Custom Coin




Introduction: Custom Coin

About: Currently in Highschool. When not doing school, I fill my spare time with (in order of importance) making stuff, wood turning, cooking, or playing video games.

In this tutorial i will be showing you how to make a custom coin. This is just a fun thing to do, took me about an hour. You could engrave your initials, a gang sign thing, or your personal insignia. My first coin was my my initials. The one that i did for this Instructable was a Moon and Star.
Please note that when you customize this coin, it will no longer we legal tender in and public or private business transaction.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:
--Engraving attachment
--wire brush attachment
--rough sander
--fine sander
--Polishing attachment
-Eye protection

Anvil/Mallet head (this makes it easier to pound the coin)

Step 2: STOP!!!! Hammer Time!!!

I know, that is probably the most overly used joke on this sight. But i had to do it.

Ok, so what you are going to want to do is pound out the nickel, to get rid of the big bumps on it. This makes it easier to sand. To do this, you will want to put the nickel on top of the rag, and then put them on a hard surface, like the concrete, or an anvil or a solid metal mallet. Then proceed to smash it with a hammer. The rag help to make sure that you do not get any huge dents from the concrete into the nickel. 

You do not want to completely flatten the nickel, you just want to get rid of the bumps on it. You should still be able to see the face of the nickel when you are done.

Be sure to flip the nickel every so often to get both side flat. Also, if your hammer has a slight roundness to it, then it will make teh nickel into a dome. You will need to flip it over to make it flat again.

Step 3: Sand Off the Details

Now that you have gotten rid of the main bumps in the coin. Take your dremel with the really rough sander attachment, and set the dremel to 25.
Put the coin in the clamp so that it is horizontal and begin to sand off the face of it. Make sure you do not leave the dremel in one spot for too long or it will make a dip in the coin.
You might notice that you can not get the far side of the coin, to get those sides, just take  out teh coin and put it in the clamp vertically on the corner of the clamp.
do not do many different strokes in many different directions, this will give the coin a ugly un-uniform look

When you are done with one side, flip it over and do the other side.

Step 4: Smooth

once you have sanded off the details on both sides of teh coin, you are going to want to take the fine sander attachment for your Dremel and put that on. Set the Dremel to like 15-20. Then take Dremel to the coin making strokes  in the same direction as when you did the rough sander. you could either A) put in the clamp and constantly move it's position, B) hold in in a smaller clamp like thing (see pic), C) or you could hold the coin in hand and sand it. If you choose choice C, then you have proved the you are a man. but be fore warned, the coin will get very very very hot in hand. 

Step 5: Your Design

By now you would need a break. So go an work on your design for your coin. teh smart thing to do would be to come up designs in your head. then take a marker and trace a nickel on a piece of paper a couple times. Then take the marker and practice making your design inside the drawn nickle sized circles, just for some practice and so you can get used to drawing the design. When you have become content with your design, take your coin and draw on it. If you have the right type of marker, you will be able to draw on teh surface of teh coin in dark ink, and then wipe it off with your finger. The wiping off part is useful for if you are a bad free hand drawer. Like me. I suppose you could tape teh coin then draw on teh tape, but the tape might get  in teh way while you are engraving.
do not use a permenant marker to draw on teh coin
teh ink will not wipe off

Step 6: Start Engraving

carefully place teh coin back in the clamp so that you do not rub off your design. Make sure you really tighten the clamp, and that you have lots of light. If your shadow gets on teh coin, it is almost impossible to see where teh design is, and where you have already engraved. Take the Engraving accessory and set teh Dremel to 30-35. 35 is probably best, the Dremel does not "jump" as much, it give you better control. I also found that you will want to put the engraving accessory as far in the dremel as possible. helps for better grip and accuracy.

When you gotten the depth you want, you might notice a bunch of stroke marks. To make these less noticeable, take the green point stone accessory thing (best description ever >.>) and put teh Dremel at like 15 adn smooth it out a bit. 

Step 7: Finishing It Up

once you have finished the big work with teh engraver, get out teh wire brush adn put the Dremel to 15. then you can continue to smooth out the stroke marks. You can also use teh wire brush on teh entire coin, it makes it shiny. Also get teh edged of teh coin, makes it nice to touch.

Then take the polishing accessory and polish the coin. After i did this i went back and use the wire brush again, made it extra shiny :). Be sure to polish teh entire coin, including teh back.

ALSO if you know how to use teh polishing black thing with teh polishing accessory plz tell me
idk whether to rub teh block on teh object, or rub the polishing accessory in it or wat. plz let me know.

Step 8: Your DONE :)

once you have finished your polishing and brushing, you are done :).you can go on teh other side adn add another design to teh back, or drill a hole in at teh top adn make a necklace, or whatever else you want to do. PLEASE comment and let me know what you have done, adn plz do not give me any hate. helpful criticism is accepted.

after a while teh coin might get dull and loose it's shine, just go back and wire brush and polish it.

Please remember that now that you have finished your coin, it is no longer legal tender that ca be used in any transaction, wether it be public or private.

If you liked this instructable, then Vote for it, and Rate

4th Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
4th Epilog Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Make It Modular: Student Design Challenge

      Make It Modular: Student Design Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Home and Garden Contest

      Home and Garden Contest



    8 years ago

    This is illegal to do that to a nickel


    Reply 1 year ago

    it actually isnt. it is perfectly legal to deface US coins. but it is illegal to melt coins down or use defaced coins like normal.


    7 years ago on Step 8

    There are a lot of inexpensive obsolete foreign coins out there to do this on also (think of the countries that joined the EU). A coin the size of a quarter+ can be had for 10 cents and gives you more coin to work on. I like the Mexican one peso from the late 70's.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Why did you deliberately misspell "the" so much?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Not deliberate, just a constant typo.

    The Metal One
    The Metal One

    10 years ago on Introduction

    the die will have to be carved with your dremmel, from steel of course ;)

    The Metal One
    The Metal One

    10 years ago on Introduction

    carve a die and punch out like 5 an hour. then you would just have to blank the coins, and hammer the design in with your custom die.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Denatured alcohol will handily dissolve almost any ink you would commonly use to mark metal. Another useful trick is to cover the coin in masking tape, draw and subsequently use a hobby knife to remove the parts you wish to engrave. This gives you a useful guide which should not interfere with most engraving tooltips.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    what should i use if i dont have an engraver?? great how to btw!!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    if you dont have an engraver you could take a drill bit and stick is in an drill press. then hold the coin up to the tip and move it around. Doing this is kinda hard, but if you dont have an engraver it is teh best alternative.