Buffalo Nickel Ring





Introduction: Buffalo Nickel Ring

About: I'm.. Me. :P My names Nick/Nicholas (my friends call me Nikolai). I'm a metalhead, a prop maker/artist/gamer, and studying to be an Graphic Designer. I'm always trying to find ways to make new things with ...

>This is my first tutorial-ish type thing so cut me a little slack. I'm sorry for lack of pictures, once I get into something I forget to take them.
>Anyway my inspiration for this one was my girlfriend. I wanted to give her something when I saw her this weekend, but I wanted it to be special and have some kind meaning behind it, Not just some random piece of jewelry from the store.
>The tools needed: Dremal (optional), file, hammer, ring mandrel, 100, 400, 1000, 2000 grit sandpaper, car wax/polish.

Step 1: Drilling the Hole

>There's kind of a science to this but it's not to hard once you get it down.
>First your gonna want to drill a hole in your nickel (quarters work too if you want a wider ring, I would only use quarters from before 1965 because they are silver and will look much better) about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. The bigger the hole this less you have to do in the next step.

Step 2: Rendering to Fit on the Mandrel

>This step is probably one of the more time consuming parts if you don't have the correct tools needed. All I had was a file, a cordless drema (battery dies very quickly)l, and some sanding paper.
>Your going to want to size your hole (mine was quite big) to fit on your ring madrel. You can also use a pry bar if you don't have a mandrel.

Step 3: Hammering the Ring

>For this step your going to put the ring on the mandrel/pry bar, and start taking a few swings at a time with a hammer until it's about 1 to 1 1/2 size smaller than needed to fit.
>Once this is done your going to hit it pretty hard on about a 45° angle or so. This bends the rim of the ring over.
>After that you want to start hammering it out flat on the mandrel. I've used parts from a socket set that just fit the ring, makes it perfectly round.
>Once this is done and the ring is where it fits you move to the next step.

Step 4: Sanding/Polishing

>Last steps are the most time consuming of all the steps. You're going to shape, sand, and polish your ring.
Shaping you're going to just sand or grind the ring until you think it looks good enough. This step took me a good hour because I wanted it perfect.
>Sanding/polishing is much less tedious, use 100, 400, 1000 , 2000, and then polishing with car wax. it gets the finish very nice almost mirror finish. I didn't have those so I used my sisters fingernail polisher.. She wasn't very happy but the ring turned out nice.
>My girlfriend (now ex) was glad to get it and family was amazed at how I did it.
>I hope this tutorial helped and inspired any who were thinking about making a ring. and Thank you for baring with me, considering its my first time putting up an instructable. And sorry if the text is a bit jumbled up, I did this on my phone so.

Thank you for viewing/putting up with this, it was done a while back and I wasn't exactly great at ibles. Thank you, and please comment, favorite, subscribe, and vote. :)



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21 Discussions

you did a very nice job I was a bit disturbed about a nice detailed bufalo nickle got sacrificed but use what you have, you still made a very nice ring! GOOD JOB!

2 replies

Oh yes, I did research on buffalo nickles and found out that they are not silver at all! They are 75% copper and 25% nickel! Yeah my mouth dropped too. Just because I wanted to end a spatt with my boyfriend over are the buffalo nickel silver or not.

well.. that's depressing.. always thought the Buffalo Nickels were silver for some reason! :O
kinda a jaw dropper.

Thats funny, because me and my friend just became boyfriend and girlfriend!

Haha yes I am!
Almost 8 months and just as or more happy than we were when we started! :)


5 years ago

And is this even legal?


5 years ago

I see what you mean by making a homemade one

We did this with 1964 quarters back in 1965 in metal shop.
A quarter makes for ah nice wide ring.

Fantastic project but as I live in Ireland I'll have to go to a used coin dealer I know to get USA coinage.......but there again there is a joke here in Ireland......." Weddings and Engagements are being done away with next year.......you simply find a Woman that you cannot stand to be with and give her your house " . . . . . . . . . . (Only kidding Ladies LOL !)

1 reply

If you need sixpence or three pence should be the equivalent considering its only nickel. If you wanted silver you could use your 1941 shilling. It'd be a bit wider but same concept.

Haha I like that. Very funny! xD

I did think about that. It had a historical value. but now to me, it has more of a personal value and she loves it, so that's all that matters in the end really.

I used to do this while at sea (on a submarine). Just don't be in unfriendly waters or the enemy will hear this. Take a quarter and drill out the hole as you described. However, now take a spoon and begin pounding the edge of the quarter all around until it gets just the right amount of curve desired. This makes for a nice wedding ring and professional in appearance.

1 reply

I did that on my first ring I ever made, it turns out quite nicely. It is much more some consuming though.

Why a Buffalo nickel and not a Jefferson? Also you might keep an eye on your girlfriends finger. Many people are allergic to nickel being in constant contact with their skin. I discovered this because of the nickel content in a watch band that made me breakout like I had poison ivy. Mid-forties nickels don't have any nickel in them, so that might be a solution to that problem.

1 reply

Idk to me it just seems to have more of a value, I'm a collector of coins so considering I took this out of my collection to put on her finger gives it more of a personal value to me.

Thank you, I'll make sure keep an eye.