Introduction: Turn a Quarter Into a Ring

Quick tutorial video on how I use a regular US Quarter and turn it into a ring for you to wear! 


Helenkathleen (author)2015-07-12

Would like to buy one

TorontoJoel (author)2015-05-26

I have tried making coin rings *without* annealing and it does work, but annealing often makes the metal softer. Heating w/ quick immersion into cool water if I am not mistaken, creates a 'case-hardened' metal which means the exterior material is made 'hardened' while the interior is 'softer.'

If the metal were to be heated slowly and allowed to cool in *hot sand* for an extended period of time (say, 12-24 hours as it gradually cools) the result is a super-hard metal through & through. Most cheap pocket knives are 'case-hardened' which means yes, they are sharp BUT if you like to sharpen your blade on a whet stone, you eventually grind-thru the 'case hardened' layer and suddenly the knife won't keep its sharpness...

The other hardening, -the slow-cooling in HOT sand, is called 'through-hardening' and for applications where stress is involved, is unsuitable. A gun barrel for example if 'through-hardened' would not absorb the shock of the bullet and would tend to crack, being 'solid hard' and thus more brittle. ...

For whatever this is worth, I have tried heating my coins red hot and NOT cooling them but instead, placing them directly onto my mandrel and hammering with the plastic hammer. Apart of a bit of smoking and melting of the hammer's contact surface, I found virtually no additional ease of bending the coin into the desired shape. I only briefly experimented with the 'hot-bend' method and found it not satisfactory for me, so I 'anneal' to case-hardened.

earl.a.lester (author)2015-04-13

when usening quarter with copper what do you coat coin so not to turn finger green

I've used clear nail polish on mine, works pretty well and doesn't change the appearance of ring.

Hitmangordo (author)2015-04-16

Annealing it means, you have taken the hardness out of it. You can heat it in the oven but, let it cool off slowly! If you put it in water or Anything it puts the hardness back in it. Shaping it will put enough hardness back in it so don't worry.

earl.a.lester (author)2015-04-13

i also found a set of punch set and doming block to start the fold of the coin

hosannajoker made it! (author)2015-04-09

Great video, loved that you said where to find the punch. I've tried using a drill press before to make the hole, but the punch works way better, and was much easier.

These are the first two I've made with the punch set. With the quarter I offset the hole so that the band was tapered; wider up top and narrower on the underside. I also made one with a nickel, centered the hole and made a simple small band.

Looking forward to showing these off, and potentially making some for my friends!

It gets slightly addictive... Already made more.

anna.dudaykellogg (author)2015-01-23

I enjoyed watching the video. How are you able to control the size? Can you make a specific size out of a specific coin?

hassin16 (author)2014-01-20

great instructible thats exactly wat I need to know how to do this. I've been trying it forever with no luck.

jmwssmw (author)2014-01-03


Can you please provide me with a list of all the tools and items you used to make this ring? THANKS!

Mayneric (author)2013-05-11

I'm very new to this type of stuff, what size/weight hammers or mallets are you using? Thanks for any help.

mr.coinring (author)2010-01-26

Curious....Have you ever tried to make them without annealing? How much easier to work with did annealing make it?
I make rings almost every day and I have never annealed the coins as I use silver and I dont necessarily know if it would apply.
My rings usually have the original aged toning that I want to leave intact and I would be afraid to heat them up.

metalsmitten (author)mr.coinring2010-01-26

 i have tried making them without annealing, but i find that it just makes moving the metal way easier for me. i'm pretty petite and don't really have the physique of a blacksmith per se haha, so i always try to make everything as easy as possible for myself. it is an extra step though and it will destroy any natural patina. 

i would think that there would also a fairly discernible difference between working with the silver rings VS the more recent copper rings, but i don't use silver ones so i'm not positive on that. i just know annealed copper is way way softer than work-hardened silver ;)

mr.coinring (author)metalsmitten2010-01-26

Maybe silver quarters picked up off of feebay may be easier to work without annealing....I sure wish  I could anneal mine but I would rather not risk it.
Here it an example of what I do.....just thought I would share.

saosport (author)mr.coinring2013-02-12

THat is amazing great job

HoboPhil (author)mr.coinring2010-11-04

Holy Crap!!!
Ok, I realize that you promised your Grandpappy that, and I respect that, but how about instead of telling HIS secret, try to adapt the method into something else and tell us THAT method instead of HIS.
Ex. Deep Fried Corn
Original- Coat in butter and deep fry at 450
Adapted- deep fry at 200, coat in butter, deep fry again at 450
...just a thought...

BTW that Deep Fried Corn I just made up, it`s not a actual recipe...duh...

How did you do that it looks cool

you drill the hole first then put on a mandrel and basically hammer it flat then finish it.

mr.coinring (author)mr.coinring2010-07-25

I have the same user name on ebay.. Sorry but I promised my Grandfather a long time ago that I would not give away HIS secrets.

crazyg (author)mr.coinring2010-07-27

clever cones!

PAWZ (author)mr.coinring2010-07-25

I want one! :-) Where can I get these from please?

kai_gehn (author)mr.coinring2010-05-10

this is very nice work i think i wouldn't anneal if your getting this kind of detail from your rings. I to am curious about how you made these. the directionality of the writing is perfect.

please make an instructable on how to make your ring.

Ms. DIY (author)mr.coinring2010-03-01

excuse me how did you do this ring?

First off i like the idea. Annealing is a good idea it makes working the metal easier and when work is easier there is less room for error. Ive made quite a few of these now , im a pretty built person and i anneal them it just makes life easier.

THEMONEY (author)mr.coinring2012-11-16

It is good to see that you are so willing to share. I mean you are willing to have other people tell you how they do what they do.

Of course, as you say, your grandfather forbids you to do the same. Luckily, he approves of you selling your goods on ebay, and we are so fortunate that you are willing to tell us where to buy them from you.

I suggest that you are using this forum not to share with other crafters as the others here wish to do but only to increase your own knowledge and income.

paqrat (author)2012-12-10

I have not tried this suggestion but I think it could work, Use a dapping set to dome your coin beforehand then cut your hole in center then start beating the crap out of it on the mandrel.. Pretty sure annealing would make this a lot easier.

mwilcks (author)2012-11-16

Thanks for the video. I have made four of them but I keep having the same problem. I can not get the outside of the ring (the part with all of the notches) flat. All of my rings have a slight taper to them. I have beating on them to no avail. Is there a trick to making the ring flat?

paqrat (author)mwilcks2012-12-10

Just a question/suggestion. If you are putting your ring on the mandrel the same way each time I think it would end up with a taper. Reversing the direction the ring is put on the mandrel should make for a straighter ring.

Facsimile (author)2012-11-08

Do you think this would be possible to do without a punch and die? Like if I just carefully drilled a hole out of the center? Or would it be too hard to get a good circle cut out that way?

mwilcks (author)Facsimile2012-11-16

I did a two of them using a drill press. They came out ok, but they came out much cleaner with a punch. I think the punch was $28 at Harbor Freight.

WhyHello (author)2010-11-19

i do not
have any of those tools =(

builderkidj (author)WhyHello2012-08-23

Dont feel alone. I dont either :l

sergtankian (author)2012-01-15

I notice you place the quarter in water after heating it. This is technically not annealing, as annealing is heating the metal to temperature and then air cooling...this allows for the metal grains to grow more. Air cooling should yield softer metal than quenching in water. Very nice results!

hatschel (author)2011-12-19

Hi nice job i have seen that the ring is a bit conical?must be?
After a long search I have found a 64th Half dollar so I'll try it

arodríguez3 (author)2011-03-21

Is there something about USA quarters that makes them more suited to being turned into rings? Would this work with a Canada quarter as well?

Well, the US quarters are a nice copper alloy, which I've found to be just malleable enough to turn into a ring shape without being so malleable that you lose detail. I have tried Canadian quarters, and they DO work, but tend to get marred a little easier, and the larger sizes seem to lose a lot of detail on the inside surface. I'm guessing they're a slightly softer metal.

jmeurer (author)2010-12-31

Great Instructable! I'm going to give this a try. Question, what kind of sandpaper do you use? I'm new to metal working so I'm not sure if you need a special type. Thanks again for the video!

Archery2 (author)2010-12-19

Were did you get that jig it would be really helpful to knoww

iac (author)Archery22010-12-28

In her video, she says that she got it @ ' Harbour Freight ' (sp?).

sonofspikerr (author)2010-10-15

so this isn't a federal offense? because a teacher at my school said it was when I asked if I could drill out a quarter for a different kind of ring. (the tap tap spoon kind)

aekjysten (author)sonofspikerr2010-11-28

as long as you don't try and pass it off as money anymore, it's okay. my dad works for the Federal Reserve Bank & I checked with him.

sonofspikerr (author)aekjysten2010-12-15

thanks 'cuz i made 1 at school and half my teachers said it was a federal offense:)

morganov (author)2009-12-28

Just a technical comment, annealing would require slow cooling after the heating you did, so maybe you should try to leave it to cool at room temperature, cause dipping it in water is actually called quenching and it makes it harder, not softer... just a suggestion :)

metalsmitten (author)morganov2009-12-28

Not with copper :) Here's a wiki article: read the "hardening and tempering" paragraph (it mentions the copper-quenching thing at the end of that first paragraph). Modern US coins are mostly copper anymore, and while this may not be the perfect dead-soft anneal that I'm too lazy to use a kiln to achieve, it definitely allows enough malleability to turn the edges of the coin over.

Hey now, Grade A video tutorial/ ible. Softening the coin first, something I hadn't considered, (me am sometimes neanderthal like that) and the process involved makes perfect sense. And the tumbler is an awesome step, (which I now have to go out and buy) but are you sure that the tumbler hardens it? Regardless, "That's good stuff Mang."
**I realize that I am commenting on a reply that is a year old...That's what I do.

morganov (author)metalsmitten2009-12-28

Ok! didn't know that... good to know though! thanks :)

rickharris (author)morganov2009-12-29

If the coin were silver. copper or nickle or their alloys they can be safely quenched as soon as temperature falls below red hot without hardening the metal.

Steel certainly is hardened (tempered) by quenching but it reacts to het in a different way.

rhaag71 (author)rickharris2010-03-13

 Steel is hardened by quenching as you said, but the steel is then tempered by re-heating to a lower temperature and allowing a slower cooling. A slow cooling can be achieved by holding the piece against another piece of steel or the anvil. Tempering is usually done as a second step after hardening. Tempering is necessary to get a tough result like for use as screwdriver tip...just hardening will leave the steel very brittle and it will break easily. Just thought I'd point that out, it's interesting to learn what effects the different metals. cool instructable btw.

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More by metalsmitten:Part 2 of 2: How to make a Basic RingPart 1 of 2: How to make a Basic RingTurn a Quarter into a Ring
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