Introduction: How to Cut Coins to Make Jewelry

Have you ever wondered about this cool beautiful designs on coins like state quarters and world coins and said hey i think this could be a great key chain or a pendant??
If you did here is how to make it, if you didn't then here is the idea and also how to make it.

Step 1: What You Need to Get Started

first coins are really small and when you try to hold it down on a bench pin to cut with a jeweler saw will put lots of strain on your fingers joints , if you are cutting one or two then it's okay to use your hands if you are cutting many as a hobby or business then you need a better solution
If you gonna use your hands skip to the next step if not then you need to make this jig for coin holding

a drill with a drill bit and driver bit
a saw to cut the piece of wood (optional)
a pliers to tighten the wires (you don't need it if you get the steel hanging pictures wire)

- a diamond shaped hinge
- a piece of scrap wood about 8 inches long and have a whole 1.5 inches from the end , the whole could be any size bigger than the nail or bolt you are using from 3/8th to 1 inch because the hinge holes are 1/4 "
- 2 rubber rings
- a piece of wire about 5 feet long depends on the height of your desk (i recommend a 3 foot high desk or the height of your chest)
try use a steel picture hanging wire because the one in the picture didn't perform as required and i had to replace it
- 2 wood screw to fasten the hinge to the scrap piece of wood
- a nail that has a hole in its end or a carriage bolt and you can attach the wire between two nuts the idea here is to have anything smooth in the hinge holes , a thread will keep stopping the hinge from fully closing
- a spring in the hardware store it was #4
- a washer that fits the nail or bolt you are using

- first glue the rubber rings to the tips of the hinge with super glue , they protect the coins you are cutting from scratches and also they make a better grip on the coin doesn't make em slide

- attach the hinge to the piece of wood with the 2 screws

- get the spring and the washer and nail and assemble them like in the pictures below
- thread the wire through the nail hole and tighten it firmly
- wrap the other end of the wire to a any piece of steel or hard wood (anything that will work as a pedal or foot rest  get creative)
- you are done just attach the jig to your desk using a clamp or screws what ever you like

you can get a small fish tank air bump and attach it to the jig to blow away the metal filing while you are cutting because they really get in the way and block you from seeing the details and as a rule of thumb
"if you can't see it you can't cut it"

you can use a small paint brush to brush the filings away

Step 2: Get Your Coins and Start Cutting

for this instructable i used an Egyptian coin (50 piasters modern)  i brought with me from home
- use a center punch to mark where your holes are going to be that's very important because the drill bit tends to wander off and scratch your coin surface for ever
- drill the holes  i use a flex shaft with assortment of fine drill bits ranging from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm depends on the coin design
- now use a jeweler's saw with fine blades to cut the coins mainly you would use a 0/4 swiss blades but depends on the level of details in the coin and the material of the coin some coins are copper or silver or brass some are steel and alloys of different kinds
don't worry the blades will cut through anything  so for starter just stick to 0/4 will get you through most coins just fine
-  now i won't tell you how to cut there are instructables that teaches you that and first of all you have to experience it yourself and practice it to learn how so just start and do it and you will learn after breaking so many blades and using so many curse words and injuring yourself couple of times (all depends on your temper really)

Step 3: Make It Pretty

up till now that was the usual coin cutting technique that are used by many and you can find it sold every where on ebay and etsy
me included but i sell prettier ones and i here show you how to do it.

depends on your coin color yo can have a different color background that will accent the coin and really makes a difference of the over all look
as in the example in this instructables the coin cut was golden color so i think adding a copper background will be very pretty

so get a piece of copper and cut it the same size as the coin you are using leave a small area protruding from the circle so you can make a hole in it to hang the coin from (like in the picture)

now you have a lot of choices you can texture your background or shine it to a high luster finish whatever you like what ever floats your boat
for this example i went with textured background so i got the piece of copper and used an engraver i bought from HF for like 5$ and made this textures in the pictures for the front and back  (you can substitute the engraver with a nail and a hammer and a lot hammering)

sometimes a hammered look background (you can achieve by hammering the copper with a ball peen hammer) looks pretty too it all depend on your taste and the coin you are working with

after you are done with texturing use a brass brush to scrub the background piece it will make it shine and get rid of dirt and small filings and then you can clean it with rubbing alcohol so to get rid of grease on it

Step 4: Putting It Together

now you have your shiny cut coin and your shiny textured background but wait they are 2 pieces and you want em to be 1 piece okay here is how
i use clear epoxy resin to put em together and also to protect the coin from scratching and tarnishing afterwards

the instructions for using the epoxy may differ from a brand to another  the brand i use clear cast instructions is as follow

- mix ratio is 1 : 1 and  for 1 coin i would mix 10 drops of each would be enough
- stir for 2 minutes and then pour it in another container and stir for 2 more minutes
- pour the mix slowly on the background first just enough to cover it and then place the coin on top and move it around till you center it exactly in place
- continue pouring on top of the coin till you cover it
- try look for any bubbles forming and get rid of them and let it to dry
- you're done

Step 5: Final Product

now after the epoxy solidifies you are done just use it as a key chain or a pendant or even hang it on the wall

here are some pictures of the final result

the actual product is much more impressive than the picture because the texture surface reflects the light  when held in different angles which is so pretty.

thank you for reading through this

if you like please rate and vote for me in the metal challenge contest


THEMONEY (author)2017-08-19

Ooooo, You are GOOD! Thank you. I figure the hardest part will be making the jig (for me at least), if I can get through that, I'm IN! Thank you again for sharing your genius with a "needs help" like me!

Johnw35 (author)2015-04-21

i'm already fed up.. i've been trying to cut a US gold dollar liberty and i've broken 9 blades in the last 2 days. i've tried a 1/0 and a 2. its not working and the blades are binding and breaking. I'm out of options i can't find an answer as to why. Any suggestions i'm about to chuck it all. Someone please email me please i hate to think i wasted all that money on a saw and blades.

DIY-Guy (author)Johnw352015-05-03

A bit of beeswax helps.

Islam Safir (author)Johnw352015-05-02

when you say the blades bind and break i believe it's not stringed correctly in the saw the best way to know if you have the blade at the right tension is after you string it in the saw strum it with your thumb if you hear a ringing tone then it's done right if you hear a thud like tone its too tight and if it doesn't do any sound or just a click then it's too loose , other than that try with a blank piece of metal make sure you are not cutting a metal that is too thick with the blade sizes you listed , let me know if you have any more questions.

CathyM1 (author)2015-02-15

Those look killer loved the gold rush. Nice Work I have all the tools dont Know if I got the hands and eyes, it will become a iron in thr fire for sure Thanks for yhe inspiration

Islam Safir (author)CathyM12015-05-02

practice makes perfect you will never know unless you try you might surprise yourself and got a talent just needs to be uncovered.

snoopindaweb (author)2014-09-01

You don't need to use the rubber "soft jaws" that come with a ball vice if You want a firmer hold, or make a set from sheet lead that really holds them where You set the position on Your new Ball Vice. ~:-}

snoopindaweb (author)2014-06-17

Ball vices come with a pair of rubber "soft jaws" included and can be locked in any position. ~ : - }

Islam Safir (author)snoopindaweb2014-09-01

try to loosen the "vise" and reposition the coin and re tighten it every time you need to make any cut other than straight lines which is almost non existent on coins

~ : - }

Jake Maverick (author)2014-06-19

very handy instructable

just worry though, i'm UK- if i did that to Queeny it's called treason and they can still legally put you in the tower for sure it's ok for all other coinage? ;-)


I'm not sure about the Queen of UK but all coins i know of is fair game and i have been doing this for a while also there is quite a few people that sell this type of cut coins online and in fairs too.

andrew.spencer.2 made it! (author)2014-07-26

really great instructable! I tried this without your clever hinge clamp, I'll definitely be sure to put one together for my next coin when I try your neat background/epoxy maneuver. Thanks lots!


that is beautiful , you cut that coin really good , please share pictures if you ever made the hinge or the background , thanks.

Jake Maverick (author)2014-06-19

very handy instructable

just worry though, i'm UK- if i did that to Queeny it's called treason and they can still legally put you in the tower for sure it's ok for all other coinage? ;-)

Jake Maverick (author)2014-06-19

very handy instructable

just worry though, i'm UK- if i did that to Queeny it's called treason and they can still legally put you in the tower for sure it's ok for all other coinage? ;-)

sahmed39 (author)2013-12-06

omg it's egyptian coin :)
50 piasters

tota_5999 (author)2013-06-08

I live in Cairo do u sell those rings ?? I want one of (el nos geneh ring) so how can I reach u do u have an exhibition or a store ??

Islam Safir (author)tota_59992013-06-23

I live in the US now , i make this as a hobby not for sale i just love working with metals but i believe some workshops in "Al Azhar and Khan El Khalily" makes similar methods to cut metal they can custom make it for you.

paqrat (author)2012-12-10

I think your clamp is brilliant. I am definitely going to make one of those. It would rate its own instructable, I think.

Islam Safir (author)paqrat2012-12-12

thanks , i have seen the alternatives that professional coing cutters uses , one uses a vise grip that is fixed on the desk , another uses a smaller diameter tube than the coin and a washer on top have hole same diameter as coin on top which was my first attempt but the problem you only be able to cut 1 size coin and need to fix another fixture for each size , so this design really works for me

paqrat (author)Islam Safir2012-12-15

I have a sterling serving spoon I've been wanting to convert into jewelry. One of the reasons I haven't attempted it is I didn't have a good way of holding it while cutting. When I have made your clamp I won't have that excuse any more. Thank you for showing it. :)

Islam Safir (author)paqrat2012-12-15

if you have a special design in mind try to get a piece of practice blank roughly the same size as the spoon and practice on it first till you get your design the way you want it then start on the spoon .

paqrat (author)2012-12-10

I think this is an excellant instructable. Your adding the textured back makes the whole piece much more attractive. I would suggest anyone buying a jewelers saw to spend a few dollars more to get adjustable one. I don't know how many saw blades I have broken and if I had had an adjustable saw I could have re-used some of those broken blades. Whether it would be enough to justify the extra expense would depend on how many blades you break. I would guess you are experienced enough that you don't break that many any more. I wish I could say the same.

Islam Safir (author)paqrat2012-12-12

thanks for stopping by , i have an adjustable saw never used it with broken blades mainly because the blade breaks in the middle so there is hardly any good length of teeth left to use it comfortably , being careful and patient with lots of practice will get you to where you hardly break any blades but good saws also help recently i bought that saw , it's on the high end of saws but it really makes a huge difference the balance and tension control is amazing , but you would only invest in that saw if you take your hobby seriousely it's a tool will last a lifetime .

Islam Safir (author)Islam Safir2012-12-12

that one

paqrat (author)Islam Safir2012-12-15

I have seen this design but I had my doubts about its being worth it. I had not heard any comments of anyone who used it that wasn't associated with selling it. I may have to hit Santa up for one of those.

Islam Safir (author)paqrat2012-12-15

i also had my doubts but thought i would give it a try since the reviews was great , my opinion it's a very well made tool also the tension control is brilliant now if i have so many piercings in a piece of metal i don't have to carefully tighten the blade right every time just do it once and it's exactly the same every time, but as i said i only justified this to myself because i use the saw too much to get a quality tool

d1ndian (author)2012-11-28

can i sell it on ebay as its a national currency?

Islam Safir (author)d1ndian2012-12-12

yes you can.

paqrat (author)d1ndian2012-12-10

I don't know of any reason why not. I think you can probably search ebay for pierced coin jewelry and see that others are selling pierced coins. The law about defacing coins was primarily to address fraudulent uses also so that back in the day when coins were made of precious metals filing metal from the coins and then passing them could be prosecuted.

pmann1 (author)2012-08-01

Islam, they're fantastic! I was blown away by your designs. Got to get myself some coins and a jeweller's saw. Nice work. Thanks for the tutorial.

Islam Safir (author)pmann12012-08-05

thanks for the kind words, a jeweler's saw is by far my favorite tool, opens a door to lots of possibilities in metal work specially .

Xeyla (author)2012-05-08

This is my first time seeing something like this, and I think it's brilliant! Thank you for showing how to do this. I would love to try this, but I do not have access to any drills or saws.

Islam Safir (author)Xeyla2012-05-08

Thank you for the kind words, if you want to try this it's really easy to acquire an economy saw from ebay for like 4 bucks and you can get something called a pin vise which is a manual drill for couple bucks a dozen blades 0/4 and small drill bits 1mm , 1.2mm and 1.5 mm . i would say all your cost would be between 10 and 15 dollars and you are good to go , if you need any help along the way just comment here and i will be happy to answer you.

ilpug (author)2012-05-02

Wow, that is pretty awesome. You are very skilled at cutting!

Islam Safir (author)ilpug2012-05-02

thank you very much , I have been using a jeweler's saw for more than 12 years now , but if you love what you do you don't need time or experience because it will come out just great, please vote for me in the contest it won't take a few seconds , thank you

ilpug (author)Islam Safir2012-05-02


Islam Safir (author)ilpug2012-05-02

thanks "hats off"

Mahmoud Alaa (author)2012-05-02

the first one is a Egyptian coin i have a lot of them because i live in Egypt

Islam Safir (author)Mahmoud Alaa2012-05-02

yup it's a 50 piasters coin , I'm Egyptian but i live in USA now i brought some with me , they are also sold on ebay along with virtually any world coin you can think of, if you like please vote for me in the contest of metal challenge

Mahmoud Alaa (author)Islam Safir2012-05-02

ok.. bro ;D

poofrabbit (author)2012-04-30

This is a fantastic instructable very easy to follow and I feel I could actually make your awesome creation! I will rate and vote good luck!

Islam Safir (author)poofrabbit2012-05-01

thank you very much for your kind words and your vote, if you have any inquiries just comment here with your question and i will be happy to answer it, and please post pictures of your own creations when you make one

Elemental LED (author)2012-05-01

People have been doing this for as long as there has been coinage. They are called hobo nickels. Check out the Wikipedia article:


I didn't claim that i invented this i even said that people are doing this and selling it for long time i just was showing how to do it specially my method of doing it
and hobo nickel actually different it doesn't cut out the coins it carves the indian head into different designs and faces because that nickel was thick and can be manipulated this way
thank you for commenting
if you like please rate and vote

About This Instructable




Bio: I love working with my hands and making stuff, jewelry and metal working are my passion
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