Make a Ring by Melting Pennies.

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Posted in CraftJewelry

Introduction: Make a Ring by Melting Pennies.

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
!!!Caution!!! Melting pennies will release Zinc Oxide fumes which cause flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. Use a well ventilated area with power assisted ventilation to avoid breathing these fumes.



That being said, this is ring made from pennies. You can smelt the copper coating off leaving you with zinc. Pennies minted after 1983 are all made like this.



You don’t have to have a lathe to do this. You could always hammer the ingot flat and follow the nickel ring instructions. A surprising thing is how lite it is. My wedding ring is the same size weighing 8 grams. This ring weighs in at 3.





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Step 1: Smelt

smelt 1 (sm lt). v. smelt·ed, smelt·ing, smelts. v.tr. To melt or fuse (ores) in order to separate the metallic constituents.

I placed 10 pennies on a spoon and heated them with a propane torch. The spoon was held with locking pliers, which was held by a wooded clamp. Once the zinc liquefied I removed the copper with a metal probe (I used a light tester I had near by).

I then poured it into a section of ½” pipe and let it cool off.

Step 2: Cut a Ring Blank

Here I machined the ends off the blank then drilled a hole through it. I chucked the same drill bit into the lathe. Next I wedged the blank on by placing a plastic bag over the bit. Finally the outside was machined.

Step 3: Size the Ring

To expand the blank I hammered it over a pry bar. I started out with a small bar then moved up sizes as the ring expanded. To get to my ring size I eventually had to hammer over a ½ socket bit.

Of course to get your size simply stop hammering once it fits.

Step 4: Polish

I evened out the ring with a file. I then spun it on a ½” socket bit and sanded it with 1000 grit then 200 grit sandpaper.

Lastly I buffed it on a buffing wheel.

Thanks for reading.

2 People Made This Project!

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371 Comments

Back in the Dark Ages we used coins to cast dental crowns. We called them "22 cent crowns" because we melted an indian head dime, two buffalo nickles and two indian head pennies to produce the alloy. It would be considerably more costly to do so now (maybe find some worn out, "dateless" coins cheap), but it yields an excellent gold colored alloy that is very resistant to corrosion & staining.

1 reply

Sorry, that should have been "mercury head dime".

it is illegal to deface coins and sell fraud collectibles (looked it up before posting)

Please dot do this, zinc is toxic, the phumes, temps needed to melt it. Constant contact with your skin can poision you. Not to menchen that it tarnishes in a day or two.

3 replies

I totally agree. Don't stay too close close to the zinc because if something happens, you got to be safe. Also, do it outside on concrete.

Concrete and molten metal could be hazardous. Concrete stores residual moisture and as the molten metal comes into contact with the concrete it evaporates the moisture causing pockets of steam underneath the still liquid metal that will burst and send hot lava everywhere.

Sorry, I meant something that will not harm public areas or your backyard.

Thanks for the reply!

Apparently you didn't realize that melting coins is illegal us the U.S.

just so you guys now I'm pretty sure this is illegal. but I don't care. not making tho.

Just smelt the zinc into rods and sell it as sacrificial rods to protect water heaters and home plumbing....

Don't try this with UK "copper" coins, they are made of steel.

I can see other possibilities for melting pennies. Great Instructable!

8 replies

1. Get 1982 or before pennies because they are pure copper.
2. One pennies weight in copper is worth $0.025
3. Smelt Into Ingots
4. Sell for 2.5x the worth of pennies
5. Go to bank with money and get rolls of pennies
6. Repeat

???

7. Infinite Money?

I had an out of work friend try that with quarters, half dollars and big dollar coins. Yes, infinite money, but only about 25 cents an hour profit. It takes a while to sort through $1000 dollars of coins to get maybe $1 worth of silver. Much less profit with pennies.

Cool! I'll have to remember that. I've found more than 2 dollars in quarters in U.S.A. so far and I've only been here for around a week. Pennies, though are the easily the easiest coin to find on the sidewalk.

I found 1981 and a 1970!

Provided you have infinite pre 1982 pennies to supply the same supply of copper as the first batch, which you don't.

up until they run out of pre 1982 pennies and no guarantee that ull get a role of pre 82 pennies otherwise a good idea

Interesting concept, but it would cost more than your profits to melt them.

Sure, if your source of smelting fuel (propane, natural gas, etc) is free. I'm not sure, but I'm guesstimating that unless you are doing huge volume in a very large 24x7, always hot, efficient furnace, that is constantly fed, that your fuel costs would eat up your profit. 24x7 because heating a cold furnace is a huge amount of the cost of doing anything involving high temps. So you want to feed it 24x7. Interesting concept though.