you need pliers and water, a ring mandrel, a nylon mallet and a torch.
I have become used to the heat of coins when I anneal coins I do not quench them. I think they are easier to work when they are hot. Although it does hurt more to get touched by a red hot coin.
Anyways get a stone ore a brick to heat your coin on. Turn on your torch and heat the coin on the brick until it turns light red. Once it is red then take the heat off. The next part is crucial to the ring appearance. What ever side you want on the outside of the ring you want to face up on the mandrel. Then take the nylon mallet and tap the coin until the edges bend down. Repeat this step of heating and folding until the coin is ne'er flat to the mandrel, but not all the way.
Step 3: Folding the Coin Part Two
Once the coin is ne'er touching the mandrel flip it. Now the coin center hole should be closer to the bottom of the mandrel.
Step 4: Finishing the Fold
Now that the coin is flipped heat the coin again same as before, but out the larger sized of the coin facing the tip of the mandrel. Then continue hammering with the nylon mallet and keep heating as needed. Soon the ring should be completely flat on the mandrel.
Step 5: Completed Fold
Once the ring is flat on the mandrel on both sides the ring is mostly done. Now to just remove the sharp edge and left over center debris. Take the non rippled edge of the coin along 220 grit sand paper to get a nice flat bottom. Then take the Sand paper to the inner edge of the coin to take out the sharp edge.
Step 6: Polishing to a Mirror Finish
I absolutely recommend getting Mothers mag and aluminum polish. This stuff works great and it is cheap. It can be found at Walmart, autozone, or amazon. It runs $3-$7 depending on where you buy and what size. This stuff works on nearly all metal items and hasn't let me down. To polish put a dab just a small amount on the ring and rub on a towel or cloth. It takes a bit of elbow grease, but it is worth the work. The ring is a silver ring I made a while ago different type of ring, but it's polished with this stuff just to show its result. I gave it a texture I call dragon scale so when the light hits it the light bounces everywhere.
Step 7: Better Look at the Tools
Here's a picture of my tools I'll explain there uses from left to right. The gray box is my punch and die set. It makes perfect holes in sheet metal and coins, it's easy to use. Next it's my steel hammer used on my punch and die set. I hit the punch until it goes through the coin. Next is my mandrel, this sizes rings and makes them round. I have my multi-tool I use for pliers to pick up the hot metal to avoid severe pain :). Then I have my nylon mallet that is softer then my steel hammer. It has to be soft so you don't flatten the words and the image on the rings. Next is my torch. You can get fuel cheap in the camping section (it's same as a camp in stove fuel). Then my polish and rag to polish coin rings.
Step 8: Notes and Things to Know
This is a way to make unique art. No two coins are alike, as coins are various in ages and conditions and they always come out looking different. Some of these online cost $50 or less or more. I do this as a hobby and a job. I am 16 and I enjoy watching people marvel at things they don't see everyday. When heating the coins you can quench it to cool it and make it more handle-able and it will still work out, but I don't because I can make them faster and easier without cooling them. Also any coin will work as long as it is big enough to fit on the mandrel. If you have any questions I will respond to them, this is my first guide ever!!! Online some people charge to share knowledge and I am against that. I hope you can learn to make rings as I have. I share this to bring the joy to you as it has to me.
Step 9: My Works
These are my rings I've made. I started because my aunt talked about her fathers ring he made for his wedding ring and my aunt made one and I tried to make one to make the memory come to life again.