Introduction: Polished Granite Pendant

Picture of Polished Granite Pendant

The other day I went hiking near my house. I found this small flat piece of granite and hoped I could make it into something pretty for a friend of mind. Having zero experience working with stone, I’m glad it turned out the way it did. The metal comes from two American nickels.

To make it I first used tile nips to rough cut a circle. I then double stick taped the stone to a the head of a bolt. I spun the bolt in my drill press and polished it round using only common sand paper (starting at 100 grit then, 400, 1000, and finally 2000). I then burnished it with white candle wax to make it shiny.

For the bezel, I hammered a nickel just enough so the detail of the coin disappeared. I then made a bottle cap shape by hammering it while it was clamped over a socket (full instructions for this method are under “Vintage Locket”. I soldered it to a nail and polished it in my drill press.

For the jump ring I hammered a strip of nickel and formed it around a drill bit to make it circular. I then filed a round notch in it and soldered it to the bezel.

The stone is pressed in, no glue, or bezel setting. That was unintentional though. I tried to dry fit it and then could absolutely not get it back out.
Hope she likes it.


black hole (author)2011-12-19

What if you used a actual bottle cap?

Mrballeng (author)black hole2012-01-22

I just got a bag of bottle caps from a near by restuarant. I let you know how it goes.

pheenix42 (author)Mrballeng2017-10-13

Hmm! How DID that work out, Mr B?

r-philp (author)2012-08-04

How long did the stone grinding process take?

Mrballeng (author)r-philp2012-08-06

I think it took about 15 minutes.

reosed (author)2011-07-11

I'm having a hard time with getting a rock small enough to start sanding. I made the bezel already. I was surprised at how easy that part was.

How did you dry fit it? I feel like I'd break the rock before it pops in. Thanks for any more details!

Oh yeah, Thanks for the Instructable!

Mrballeng (author)reosed2011-07-11

I was lucky enough to find a rock that was already fairly flat. But if your starting with a typical shape rock I would try this. Place your find in an old sock. Hit the stone with a hammer while it's still in the sock. This will break the stone into several pieces while keeping it from flying everywhere. Find the rock piece that best suits you and use a metal file to flatten a portion of the rock enough to mount it. Wear safety glasses.

For the dry fitting I simply placed the sand paper on the edge of the spinning stone and checked it periodically. There wasn't really a popping when I pushed it in. I had intended to use epoxy resin to set it but it turned out to be exactly the right size. I tried to put double stick tape on the polished stone to pull it out but it wouldn't pull out square. All I could do was pull an edge of the stone out a fraction of a millimeter.

If you use epoxy resin wipe off the excess that bleeds outs while it's still wet.

reosed (author)Mrballeng2011-07-18

Well I finished it and gifted it on her Bday. She loves it and hasn't taken it off yet! I did the jump ring a bit differently and I also used a soldering iron to solder the jump ring on.

reosed (author)reosed2011-07-18

Here it is. I also used a stone that looks like fractured quartz.

pheenix42 (author)reosed2011-11-27


Just wow. I gotta make one of these for my mother and sisters!

reosed (author)pheenix422011-11-28

I also wrote a little poem about it. I read the poem to her as I put it on her neck. Sorry I'm not sharing the poem, however it detailed hamming metal and the shock my hands felt, polishing and the burning my fingers felt, how I made it with love, and how she is the only one with a pendant of my love.

Thanks again Mrballeng!

Mrballeng (author)reosed2011-07-25

WOW!!! I'm just now seeing this picture. You did a great job. Did you use nickels for the metal?

reosed (author)Mrballeng2011-07-26

Thank you. Yes, I used nickels. For the jump ring I flattened a nickel and polished it. Then I cut off 4 pieces to make some thing that looked like an octogon. Folded the octogon over a small drill bit, and shaped with a dremel and grinding stone.

Soldering with the Iron was interesting. At first I didn't think I was going to get a good solder flow. I applied flux to the bezel and jump ring, then I put them together on a strip of double sided tape to hold them steady. Then I heated them with the soldering iron. I then dropped a little piece of solder on the joint and melted it. The solder melted into a ball, but it was connecting both parts. I added a little more solder off to the side of the 1st ball and it made another ball. This next step is the important step for using a soldering iron, I then coated the two balls and parts of the bezel and jump ring with flux. This time when I applied the soldering iron the solder flowed nicely into the contact point of the bezel and jump ring. The solder was very clean and even. I just cleaned up the solder with 1000 grit sandpaper and then polished it the rest of the way.

Thanks again, she loves it!

tonygoffe (author)2011-11-07

Hi, first time... I'm in Jamaica, and am a lapidary using local agates.. On holding a/the piece of stone to be polished..use epoxy to fasten it to the stick that you manipulate it with. .. its easiest thing. To remove the stick, just place in the freezer for about half an hour,, the difference in shrinkage between the two materials will cause it to pop off with no problem. Below are some agate pictures.. tony P.S.for all who did not know that "the islands" had semi-precious stone material.. I may be reached at

MPK Animations (author)2011-08-09

Thanks for the instructable. I made mine from quartz. It was a bit difficult with the oval shape, but I'm still happy with it 

Mrballeng (author)MPK Animations2011-08-09

God Job. I'm with you. I think it turned out great.

William930 (author)2011-08-09

do you think this could be done with a peace of thick beach glass?

Mrballeng (author)William9302011-08-09

I think so though I've never done it. Just make sure your careful.

mslaynie (author)2011-07-06

WOW. I'll be honest- if my husband gave me a pendant like that that he'd made himself? I would cry, flat out, then put it on and probably never take it off again. This is just absolutely stunning! You've turned 10 cents and a piece of rock into something worth handing down, even moreso because you made it yourself.

I would LOVE to buy you a beer and pick your brain! (Or a coffee, since I don't really drink beer! :D)

Mrballeng (author)mslaynie2011-07-06

Thanks mslaynie. My drink of choice is cream soda=).

Kryptonite (author)Mrballeng2011-07-11

You, sir, have just gone up in life... at least in my mind you have :D

lyonpridej (author)2011-07-05

Is that just a piece of sandpaper you used to smooth it out? Is that all you used or did you use anything else? That is really amazing! I pick up rocks everywhere I go & would love to be able to do this. YOu are very talanted, nearly anybody (like me) can learn to do something through instruction, but it takes someone truly creative & talented to come up with the ideas in the first place! Thanks!

Mrballeng (author)lyonpridej2011-07-05

Yes. I started with 100 grit then went to 400, 1000, 2000, and then burnish with candle wax. When I say burnish I mean I rubbed wax on the stone while it was spinning and then used a cloth to buff if out. Thanks for the all the nice words.

lyonpridej (author)Mrballeng2011-07-06

Thanks! That seems so simple for such great results! My mom lives in Arizona & our favorite past time is looking for rocks when I visit. There is granite everywhere out there, I wonder how pink granite would look? Can't wait to go visit again!

Also, I'm wondering about the wax. Would it hold up to wear & tear, heat, etc.? What about dipping it into resin?

Mrballeng (author)lyonpridej2011-07-06

You can't even tell their is wax on it. It feels just like a counter top so there's no waxy feel. It should hold up just fine. Resin can be messy so I wouldn't try it myself.

ilpug (author)2011-07-05

great work. i love how something as common as granite becomes something so pretty. however, are there any nickels with a value more than 5 cents?

Mrballeng (author)ilpug2011-07-05

You got me=).

cerberustugowar (author)2011-07-05

you can also use super glue to attach the stone to the head of a spike (very large nail) , when you want it to release, just head the spike with a candle behind where it is glued and then you cankind of "snap" off the stone - be very careful if working with opals or other delicate materials

also if you already have the bezel made, you can grind the head of the nail so it fits inside the bezel and then mount the stone to it and grind the stone to match the nail

very resouceful of you to make this project - i have all the grinding wheels and polishing wheels to make these things but am to busy to use them....oooo how i miss lapidary work.

mcshawnboy (author)2011-07-05

MB you've done it again! I love to see what you'd make if you decided to use stock & trade items of jewelry designers. Have you ever checked out Ganoksin Project (They have rare jewelry, formulas, repousse & other metalworking ebooks for $1.35, on Facebook? That Italian link I sent you was from there, that guy makes stuff from humble materials too. Thanks again for UR gift !

wombatmorrison (author)2011-07-05

Very nice pendant. Be careful of the rock dust when you sand granite or other rocks. Wear a good dust mask and use wet sandpaper to reduce airborne dust (silica dust can be harmful to your lungs).

jonzo97 (author)2011-07-05

This is absolutely beautiful. I wonder if it would be possible to do something of this sort with say a large washer or hex nut, possibly for a smaller pendant or ring. I think I may give something of this sort a shot with a cool rock I found recently. Might I ask how you shaped the rock initially to get it to the right shape to polish properly? And also, what did you use to polish the granite? Once again, I am astounded by your creativity and ability to see the potential of everything. I have no doubt in my mind she will be impressed.

depotdevoid (author)2011-07-05

Mrballeng, I must say you do absolutely beautiful work!

Mrballeng (author)depotdevoid2011-07-05

Thanks. I read a comment that someone got to meet you at the maker faire. I was jealous=).

depotdevoid (author)Mrballeng2011-07-05

It was fun! If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.

Building Books (author)2011-07-05

You did fantastically well with making this. It looks really Professionally done! Quite impressed actually and I think I might do something similar myself with a bit of greenish granite I found.
Did the coin take much effort to hammer out?

Mrballeng (author)Building Books2011-07-05

Because I started with a thicker coin thickness, I had to use a torch while I hammered it. But over all it wasn't difficult. Thanks for the complement.

ehudwill (author)2011-07-05

I never imagined granite would look so nice in a necklace. Great work.

splazem (author)2011-07-05

Wow, this is impressive!

nanosec12 (author)2011-07-05

Once again, beautiful workmanship. You never cease to amaze me, I hope she is duly impressed.

emilygraceking (author)2011-07-05

This is stunning! I am a big fan of rocks and collect them from everywhere I go. This is such a beautiful use of a little piece of rough rock, and it really came out perfect. I absolutely love it.

sunshiine (author)2011-07-04

She will!

About This Instructable



Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
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