Introduction: The Inexpensive Pinky Ring

Picture of The Inexpensive Pinky Ring

My girlfriend loves rings! I guess it's not a bad thing, but it can take a chunk out of the monthly budget. Wanting to do something nice for Valentines Day, I decided that a pinky ring would be a pleasant gift that wouldn't break the bank. Having seen some people make rings from old silver quarters, I thought that making a ring from a Nickel would be just right for her size 3 pinky.

Step 1: Tools Necessary

Picture of Tools Necessary

There are only a few things needed to make the ring:

  • Nickel
  • Two Hammers
  • Machine Screw and Nuts
  • Jewelers Mandrel
  • Dremel
  • Drill
  • Sand Paper
  • Polishing Compound
  • Rag

Step 2: Form the Ring

Picture of Form the Ring

Hold the nickel on it's side over the first hammer/anvil. Form the ring by striking the side of the nickel while rolling it to ensure an even 'mushroom'. After some time, the ring will form. Stop when the desired ring size is achieved.

Step 3: Drill and Pollish

Picture of Drill and Pollish

Drill a hold the size of the bolt you are using. Using a larger drill bit, de-burr the hole so that the nickel sits flat in the bolt.

I used a threaded arbor in order to protect the threads of the bolt and the drill chuck.

I didn't like the hammered look on the ring, so I sanded it off using the following grit sand papers:

  • 220
  • 320
  • 400
  • 600

Remove the nickel from the bolt, place the sandpaper on a flat surface and rub the side of the ring to flatten it using the same range of grits as before.

Place the nickel back in the drill. Using a rag and buffing compound polish the outside of the ring.

***Remember to do this and subsequent steps in a well ventilated area****

Nickel dust can be hazardous if inhaled. For more information about this check out this page from the CDC.

Step 4: Remove the Inside

Picture of Remove the Inside

Using gloves and a dremel, remove the inside of the ring. I used an old pair of welding gloves to keep from burning and accidentally cutting my hands. Remove until the ring is the correct size. Size 3 in my case.

I used my variable speed dremel and turned down the speed to about 10,000 RPM as to keep from loosing control, scratching the outside of the ring, and stabbing myself with the high speed cutter.

Step 5: Polish It Off

Picture of Polish It Off

All that's left is to sand and polish the inside. Sand using the same grits as before.

To polish, wrap a strip of cloth around a big drill bit and shine the inside.

Nickels from the United States are made with 75% copper and 25% nickel. Since the copper will inevitably leave marks on your skin, a common way of preventing this is to apply clear nail polish to the inside of the ring. This will create a thin, clear barrier between your skin and the ring.

Give it to that special someone in your life and sit back and enjoy!


WarmCat made it! (author)2015-02-19


You inspired me to make one from a UK 10p piece, I left the subtle hammering effect but buffed it up a bit. Can still see the writing on the inside to show to people when they don't believe it was made from a coin :-)

newjorik (author)WarmCat2016-01-31

Nice, I used an old 2p piece, those are made of copper/bronze and look nice once finnished.

tomatoskins (author)WarmCat2015-02-20

This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this with me!

NErDy NErDs (author)2015-02-11

I love this!

tomatoskins (author)NErDy NErDs2015-02-11

Thanks! It was really fun to make!

cdstudioNH (author)2015-02-11


ashleyjlong (author)2015-02-11

Neat! Great clear photos too. I might set my boyfriend on this project...

ShakeTheFuture (author)2015-02-11

Very cool, well done!

seamster (author)2015-02-11

Very cool. I love how in the 3rd photo in the intro, you can still see the writing and marks from the faces of the nickel!

tomatoskins (author)seamster2015-02-11

That's the coolest part! You can still see that it was a nickel if you know what you're looking for.

dmwatkins (author)2015-02-11


tomatoskins (author)dmwatkins2015-02-11

Thanks! I'm hoping she likes it!

juliaschneiderman (author)2017-04-18


AlfredW7 (author)2016-05-25

Love that part: "Give it to that special someone in your life and sit back and enjoy!"

Arekku994 (author)2015-11-05


Ludvic (author)2015-11-03

Really awesome man.. I want to make onr of this :D

alex_the_creator (author)2015-06-03

Poor nickel.

Edbed (author)2015-06-01

Do you think annealing the coin before hammering would be worth it?

tomatoskins (author)Edbed2015-06-01

I think it depends on what coin you are using. From what I understand, most U.S. coins are really soft to begin with so I wouldn't think that it would be worth it.

Edbed (author)tomatoskins2015-06-02


izzyspeaks123 (author)2015-05-30

I just did one of these with a quarter for my wife. I ended up about 1/2 size too big, but not bad for having no sizing mandrel. My quarter came out looking more copper. I went with the rougher look and left it partially hammered.

TvoAqui (author)2015-05-20


ValdiN99 (author)2015-05-18

so nice!

nuelma (author)2015-05-18

so good

h4nick (author)2015-04-27

I love these too made a few . Rhodium-plated some too but with

tomatoskins (author)h4nick2015-04-28

That sounds really cool! I'd love to see pictures of them and how you plated them!

Stefano DV (author)2015-04-01


I'll try with 1 EURO that have a crown .... ready to work on !

bhanon815 (author)2015-03-28

I just made one haha so amazing mine I put a little rock polish on mine and it look so cool

mok72 (author)2015-03-12

I was inspired to use a U.S. quarter but it was for a different finger. Worked like a champ.

tomatoskins (author)mok722015-03-14

I'd love to see a picture if you have one!

Tigger46 (author)2015-03-02

Well done! My Dad and I used to make rings the same way but we used silver 50 cent pieces. Do you ever have problems with nickle allergies? A lot of people get a rash from an allergic reaction?

tomatoskins (author)Tigger462015-03-02

If you have a nickel allergy you can definitely coat the inside to prevent any hives and the such. My girlfriend has been wearing it for a few weeks now and hasn't had any issues.

ihabov (author)2015-02-26

are you planning to post a movie viewing some details on how to do this instructable, I appreciate if yes.

kchevalier made it! (author)2015-02-19

I first tried with a quarter, but it ended up looking like crap and it didn't fit any of my fingers. then I took my time (4 whole hours) with a coin dollar. after I polished it to death, it turned out beautiful! as you can see I am very proud of my self

that's awesome. I was wondering how long it would take. 4 he's isn't too bad for something beautiful that you created. great job and thanks for the inspiration

tomatoskins (author)kchevalier2015-02-20

That looks great! Yeah, the quarters are too small for any of my fingers. I made a ring out of a dollar coin a few years ago and the alloy in it made it look really cool but I couldn't find it to take pictures for this instructable. But that turned out looking really good!

jhammonds pelfrey (author)2015-02-24

inspired, thanks can't wait to try it

riff raff (author)2015-02-22

I still have a ring my dad made from a 1964 half-dollar.

tomatoskins (author)riff raff2015-02-22

So cool! I'd love to see a picture!

namora (author)2015-02-15

I made several of these from quarters as a teenager but the only hammer we used was a spoon. Polishing was easy but beating out the ring tool at least fifty hours. This was before I knew what annealing was so things went very slowly. Also the quarters were silver then.

harmonious1 (author)namora2015-02-19

Yes the spoon was the method I always heard of as a kid. I just couldn't imagine it.

foob (author)2015-02-15

good job! My father has been making rings for over 50 years. Here are mine and my husband's wedding bands, a half dollar and a quarter. He's made rings out of coins, pipes, and even nuts for many of our friends and family. It's always a cherished gift.

harmonious1 (author)foob2015-02-19


tomatoskins (author)foob2015-02-15

Those look amazing!

harmonious1 (author)2015-02-19

I always heard about these when I was a kid, but I never saw anyone make one. I always wondered how you would hollow out the center, and now I know! Thanks.

jackowens (author)2015-02-18

This looks very easy, but the result looks great! Will have to try this

MoTinkerGNome (author)2015-02-18

Or you can get a silver "War Nickel" ---(they contain) An alloy of 56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese... this alloy began to be coined into nickels from October 1942.(ending in 1946)

In the hope of making them easy to sort out and withdraw after the war, the Mint struck all "war nickels" with a large mint mark appearing above Monticello.

frostystones (author)2015-02-15

These are very cool, but just an FYI, According to Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code, which sets out crimes related to coins and currency, anyone who “alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens” coins can face fines or prison time.

tomatoskins (author)frostystones2015-02-15

Under U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331 it says: “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, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” (

What this is referring to is anyone that changes money in order to get gain is participating in illegal activities. For example, someone that cuts down a penny to the size of a dime is counterfeiting, or someone who melts down pure copper pennies in order to sell. These things are the illegal mutilation of coins that the government is talking about. If creating rings out of coins is illegal then penny smashing machines would not be around at all, and I would have never been allowed as a child to place pennies or other coins on the railroad tracks.

frostystones (author)tomatoskins2015-02-15

Thanks for clearing that up. So he could not sell these for any more than what their face value was/is?

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I love making things and doing anything outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am ... More »
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