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!!!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.





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.
I can see other possibilities for melting pennies. Great Instructable!
1. Get 1982 or before pennies because they are pure copper. <br>2. One pennies weight in copper is worth $0.025 <br>3. Smelt Into Ingots <br>4. Sell for 2.5x the worth of pennies <br>5. Go to bank with money and get rolls of pennies <br>6. Repeat <br> <br>??? <br> <br>7. Infinite Money?
Sure, if you want to risk a $10,000 fine or 5 years in prison.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&ID=771" rel="nofollow">http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&amp;ID=771</a>
This wouldn't be a problem if we went back to the Gold Standard. <br>Each Dollar would represent a fixed amount of gold in fort Knox and other federal reserve banks.
That would work wonderfully until a criminal master-mind with a fetish for gold decided to bomb Fort Knox with nerve gas and planted a nuclear device with in with the intent on irradiating the entire supply of gold for the United States but was then stopped by a secret m-I6 agent with a three digit identification code and a thirst for stirred martini's and Aston martins. Then yes... I presume that would be a good plan of action.
<p>Wouldn't work - there are no radioactive isotopes of gold. Adrian</p>
... except for 195 Au, 196 Au, 198 Au and 199 Au....
Actually, we need to go to the silver standard as the founding fathers intended. The dollar was 371 1/4 grains of silver, and this kept gold at roughly 16 times the value of silver. Why? Because the poor people can afford silver. These guys were smart... I believe that the gold standard came about in the late 1800's, and this began to assist the uber rich. I am no 99%er, just wanted to clarify the intentions of our founding fathers. Thanks for reading.
I agree. <br>Really, we should pick any tangible asset to back up our money. <br>Though it will never happen again because the powers that be like to manipulate markets for political and personal gain.
So unless u make an instructable about it, how would anyone know? There fore ull be fine. Just say u got the copper and such from something else. (I have a whole trash bag full of it. Maybe it from pennies,maybe not)
Yes, I'm sure that will distract the FBI from all the other evidence of penny-smelting around you.<br> <br> &lt;Waves Hand&gt; <em><strong>&quot;These are not the pennies you are looking for.&quot;</strong></em>&lt;/Waves Hand&gt;
Me: what evidence?<br>FBI: u have copper bits next to a fire pit.<br>Me: yea?<br>FBI: .........
&quot; Other exceptions include the treatment of minor quantities of these coins for educational, amusement, novelty, jewelry and similar purposes.&quot; <br> <br>Sounds safe to me. However, to align with the comment this was in response to, doing commercially is liable to land one in hot water. Hot zinc?
<p>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.</p>
<p>I found 1981 and a 1970! </p>
<p>Provided you have infinite pre 1982 pennies to supply the same supply of copper as the first batch, which you don't.</p>
Except in 2016 when copper's $2 again, they're worth 1 cent again. Also fuel. And time. And Felony.
<p>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</p>
In the U.S it is illegal to make money off of the smelting of currency :{
It's ok if you don't get caught~...
no. It's not. Not getting caught doesn't make a wrong thing ok.
<p>And who says it is wrong??? I've been using coins to make jewelry for years. The wrong is in tearing a dollar into 3 parts and trying to turn them in for 3 new dollars. Destroying coins has never been a problem, or at least for the past 50yrs anyway.</p>
And making a law against something doesn't make it wrong.
<p>Interesting concept, but it would cost more than your profits to melt them.</p>
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.
<p>Solar oven</p>
If you use the HHO method of fuel its not really a problem. A one time investment into a high rate electrolysis machine, batteries and a solar/wind/radiant source of power. <br>Also every time you do this you gain more material. if you have an ounce of copper and sell that for 2.5 ounces of pennies then smelt that and turn it in into 6.25 ounces of pennies. exponentially you gain for really not cost in the long run, the only contributing factor is time to sort through pennies to get all 1982 or before. <br> <br>Ps. that first comment i did that started this all was 100% logic, 50% meant as a joke XD
you forgot to factor in the price of gas and transport to and from the bank and scrap metal yard.
Technically from 1864 on they were 95% copper, the rest being some combination of zinc and tin -- making them bronze or brass, depending on the year... And of course in 1943 they spent a year making cents from zinc-coated steel. Doesn't change your point that the metal value of the brass/bronze cents is around 2.5&cent;...
Did you measure how much you make an hour doing this, including the trip to the bank and the trip to the recycling center?
what about time, heating costs, tools.
You have to be careful doing this as the government has made it illegal to melt the copper pennies. <br> <br>However, people are buying them on ebay by the pound and you can make approx. the same amount of money without having to go through the trouble of melting them!
LIKE ZINC BUCK-SHOT!!!! :D
<p>No, cant say I've ever 'smelt my own ring'. I'm not into yoga.</p>
<p>I do believe William Shakespeare would have enjoyed such a play with words. Well played.</p>
;)<br>
.
<p>I rarely laugh out loud for real, but this was just too perfect, laughed a lot. Thanks you good sir !</p>
<p>I literally cannot stop laughing, my stomach muscles are cramping and I've wee'd my pants!!! Hahahahahaha. Needed a good belly laugh :D</p>
<p>You're probably a visual sort of person like me, and can visualize a contorted person taking a whiff.</p>
<p>Really laughed out loud. Funny stuff out of you. Well done.</p>
<p>Yes I laughed out loud at my own joke too. (Pretty sad hey :) )</p>
<p>That is really cool!</p>
<p>A zinc ring? Why not wood or plastic? Or better yet, just draw a ring on your finger with a marker! How about lead or cadmium, their fumes are very bad too. Maybe we could fashion one out of sodium or potassium, that'd be a cool show! Why not go radioactive, you can find Amercium 241 in most smoke detectors, bet that'd be sweet. <strong>Seriously, zinc fumes are no joke! I'm a welder, I have lots of experience with zinc. It's nasty and will kill you if you get too much.</strong></p>
<p> Great post. Fun thread below.</p>
<p>wow! That is a really cool idea! Beautiful ring too! That would be a cool idea for wedding bands. Use pennies from that year, or the year they met. A baby ring! From year of birth. I know that you can't see the year but you would know. Romantic!??!!!</p>
<p>There is another technique for making small rings. Drill hole into coin, put on tapered metal rod..some files work, and then tap the coin edge with a spoon repeatedly. You will see the coin start to flatten and widen. There is a YouTube on this as well.</p>
<p>Besides the possibility that the Secret Service will come knocking at your door, lol, this is a fun idea. The ammo reloading hobby has melting furnaces and other casting tools that can be used for this pursuit. See lyman.com, rcbs.com, lee.com, hornady.com. The warning about the hazards of the zinc fumes is valid, it is called Welder's Fever. These rings could be used for slides on Western style &quot;Apache&quot; ties. </p>
Holly crud had to scroll down for a min to see the related instructables at the bottom is it right or wrong to fill someone's instructable that was done nicely by the way with unrelated comments ??
<p>It is not illegal to destroy money in the USA. U.S. currency and coinage is destroyed all the time. For example, when you go to any large tourist attraction you will find machines that press pennies into keepsakes. If this was illegal do you think they would be allowed to exist?</p><p> Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code prohibits the FRAUDULENT defacing, altering and so on of US coinage. This was a law created because a man plated nickels with gold and passed them off as five dollar gold pieces. It also addresses penalties for people to lighten coinage. People would file off a small amount of gold or silver and then spend the coin. The filings would be sold off later when a sufficient amount was collected.</p><p>By rendering the coin unrecognizable, I understand that this could not be taken as fraudulent alteration or mutilation. But you could call the U.S. Treasury Department or Federal Reserve to make sure.</p><p>Personally, I don't think I would use zinc or lead to make a ring.</p>

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