Golden Dollar Ring




I've been wanting to make a ring out of a coin for while now, but haven't been able to find the pure silver coins that are suggested. Not finding any other resources on using a more modern, sandwiched metal coin (in this case a 2005 presidential golden dollar), I decided I'd just make one and see how it turned out. I figured I'd share how I made it.

Just to clear some things up:

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."

Source -

The key word here is "fraudulently," meaning trying to alter the value or worth of the coin. So technically making a ring out of a coin is not illegal, but don't go showing it to the secretary of the mint or anything. And if you know such people, well, I'm not sure what you are doing reading this instructable (:

Step 1: Creating the Ring Shape

This is easily the most time consuming part of the project. Many methods include tapping a silver coin's spine with a SPOON until the edge flattens over into that beautiful ring shape. Personally, I don't have that kind of time, and the composite golden dollar I'm using is much harder than any silver coin, so I decided to use a hammer.

So essentially the goal of tapping us to flatten the outer edge of the coin so it flares out on either side. This forms the band of the ring, which will then be polished and such.

I took my golden dollar, held it vertically on the back of my vise (you can use any solid metal surface, like an anvil or railroad spike) and starting lightly tapping with a framing hammer. Although the hammer will make the whole process faster than using a spoon, you still have to be careful not to tap too hard, as the coin will flatten and you will have a morphed ring.

Continue tapping until the "flare" is slightly wider than your finger of choice. There is no perfect way to determine this, but I just held it behind my finger like I was sizing a drill bit for a screw. Tapping took me about a two hours.

Check out the pictures to clear things up.

Step 2: Rejuvenating Yourself

This step is self-explanatory. Just relax after all that tapping, your wrist will thank you.

Step 3: Polishing the Outside of the Ring

I'm sure the outside of your flare is really scuffed up and looks, well, hammered. So I drilled a hole in the center of my coin and stuck a bolt through it, and used a hex nut to ensure no rotation. I used a vice to hold my coin in place while driving, just be sure to protect the metal and don't tighten the vise too much. Don't want to squish your hard work.

Stick this bit-like-contraption into a drill (or whatever rotating machine you like) and keep it spinning at a fairly rapid rate, I was at about 800-900 rpm. If you don't have a setting to keep your drill on, use a rubber band or a friend who is willing to hold down a button for 15-20 minutes.

I started with 200 grit sandpaper. The key here is to keep the sand paper moving, otherwise you'll get streaks in the direction the ring was spinning. Don't forget to polish up the edge a little bit, it will be a tad sharp after all that hammering.

Then just start moving up the grits, I think I went 200, 400, 600, 1000 (didn't have 800) and then a textured resin-cloth. Once that was done, I used the textured resin-cloth again with one change: wet. This will really bring out a shine in your ring. Spend as much time as you want on this step, and there is no easy way to refinish the ring if you don't like the look once it's completed.

I stupidly forgot to take picture of the final polish, but you get the idea.

Step 4: Removing the Body of the Coin

Using some cloth or foam or something, put your soon-to-be rink back in the vise. Be very careful and DONT SCRATCH YOUR HARD WORK!!

Tighten until the coin doesn't shift when pressure is applied. Come comes the fun part. Take your drill and drill holes around the inner edge of the ring until you can remove that inner section. I'm sure there is an easier way to do this (bigger drill bit) but I didn't feel like running to the store and this seemed to work.

Take care not to go too close to rings edge, otherwise the inner circle of the finished ring will be uneven. Your coin will be extremely hot once the holes are drilled so please execute common sense.

Step 5: Making the Inside of the Ring Nice

This is the most intuitive step, you just kind of got to use what you have. But I'll share how I did it.

You know those cylinder files? Well I stuck one of those in a drill and used to remove the extra material. Probably not the safest (it did fly out a few times) but it worked. Once the hole was big enough, I used a Dremel's grinding bit in a drill press and played around until I got the look I wanted. The ring had a tendency to get extremely hot very quickly, so I kept a bowl of quick-quench oil near and used it often.

Be sure to keep trying on the ring during this process, ensuring the fit you are after. The more material you shave away, the bigger it gets.

Remember, material is easy to remove, impossible to add. Check, check, check fit again.

Once the ring's inside was complete, I used some fine grain sandpaper to polish away the burrs and smooth the interior. This doesn't need to be a mirror finish like the outside, but I took my time here to make it look nice.

Step 6: Final Buffing/Polishing

Again I stuck the buffing wheel from my Dremel into my drill press and buffed the heck out of my ring. I added a small bit of buffing compound, but it's not necessary. Don't forget the inside!

Step 7: Finished!

I really like the way this turned out. Not nearly as hard I thought it would be, but still I enjoyed the experience.

If you look closely at some of the pictures you can see a band of copper-colored metal in the center of the ring, but it fades to silver toward the outer edge. Extremely handsome in real life.

Though it is very comfortable, I am not a ring wearer so this will go on my keys, but still a great project.

Thanks everyone! Don't forget to vote!

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25 Discussions


3 years ago on Step 3

Nice work! These dollars are a fantastic material to work with. My personal favorite as they are soft enough to work with yet very stable. I punch these out and bend them outward after heating. All the detail is preserved and it shines quite nice. I'll have to get off my butt and post the process.

Thanks for sharing !


Jchristakks... To keep your girlfriends finger from turning black, coat the inside of the ring with clear nail polish, will prevent oxidation. Might consider sealing the entire ring as well

3 replies

yeah i did that. it goes away after 3-4 days. dont want to bother her restore it so often... i ve come up with another idea though. i m gonna return and tell u if this works


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

It work?? I got a ring here out of a British Two pence coin, And it's too beautiful to just have lying around..


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

too bored to test it. the main idea was to buy some golden foils out of a hobbies shop. the ones they use for paintings, and melt them. then sink the ring into the molten gold to get a thin outer layer of pure gold.


4 years ago on Step 7

A very good instukt. A gold dollar is worth about $ 1600.You took off more than half of the gold, I REALLY hope you kept all the fillings.worth about $900.

Have a good day.

1 reply

Actually Presidential coins have absolutely no gold in them.

Although gold in color the Presidential Dollars have no gold in them.

Presidential Golden Dollars have no gold in them. Instead they are composed of:

  • a pure copper core
  • with an outer layer made of 77% copper, 12 % zinc, 7% manganese, and 4% nickel.

This unique combination of metals gives the dollar coins their golden appearance.

Weight: 8.1 grams

Diameter: 26.5 millimeters


4 years ago

Destroying government property I see... it's gonna catch up with you... mark my word.


4 years ago on Introduction

Gold hummm cool idea. I read in an "make from coin" instruct'y the maker called the dept of treasury. He gave the name and phone number of the Lady He talked to. She told Him that as long as the money was rendered useless to spend then there should be no problems. That includes the cut up paper bills in pen blanks & etc.


4 years ago on Introduction

Nice Job! Well documented and everything looks nice. I tried making one of these out of a quarter but it didn't turn out too well. I think I'll try to make it again but this time I will use a cloth between the ring and the vise! Like and soon to be a vote! Thanks again for making this!

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

we can also melt the gold and place the liquid metal to the mould of your choice

Ray from RI

4 years ago on Introduction

When my father was in the Navy 1943 to 1945 in the south pacific he said all the sailors made 50 cent to $1. dollar silver coin rings when they were off duty... gave them something to do and something to send to their wives back home. They made them using by using a table spoon to hit the coin along the edge to flatten/ widen the coin, and he showed me how to do this in the late 1960s.. As he was a Machinist 2nd class on the USS Case Grande he, and the other machinists, would dill out the centers of all these coin rings.


4 years ago on Step 7

Many years ago, a Marine Corps friend mentioned how he used to make a silver ring from a dime by hitting the dime with a spoon. I didn't understand the process until now. Thank you for clarifying something I have pondered on and off for some 40 years. Beautiful ring.


This is a great instructable and I may have to use one of my old pre 1964 quarters to make one.

However the safety nerd in me says this. Make sure you only use a peening hammer, they are not hardened steel and are metallurgically designed for striking and forming metal. Ball peen, Straight peen, Cross peen etc...

A claw hammer is hardened steel for driving "soft" nails and may chip when striking hardened object such as an anvil or vise, causing chips to fly off with such force to cause injury. Usually in the same plane as your soft squishy eyeballs. Yer only issued 2 so take care of them.

Safety Glasses would be a minimum.