Make a Ring by Melting Pennies.




About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
!!!Caution!!! Melting pennies will release Zinc Oxide fumes which cause flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. Use a well ventilated area with power assisted ventilation to avoid breathing these fumes.

That being said, this is ring made from pennies. You can smelt the copper coating off leaving you with zinc. Pennies minted after 1983 are all made like this.

You don’t have to have a lathe to do this. You could always hammer the ingot flat and follow the nickel ring instructions. A surprising thing is how lite it is. My wedding ring is the same size weighing 8 grams. This ring weighs in at 3.

Step 1: Smelt

smelt 1 (sm lt). v. smelt·ed, smelt·ing, smelts. To melt or fuse (ores) in order to separate the metallic constituents.

I placed 10 pennies on a spoon and heated them with a propane torch. The spoon was held with locking pliers, which was held by a wooded clamp. Once the zinc liquefied I removed the copper with a metal probe (I used a light tester I had near by).

I then poured it into a section of ½” pipe and let it cool off.

Step 2: Cut a Ring Blank

Here I machined the ends off the blank then drilled a hole through it. I chucked the same drill bit into the lathe. Next I wedged the blank on by placing a plastic bag over the bit. Finally the outside was machined.

Step 3: Size the Ring

To expand the blank I hammered it over a pry bar. I started out with a small bar then moved up sizes as the ring expanded. To get to my ring size I eventually had to hammer over a ½ socket bit.

Of course to get your size simply stop hammering once it fits.

Step 4: Polish

I evened out the ring with a file. I then spun it on a ½” socket bit and sanded it with 1000 grit then 200 grit sandpaper.

Lastly I buffed it on a buffing wheel.

Thanks for reading.

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387 Discussions


24 days ago

I guess most people here don't realise that most white baby nappy / diaper rash creams are made almost entirely of grease and zinc oxide ? I think one generic brand is called 'zinc oxide cream'...


Reply 24 days ago

Yet you can go to National parks and for a fee get your pennies squished into a souvinere. Since money has no actual value other than perceived, I don't think it is a problem. They will print more.


Reply 24 days ago

Nothing has value beyond what it’s perceived to have (perception). In the case of currency or something you are using as trade the item has to have equal perceived value on both sides of the trade. I don’t trade Bitcoin because I perceive it as having no value, therefore it’s worthless to me, regardless of what the other person says it’s worth. Government currency simply tells the user how much value the government ascribes to it.


Reply 24 days ago

'It is against the law in the United States to damage coins.' Key word in the law is fraudulently. If your purpose isn't to commit fraud with the coin, you're fine.


24 days ago

If you destroy money, doesn't it make all the existing money that much more valuable?


24 days ago

You get f a zinc oxide off melting a penny, were not welding it!!!

1 reply

24 days ago

Melting pennies is not smart. The fumes from zinc are quite harmful.
However, it is NOT illegal. People are quoting this law. \
82.1 Prohibitions.
Except as specifically authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury (or designee) or as otherwise provided in this part, no person shall export, melt, or treat:
(a) Any 5-cent coin of the United States; or
(b) Any one-cent coin of the United States.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 31, Subtitle B, Chapter 1, Part 82, Section 82.1


They don't bother reading the complete law.

Section 82.2 of that law lists the exceptions. Here’s the one of interest:

(b) The prohibition contained in § 82.1 against the treatment of 5-cent coins and one-cent coins shall not apply to the treatment of these coins for educational, amusement, novelty, jewelry, and similar purposes as long as the volumes treated and the nature of the treatment makes it clear that such treatment is not intended as a means by which to profit solely from the value of the metal content of the coins.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 31, Subtitle B, Chapter 1, Part 82, Section 82.2

No it isnt. It is illegal to "deface" money. That means putting another 0 on a 10 and trying to pass it off for a hundred dollar bill. That kind of stuff. You can melt and mangle coins all you want. Look it up.


1 year ago

Apparently you didn't realize that melting coins is illegal us the U.S.

4 replies

Reply 1 year ago

Really? Where did you get that information? Everybody assumes this, but how do you explain those penny stamping machines in every zoo in the country? They even have them in state parks, so surely the state wouldn't participate in defacing US currency, right? Here is the trick... It is only illegal if there is fraud involved. The law says if anyone "fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales or lightens" US currency then it is illegal. Look it up. Title 18, U.S.C. sections 331 and 475. There is no fraud in just melting coins. He isn't recasting it into other coins, so where is the fraud? Take a look at all the coin rings out there. Not one of them has been shut down for defacing currency for the simple fact that NO FRAUD WAS INVOLVED. Melt them, drill them, press them.... Whatever you want. People have been doing it for centuries with all sorts of currency, so I would think you would know there isn't a law against using coins in art and jewelry even if that requires melting or mangling them.

Okay those penny machines take one at a time you could stand the for hours and destroy a dollar.and yes not all the country is going to stand there for hours.and people could melt thousands of pennies then take it out of the country in copper bars.

Not likely. For one thing, there isnt any copper in pennies minted after 1983. So if you wanted to take the time to gather hundreds of thousands of pennies and then sort out everything older than 1983 and then melt those into copper bars.... I think you would find that you would make more money planning for gold than spending a hundred hours to gain $20 worth of copper.