Introduction: Make a Silver Ring for 25 Cents

Picture of Make a Silver Ring for 25 Cents

Do you have a quarter from 1964 or before? If you do, it is made of silver. You can turn that coin into a nice silver band using a spoon, a drill, and a metal file.
A quarter will yield a small ring, size ~7 or less. You can get a larger size but the ring will be very skinny. If you want a larger size ring, a Kennedy half dollar will work well. Again, anything 1964 and earlier will be silver.

Materials needed:
-Silver quarter
-spoon
-drill
-metal file

Optional but recommended
-Vice grips
-dremel

Step 1: Find a Silver Quarter

Picture of Find a Silver Quarter

I was lucky enough to find two silver quarters in my change, but unless you are looking, you may not find one. Any quarter from 1964 and earlier should be silver. They are much lighter in color than newer quarters. I've read you can use the the sandwiched coins, but the metal is harder and it wouldn't be a silver ring. You can also buy one at a coin dealer for a couple dollars.
DO NOT buy an expensive silver coin for this, you will be destroying it.

Step 2: Start Tapping

Picture of Start Tapping

Now comes the tedious part. Hold the coin with one hand and tap the edge with a spoon. Turn the coin as you tap. Tap Tap Tap. Tap the ring in the center of the edge as much as possible. This will keep the edges of the ring from bending under.
**Do your tapping when no one is around, the tapping can get very annoying to others in the nearby vicinity.**
The more you tap the faster the ring will form. I was a casual tapper, I tapped while I watched TV. My first ring took a year to finish. If you're the impatient type you can speed up the process by using a hammer and a hard surface. If you do this you risk bending or warping the coin and your finished ring will look crude and rough. The small taps of the spoon give a much smoother beveled look.

Step 3: Size Your Ring

Picture of Size Your Ring

As your ring starts to form you will need to determine the size you need.
This site will convert your ring size to inches or mm.
Tap the ring until you ring size is pretty close. You can be off by a 1-2 mm because there will be extra space in the center to play with.
When you reach about size 6 you can see the date and the words "Liberty", "Quarter Dollar", and "United States Of America" on the inside of the ring. This will be your only proof that you made this from a quarter.

Step 4: Make a Hole

Picture of Make a Hole

This part was the hardest for me because I didn't have anything to hold the ring while I drilled it. You need to hold the ring in something that won't scratch it. A vice or vice grips. What ever you use, make sure you pad it to protect the ring. You don't want all that tapping to go to waste.
**Also note that drilling the ring gets it very hot.  It can burn you, handle with care**

I drilled a hole in the center followed by a bigger hole and so on. Drill out as much of the center as you can. A dremel will probably work well here. I didn't have one for my first ring. Once you have enough of the center out you can grind away the edges with a file or dremel.
At this point you can play around with the size. Try the ring on and grind away until it fits right.

Step 5: Polish Your New Ring

Picture of Polish Your New Ring

I found that the small taps from the spoon gave a nice polished look already. You can use the dremel to clean out any rough areas inside the ring. If you opted for the quick and dirty hammer method you may need to polish the outside of the ring. I suggest several rounds of polishing, coarse --->fine grit.
After that you are done.

Step 6: What to Do With Your New Ring?

Picture of What to Do With Your New Ring?

Wear it, propose marriage, sell it, give it away. Sadly you can never use it to play a video game or spend it like a quarter, but I think it's worth much more than 25 cents now.

I hope you give it a try. It's really very easy.

Comments

redfoxtrystman (author)2010-07-29

oh and i just got off the phone with a nice lady at this place: Department of the Treasury 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20220 General Information: (202) 622-2000 her name was lynn. please call her or any one there. she told me that the law states that if you make jewelry out of money, and make it so you can not spend it any more. then its 100% legal to deface money. she also told me that if you watch the home shopping network and see all the coins that they make in to rings and necklaces. that a good way to find out if its legal. she also told me that she had a lady call her 4 days ago and ask her about making quarters in to necklaces and she told her the same thing.

StevenN19 (author)redfoxtrystman2015-12-18

it is not illegal to alter coins into jewelry it is however illegal to make a coin out of a quarter and claim that its value greater than 25 cents. If that makes sense haha

StevenN19 (author)StevenN192015-12-18

EDIT

... illegal to make ring out of quarter and claim...

Thanks for the info. With all the weird laws surrounding these things it's hard to know when you might be doing something completely innocent that violates some random statute.

target022 (author)2013-04-02

April 2013, One Million views......and counting.

JM1999 (author)target0222015-02-13

Feburary 2015, Over TWO MILLION VIEWS!

target022 (author)2012-02-13

Where can I get a silver quarter?
If you wait to find one in your change, it may take forever. You can buy one but it would probably cost you more than a quarter. One way to get a silver quarter for free is to use a method that coin collectors use called Coin Roll Hunting.

Basically, you go to your bank and withdraw as much money as you can in the form of quarter rolls. Take them home and look through the coins for silver ones. The more rolls you get the better your chances are of finding one.  All the regular coins go back in the rolls and you can deposit them back into your account.

Good Luck!

BambieS1 (author)2017-12-05

I was wondering the same thing as "CultDoctor1". How do you get the printing on the outside as in the picture of the ring he posted. Personally I think that is more unique than having the writing on the inside where no one sees it. Why go to all that trouble just for a silver ring (band) when you can just go buy one (other than for the expense)? Just saying.

misstania (author)2016-04-25

Does it have to be American? i'm in Canada.?

TOYOTAI (author)misstania2017-11-19

No it does not have to be American. Canadian quarters 1920-1967 were made of 80% silver. 1967-1968 were made of 50% silver. Even though my reply is over a year after the comment, I hope this helped :)

guidess (author)misstania2016-12-16

Hi, I know this is a little late, but...

You CAN NOT legally deface Canadian coins. You can certainly deface an American one, if you want (that is why, in those souvenir penny-squisher machines, it says to use an American penny; it's not because a Canadian one won't work, it's because it is illegal.)

The Currency Act states that "no person shall melt down, break up or use
otherwise than as currency any coin that is legal tender in Canada."
Similarly, Section 456 of The Criminal Code of Canada says: "Every one
who (a) defaces a current coin, or (b) utters a current coin that has
been defaced, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction."

Hope this helps. Just in case you wear your ring to the police station one day. :-)

silm (author)2017-04-21

Silver jewelry keeps you calm and healthy.I always prefer to wear silver jewelry.

809314 (author)2017-03-15

What can you do if you dont have a drill?

target022 (author)8093142017-03-16

There's not much you can do. If you use a small saw you still need a drill for the initial hole. Can you try to borrow a drill or a dremel?

chadeau (author)2017-01-05

If one does not know the size of ring for whatever finner (sic) ,
go to your local jeweler and ask if you can borrow their ring sizer . . .
(you may have to bring the person receiving the ring ;) )

DoctorWhoIsHere (author)2016-10-19

THIS IS AWESOME!

offseid (author)2016-10-16

Wow I must be one of the few people in the world who have never seen this Instructable before. 2.5 million views and counting! Nice work. I will try this!

johnpaulbenedictpogi (author)2016-05-02

I am a filipino so I used a peso coin good luck to me! :)

ForeprimeSeo (author)2016-04-04

sorry but illegal...

TrishaF2 (author)ForeprimeSeo2016-04-07

Its not illegal its only illegal to try to pass it off as a higher value coin

TrishaF2 (author)2016-04-07

Im doing it im useing a mexico coin cause my soon to be husbands hispanic but the coin has begin to bend and im worrie ill mess up the wrighteing if i hit it in the center what to do its going to be his wedding ring and itbis made with silver according to google

CultDoctor1 (author)2016-02-23

Any idea how you would get the printing on the OUTSIDE like this one?

Don-Don the dinosaur (author)2016-02-14

can you use a regular quarter, and still have the same results?

Yes, but it will look copper. Scroll through the comments, there are pictures of some.

oh, thanks for replying. I hope my ring turns out well ; )

Redsonya00547 (author)2016-01-26

If it was illegal and against the law to deface or make jewelry out of quarters are different change then why would they have the penny press is that they have at zoos in different places.

jly89 (author)2016-01-02

According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code, which sets out crimes related to coins and currency,
anyone who “alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies,
scales, or lightens” coins can face fines or prison time. The same goes
for debasing – that is, decreasing the proportion of precious metals –
in gold or silver coins struck or coined at an American mint.

RenalsH made it! (author)2015-03-22

This is the one I made. I tapped it with a spoon (hold the spoon opposite the way shown above) this will give you a much smoother finish. Then I drilled a small hole in the center, inserted a tapered mandrel and sanded the outside to a nicer finish with 600 grit wet paper. After that I continued to drill out the center hole bigger with a step drill. After I was not able to drill any more- hard to hold the small ring without risking drilling a hole in myself- I used a dremel to finish cutting it out to size. I also used a polisihing wheel on my dremel to remover any sharp edges and to buff it to a high shine. My girl has tiny fingers so I had to bring it down to a 5.5 which took quite a bit of time. She already had one that she treasured- her grandpa made it for her grandma during the war, now she has 2- she absolutly loves it and cannot believe that it was hand made.

cwik (author)RenalsH2015-12-02

In your 2nd and 3rd pictures, I can see the rounded shape already taking form. Did you have to carefully round the edges like that throughout the tapping, or did you only hit it dead in the center (and it naturally curves in)?

I really like the end look of yours and want to get it right the first time.

RenalsH (author)cwik2015-12-02

Thank you very much for the compliment!!!
By holding the spoon with the "cereal" side towards the coin- it will naturally give it the curve that mine has. All I did was keep tapping it straight on the coin. Do the best you can to keep straight but don't worry since the curvature of the spoon will follow the coin edge and will not ruin it. That being said it will take much longer if you tap crooked. Good luck and post pictures. I would like to see your finished product.

cwik (author)RenalsH2015-12-03

Ahh, the light bulb went on, but a bit late. I get it, you hit the coin with the inside of the bowl part of the spoon. Very helpful tip!

RenalsH (author)cwik2015-12-03

yes exactly. Sorry for the bad image but the spoon and coin should come together as pictures. :-)

cwik (author)RenalsH2015-12-03

Thank you *so* much for responding! So you're saying that underside of the handle of the spoon was concave and not flat?

Nitreban (author)2015-11-12

I made a ring like that and I love it ! I've been wearing it for a year and a half now, and I had to clean it once, just the same way I do with more traditional silver jewelry... Since I live in France, it was harder to find the right coin (I did find some french silver coins, but since the date isn't on the border, it disappeared when I drilled it). Anyway I found one for 4 euros, and it took me about a week to make it with the adequate tools (a hammer, an anvil, and a conical drill). As said in this tutorial, it is a bit more rough than shown in the pictures above, but I love this look. The big plus for me was being able to choose the date of the coin, (1961, first time a man was sent in space...), and now I never take it off. Thank you !

Bobby T (author)2015-10-12

How do you have the patience to make this..

wrush (author)2011-09-29

now i just have to find a siver quarter :/
anybody know if you can use a nickel???

4pizon (author)wrush2015-09-13

nickels are very hard. A bit small as well. Silver is soft and far easier to work with.

squiggy2 (author)wrush2012-02-13

I'm Australian so excuse me if I'm wrong, but I am going to assume a nickel is made of nickel. In which case it is quite a bit harder than silver - almost as hard as some steels. This means the spoon tapping method won't work, and in general shaping it will be much more difficult. That said, its only worth 5(?) cents so there's no harm in trying!

If you want to use a nickel this is the best way that I've found to make a ring.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Mens-5-Cent-Ring/

cnash962 (author)squiggy22013-05-03

Just found this tutorial and you asked a valid question that didn't get answered. So here is your answer..... In early minting days all coins had to made of gold, silver, or copper by law. A five cent piece was called a half disme (pronounced like dime). The first five cent piece made with nickel was created in 1866, the half disme stopped being minted in 1873. So there you have your answer.

hammertong (author)wrush2012-09-13

If you find a nickel from the early forties, yes. Nickels were made of silver during WWII because the actual nickel metal was needed for bullets.

Angela crone (author)2015-07-23

I live in Australia, what coin should I use to make a ring?

target022 (author)Angela crone2015-08-24

You need to find an old coin from 1945 or earlier like a shilling or florin (1910-1945) or a crown (1937-1938).
After 1945 and before 1963 the amount of silver in the coins dropped to 50%. They should work too, they will just be a little harder to tap.

Good luck.

MariaE11 (author)2015-08-23

this is sooo cool!! in my jewelry box, is my grandpa's ring.. I think it was his wedding ring (he probably spent all his money on grandma's ring, so did this to have his own)... I always thought it was just a ring.. years after he died, my mom told me someone had made it from a quarter (or a nickel??).. anyways, to me it represents him .. simple, humble,.... precious.... perfect description...

quailranch. (author)2015-08-06

Many years ago I met a young man who lived in a van and made rings out of pennies. He didn't drill the coin, but as I recall he pierced it, then placed it on a mandrel and used a small hammer to form it into a ring. The pennie was sufficient for a ring because he didn't waste any of it. It came out very nicely. He charged a dollar, which was a good profit.

AndrewCampbell (author)2015-08-06

Thanks for the instructable and I will definitely go search for older coins so I could try this DIY project during the weekend. If I could garner more than just a few coins, then I reckon I could even produce a nice silver necklace as a personal challenge for me.

roxy2323 (author)2012-11-30

Actually, you're incorrect about this being a federal crime and I wouldn't advise people to destroy federal currency. Under 18 U.S.C. § 331 (US Code 18, Section 331) it says:

"Sec. 331. Mutilation, diminution, and falsification of coins

STATUTE-
Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs,
diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined
at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are
by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money
within the United States; or
Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or
sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into
the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered,
defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or
lightened -
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five
years, or both."

Just an FYI...

ronald.rhea.969 (author)roxy23232015-04-17

Uhh... You are missing a key point here... the term 'fraudulently'... If you melt a coin for the purpose of commiting fraud, for example mixing it with another metal and selling it as pure silver - that is a crime. Altering a coin into an unrecognizable shape (coin) for you and your husband would hardly be fraud... Besides, I doubt the government would spend the resources to prosecute someone who made a quarter and a half dollar into rings for their own use...

LauraB18 (author)ronald.rhea.9692015-07-15

EXACTLY!

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