Making Lemons into Limonada

mxUnPesoCoin_cracked_logoI started to make a coin ring out of a 1958 Peso. As you can see from the photo to the left, things did not turn out as expected. The peso coin from 1957-1967 is 10% fine silver and 70% copper and 10% Zinc and Nickel. So I was a bit surprised with it cracked while I was stretching it. This combination seems somewhat brittle.

mxUnPesoCoinAfter I felt the tell-tale “give” on my ring stretcher, indicating the appearance of the crack, I quickly became somewhat discouraged. Then I had an idea. When I choose the hole punch size, I did so with a mind to preserve the eagle devouring the snake at the center of the reverse side. It’s such a cool symbol that I thought I would do something special with it. so with the center portion intact, I formulated a plan.

I continued to form the broken ring using the Swedish Wrap Technique created by Mikael Möller, with Jason’s amazing tools from jasonsworks.com. This allowed me to get the broken cone shaped into a ring shape. It worked like a charm, though I could only reduce, not enlarge.

mxUnPesoCoin_cracked_shaped_logoAfter I got the ring formed, I was ready to grind and solder. I ground the area at the crack flat, then filled it with a little solder. (It was already a pretty good fit…the photo exaggerates the mis-alignment.) Then I ground the surface of the plug that was to fit against the ring.

mxUnPesoRing_inside_logoI have to admit, soldering the two together was a little more challenging than I expected, but I finally got the two parts soldered together. In the end, I think I came up with a solution that really works. It turns out that the finished ring might be better because of the accident.

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Change What You Wear. Change That You Wear!

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Who doesn’t like cool jewelry? For nearly as long as homo sapiens have walked the earth, we have sought to adorn ourselves with nice looking things. Coins, on the other hand, are a relatively new invention. The oldest on record are about 2700 years old. Now both are brought together into a sort of “you got your chocolate into my peanut butter” moment…two great inventions that look great together.

I’ve been hard at work teaching myself the art of making coins into rings. I find the process and outcome very satisfying. As a result, I’ve opened an Etsy store to sell them. Follow the link on the left side of the page or click here. As of this writing I only have one style up on the store, but that will soon be remedied. I have numerous styles in the pipeline.

jp10Yen2_logoThe rings featured above and to the right are made from a Japanese 10 Yen Coin. These coins are 95% copper with the remainder being made up of zinc and tin. The 10 yen coin makes a novel and beautiful ring. The obverse side (as shown above) has the characters 日本国 (Nipponkoku) which mean the country of Japan or simply Japan. The other two characters on the obverse side are 十円 (Jū-en) which means ten yen.

When the coin is folded with the reverse side out (as pictured in the inline photo above) bay laurel leaves surround the ring, making a unique pattern. My ring forging process maintains much of the original detail inside and out. Additionally, I apply an antique patina to each ring to help highlight the detail. I then coat each ring with 2 layers of a durable protective sealant that not only helps to maintain the patina but also prevents the ring from discoloring fingers.

Stay tuned…more rings are on the way!