Picture of How to make a nickel ring

Use a nickel to make a ring or pendant for your sweetheart. Click the link for the mens version.



Sliding square
Razor blade
Center punch
Small hammer
Large hammer
Mandrel (I used a pry bar)
Rotary tool
Drill press
80 Grit sand paper
400 Grit sand paper
2000 Grit sand paper
Polishing Compound

Step 1: Mark the center

Picture of Mark the center

Center the coin in the carpenters square. Using a razor blade score a line in the center. Rotate the coin 90 degrees and score another line. Where the lines cross is the center. Now use a punch to mark the center. This helps you in the next step.  

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It's interesting that your Penny ring indestructible provides a warning about the Zinc fumes. I believe the same warning should be listed here as Nickel fumes & dust also cause health risks. Here is a good resource for most materials and the hazards the jeweler may expose themselves to while working with that metal:


The fumes from nickel are carcinogenic. I was making quarter rings and decided to stop after discovering this. After only a month or so of making quarter rings, I was seeing the signs of pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) - yikes!

I think this is illegal.

Why is it that with EVERY instructable that uses currency, someone poses this question, without first checking the facts?

"Can I make jewelry from U.S. coins?

Yes, but your business should be careful not to imply any endorsement by or association with the United States Mint in its advertising and marketing materials."


The charge would be defacing government property.

it's only illegal if you try to buy something with it after you've done this

ArticAkita8 months ago
Its not illegal for coins but you wil loose money unless your coin is no longer able to get used as its face value, bent, badly scratched off face/back of the coin...a
no brainer.
ArticAkita8 months ago
Any coin will do I believe, I'm always checking my change for disfigured damaged coins found a nickel once with a bad case of road rash another nickel a kid put through a paper punch at school!
invisiblelight386 made it!9 months ago

I was able to make this one using the same process as the men's ring, but drilled a bigger whole to begin with and that made the width of the band about half the width of the men's at the end.

Green X1 year ago


nate4081 year ago

I Have tried to make one of these out of a qaurter, but the quality was bad.

I was planning on making one of these (the slimmer variety) and twisting it into an infinity symbol to use as a necklace pendant. Would this work well? And is there anything in specific that you would recommend me do? Thanks
Axtklinge2 years ago
Really nice and inspiring work.
Thank you!
Lounies2 years ago
What is the top tool in the bottom picture?
Mrballeng (author)  Lounies2 years ago
It's a pry bar.
embochner2 years ago
thanks for posting this its really cool, im working on one now. its not coming out as nice as yours. i didnt have a socket to put the ring to work on the inside so i took a scrap of plywood and drilled one hole the size of the ring halfway through one side and a hole slightly smaller through the other side to create a little ledge for the ring to sit on snugly to work on the inside. i colored the ledge orange in the attached photo to be able to see it better.
Mrballeng (author)  embochner2 years ago
Awsome! Thaks for posting pictures. It's a help to everyone including me. Your ring is looking good. Keep in mind I ruin a whole bunch of material before I come out with anything worth while.
leah_thomas4 years ago
Wow, my mom just taught me how to do this a couple of weeks ago. She used to make them when she was a kid. But this is far more advanced. She gave me a nickel and sturdy spoon and said to hit it over and over again. It sounded like a cowbell on helium. Then you drill it and beat it some more.
htonks4 years ago
So I don't think I fully understand- you put the coin at like, a 90 degree angle to the anvil- basically so they are side by side... Then you hammer the coin, on the face side / tails side against the anvil, and also along the edge of the coin? (smooth edge)
Mrballeng (author)  htonks4 years ago
What your hammering is the edge of the coin. As you hammer the edge it will flare into the ring thickness you want. Hammering it will it's through a steel rod also flares the inside.
I made 1 with a 48 50 cent peice, I drilled It 1/2" used a small Jewellers Anvil & Hammer & Tapped, Tapped, Tapped for about a year fairly often. I can still read under the folded edge most of Liberty, In God We Trust, Half Dallar, United States" Other side, etc. I left the Narfy "Hammered" finish.
cook$4 years ago
This might be a stupid question... but what is a nickel made of? I'm trying to come up with a UK coin equivalent...
Since the later '30s, the US nickel has been composed of 25% nickel, with the remaining 75% being copper.

During WW2, the US nickels made had about 9% manganese in them, to act as a "filler" metal. The shortage of metals for the war effort made it necessary to put something in the mix.

Good luck !

Mrballeng (author)  cook$4 years ago
Really you can use any coin you want. However, if the coin is one metal sandwiched between another (like the American quarter) you may end up seeing the inner metal if you sand too much.

By the way. Some one on my "VIntage Locket" instructable started up a conversation about UK coins and I have to say you guys have some awesome coinage.
rperki8 cook$4 years ago
The nickel is made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The ten pence coin has the same composition.

US Nickel
UK ten pence
Nice Instructable. I did tried but tweaked it into a necklace. (not ring is act pewter using lost wax method. another instrutable) The ring around the heart is the nickel. thanks so much :)
Mrballeng (author)  guardinggnome4 years ago
Really cool. They're gonna love it.
BrandonZV4 years ago
Would you ever make one of those pendants and sell one to me? This looks amazing, but I just don't have the time or tools to make one.
Mrballeng (author)  BrandonZV4 years ago
Well, I'm not open for business just yet. If I start I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks for the complement.
Oh that's to bad, because sadly I don't have the tools, and I don't believe my father does either, to make these things. I just got done looking at your teardrop pendant and fell in love with it, I love things like this. Anyways, tell me if you ever do open for business or just want to sell some.
scoochmaroo4 years ago
I want these for myself and future husband! It seems like sizing would be haaaard.
Mrballeng (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
A while ago my wife's grandmother was taking some old jewely to the second hand store. I took a few pieces and melted them down into a golden blob. I hammered the blob into a disc and made a gold ring. On Christmas morning I found out it was too small.

So. I hammered some more. Polished. And now she wears it all the time. It's not as hard as you'd think.

If you post what sizes your looking for I'll post an instructable on getting a ring just the right size.
The Ninja!4 years ago
I love the pendent, I'm thinking of making one for my lady friend for valentines day, but I'm not quite sure i understand how to get the loops so small. If you could give a quick run-down or something that'd be awesome, and hopefully I'd be able to make one, i don't have anything too fancy, or jeweler's tools, just a file, hammer, drill and dremel.
Mrballeng (author)  The Ninja!4 years ago
Mrballeng (author)  The Ninja!4 years ago
For the benefit of ninjas everywhere I will post an instructable specifically for pendants. But in the mean time and because Valentines Day in creeping up on us, I will post a slide show on that specific pendant and explain with pictures.
theblorg4 years ago
Oh yeah also, isn't there a legality issue with this? If I do remember so, somewhere in some document it says you can't tamper or alter US currency? I was just wondering
Mrballeng (author)  theblorg4 years ago
Is it illegal to damage or deface coins?

Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

Yes, it is a felony to deface government currency.
Be that as it may, they don't seem too concerned with all those machines you find at tourist traps that will flatten you coins into some novelty badge.
Right it's only illegal if you try and change the coins to be fradulent and pass them off as another coin or form of currency.
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