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
-metal file

Optional but recommended
-Vice grips
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Step 1: 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

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.
target022 (author) 1 year ago
April 2013, One Million views......and counting.
target022 (author) 2 years ago
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!
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.
ethomas1512 days ago
Yes or no is this legal
target022 (author)  ethomas1512 days ago
Yes, it is legal.
How do you make the ones with the 1964 and united states of america on the outside of the ring?

I would try to drill the hole first, put a metal rod on the inside and use a nylon hammer to hit the quarter.

target022 (author)  NINJ4SP4RT4N2 years ago
Not possible using this method. The writing will always be on the inside of the ring unless you can somehow tap the ring from the center going out.
Tapping it from the center out will make the round part on the inside of the ring, haha!
Challenge accepted
It might work if you drill the hole first, and then take something that fits in the hole and tap from the inside out. I suggest trying it on something that you don't mind messing up on first before using a silver quarter.
well, isn't this illegal, defacing US currency? i use old chucky cheese coins.
No it is not, people always think it it but its not. The law say defacing US currency THEN trying to pass (use) it.
iphlue14 days ago
My grandfather taught me this very method 35 years ago. brings back fond memories.
jenise200025 days ago
Omg wow ths is amazing only problem is i live in the uk do u know wht coin i can use?
wrush2 years ago
now i just have to find a siver quarter :/
anybody know if you can use a nickel???
squiggy2 wrush2 years ago
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.

cnash962 squiggy211 months ago
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.
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.
-JMS-2 months ago

I thought it was illegal to make one of these out of us money so I took a Euro coin and did it. THE EURO GIVES it a nice shine

ilikecake34 months ago
When you said it took a year too finish with a spoon, where you cereal?
0Troy6 months ago
It looks cool with those facets the spoon creates! The perfect kind of imperfection!
darman1210 months ago
I finished mine a few months ago, but just remembered to share it. I started with a spoon but it was driving me insane, haha. I used a hammer; luckily I didn't bend it. Then I used a dremal to remove the middle part. I didn't have an appropriate bit, so that took about three hours to do, haha.

I used a file to smooth out the ring, unfortunately you can't see the words from the quarter. I got a cool texture on part of the outside when I was trying to smooth it out with the dremal, but I couldn't replicate it on the whole thing.

Great instructable, I really enjoyed it :)
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darman12 darman128 months ago
It's been about two months since I posted mine. Now it is starting to become dark and less shiny. I haven't been wearing it, it's just been sitting on my night stand.

Any idea why this is happening?
target022 (author)  darman128 months ago
The copper is starting to tarnish, you just need to polish it.
roxy23231 year ago
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

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...
Please don't try to practice law unless you're a lawyer.

The "fraudulently" qualifier in that law is extremely meaningful. As in, it makes the law mean nothing near what you think it means.

Just an FYI...
ray741 year ago
I have done this using a small hammer. They really turn out nice especially with the silver coins. Thanks for sharing this.
darman12 ray741 year ago
You said "especially with the silver coins." Do you mean that you used regular quarters as well? I was wondering if it will still turn out well with copper quarters because I don't think I want to hunt for a silver one, haha.
ray74 darman121 year ago
My first attempt at this was with a regular quarter because I did not want to ruin a silver quarter while experimenting. The regular quarter turned out okay but I really don't like the stripe that it had in it. The silver quarter seemed to be a little softer too so if you use a small hammer take it easy and don't get too impatient with it. If you don't want to wait for a silver quarter to show up in your change you can always go to a coin store and purchase one (about $5.25 each). Tell them what you are planning to do with it and they will most likely show you the coins that do not have much value as a collecting thing. The price will still be more than a quarter but you won't be paying for a high price coin just to turn it into a cool ring :)
amw44441 year ago
Thanks for this tutorial. I just finished my first ring. I used a new quarter so it is two-toned. I used two hammers in place of a spoon. One I hammered with the other was my anvil. I then used a drill and a jewelry saw to remove the middle part. I still need to sand etc. but it is wearable and I love it.
Will heating the Quarter work to make it more malleable and speed up the tapping?
tmorrigu1 year ago
Mutilating coins dates back to when they were cut and weighed and worth whatever metal they were made out of. It was a common criminal act to skim off, say, silver from a bunch of quarters (example only) and recast new coins (or whatever they liked) passing off the minimized quarter as though it were still worth 25 cents, while making a profit off of the removed portion. We no longer have a gold standard economy, so the concept is no longer legitimate. While the law hasn't been revoked, so it is possible to be prosecuted in theory, the only circumstance under which that would happen would be if a cop really wanted you for something else, but couldn't get to you. Or if you really did melt down part of a quarter, spend the rest normally, and make a profit the old fashioned way. But it'd be tough with only old coins to worth with.
Our dollar would be worth a lot more if people went around destroying money... the more scarce something is, the more it's worth. Viva la art!
Can you use a newer quarter as well?
frankvanw11 year ago
For Canadian coins: silver was removed from all standard circulated coins in 1967 and 1968(50% silver) So any circulated coin before that is mostly silver.
kwynveen1 year ago
This brings back lots of memories. My dad brought back rings he made during WWII when he was stationed in the Pacific. He made them from local coins.
Jazzy131 year ago
This is a good idea but you are wasting the quarter. A 1964 quarter is worth $5 so technically you are spending more then 25 cents.
I've been looking for one of these for years and can't find them. And seeing this just makes me want to cry.

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