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Friday, May 11, 2012

Quarter Ring // DIY

Hello, all! I was very excited with the positive response to last week's lace shorts tutorial - you readers are the bomb diggity.

It's been a decently busy week, but nothing compared to next week. My poor friends have had to listen to me complain about next week's three midterms, speech, and job training (all within 4 days!) and it's not even next week yet.

Today we will be doing another of my favorite projects - the quarter ring.

I actually did it with my friend Katie back during winter break, but it's definitely still a worthwhile project to share.

We got the idea here so be sure to stop on by and check it out.

Sorry for making you scroll through so many pictures, but I had so much fun finding cool places around the dorm to take some shots of it.

Here's what you'll need:
-quarter **IMPORTANT** the quarter must be from 1964 or earlier. The '64 and earlier quarters were 99% silver, but the more recent ones have other metals in them. To get a nice looking ring, you must have a '64 or earlier quarter. Katie and I looked through both of our families' coin jars and couldn't find any '64 or earlier quarters, so we had to go to a coin shop and buy them. They cost about $6.00
-solid, flat metal chunk of some sort that you can hammer on
-circular file (if you don't already have one, you can get this at any home improvement store)
-a ring that fits on the finger you want it to go on
-drill or a Dremmel
-pliers or something to hold while you drill a hole through the quarter
(If you can't tell from the supplies list, this is definitely not something you could do easily at college).

Here's how:

1. Take the quarter and place it on its edge (where the ridges are) on the metal hammering surface. Start tapping it gently with the hammer along the side of the quarter, rotating it along so it is even. Because you will be hammering out the edges, it will start getting smaller and smaller in circumference. Every so often, place your ring that fits on top of it to check the size. 

2. Once the quarter is the size you want, hold it with pliers or hold it in place with a clamp of some sort (I recommend wrapping tape or something around the pliers so that you don't get ridges on the side of the ring).

3. Start drilling. This isn't easy, so I had my dad do it (thank you, daddy)! Using a drill didn't work as well as the Dremmel. The hardest part is that the drill swerves around on the flat surface until you have a groove drilled out and can keep it steady. 

4. Once you have a hole all the way through the quarter, start filing down the inside with a circular file. I watched a movie while doing this since it can become a little tedious. Try it on as you file down. The nice part about filing it yourself is that you can make it fit your finger exactly.

One of the coolest parts is that you can see some of the words from the original quarter because you hammered it out. I'm repeating this picture, but enlarging to point out that if you look closely, you can see the "LIB" in LIBERTY on the inside of the ring.

UPDATE: From the research I did before doing this project, it is my understanding that defacing money in this way is not illegal. If you alter money and then try to use it as money again, that is when it becomes illegal. In this case, the money is altered and then used as another object (jewelry), not with the intention to be used as money. Again, this is to the best of my knowledge from previous research, so please do not hold me to this as fact. One person put it like this: 

"According to U.S.code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331:


Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined

at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation
as money within the United States; or
Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings
into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified,
scaled, or lightened—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
The answer to the defacement question is: it depends.
Essentially, the key word here is 'fraudulently'. You can legally drive a nail through a coin, paint it ultramarine, melt it, or bend it into a pretzel - but the moment you try and use that coin as currency, you're breaking the law. You can sell that altered coin as a collectable, but you can't use it to buy a Snickers. You can gold-plate your cent-less V-nickel, but you can't pass it with the intention of making the clerk think it's a gold piece. You can mash your pennies in the cent squisher at the zoo, but don't even think about buying penny candy with them ever again. Get the idea?"

Enjoy! It's so cool to be able to tell people that you made your awesome ring out of a quarter!

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." -Matthew 5:44-45
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  1. Pretty sure that's illegal
    And this is a craft blog not interested in the religious crap at the end.

    1. Sorry, Anonymous, but it's NOT illegal. That's just a myth. Perhaps you should get your facts straight before you spout off. ,')

      As for her addition of Scripture at the bottom, it's HER blog. And as blogs do, it simply reflects her personality ~ and in this case, her faith. No one's forcing you to read it. ,')

    2. Wow, really? Was that necessary? And of course someone like you would hide behind "anonymous", how lame.

    3. Actually it is illegal in US (unless it's not in circulation any more.
      But it's not enforced and could be seen as making the rest of the country a lil bit richer collectively ^^
      This looks awesome btw, any other coins that would work well.
      Also, Anonymous, you don't need to be a tool, you didn't want to hear somebody else's ideas, why broadcast your own in such a vulgar manner.

  2. Alyssa, your ring, blog and projects are absolutely LOVELY! Thank you so much for sharing! <3

    Found you via Craftgawker, by the way. And your project was the awesomest one there! I can't wait to see MORE! (No pressure!) <3<3

  3. For those who may be interested in doing this, a drill press would make drilling much easier if it is available to you. =)

    1. Thank you for that great bit of information, Christa! :)


  4. Time warp! First time I saw these rings was in Germany 1972 at an arm forces base. The boys made them by hammering the quarter with the back of a spoon. Time consuming and work intense. The guys did great work. Love that they are back.

  5. oooh...I want to make this! I love that your dad assisted, which is exactly what I'll be doing as well!

  6. I will be keeping my eye out for these early quarters! Great project.

  7. It's illegal to drill a hole into coins

    1. It's illegal to drill a hole into coins and then to use it as money again. OMG read before commenting! It is just a quarter, so who the f* cares anyway?

  8. you're the first person I've seen actually try the quarter ring! So glad it worked out for someone else as well :)

    1. It worked SO well and your tutorial helped a ton! Thank you!!


  9. If this were illegal, so would be all those "penny presses" that you always find at zoos and other tourist traps, that roll your penny out into an oval, stamped with some emblem of the landmark. Very cool ring!

  10. I wish you had pics of the process.. I got confused by the description.. I wanna make one. Lol but have no idea how to make my brain understand what you mean by hammering it and rolling it?? Maybe this is a dumb moment for me.. :(

    1. So sorry it was confusing for you! I did this project before I started blogging, so the thought never crossed my mind to take pictures during the process. If you go to this link:
      there is a great tutorial on how to do the exact same project, plus it has pictures every step of the way.

      Hope this helps! Thanks for dropping by.


  11. Oh my word! You are amazing! I LOVE everything you do! You are so smart, and pretty and creative!! And the quarter ring is a great idea!

    1. Aww thank you so much! I appreciate you stopping by :)


  12. Found your blog via pinterest and craftgawker and so glad I did! Clever & fabulous rolled into one great site!

    My aunt showed me how to make these years ago but we used coins with years that meant something to us without regard to the metal in it and the date would still show up in the inside rim. If you wanted an older date for the metal you could pick the year your parents were married or born? Just and idea. Anyway, a suggestion on drilling the middle..if you dent the center using a nail and hammer first before drilling then the dremel or drill bit doesn't slip as much. Also, start off with slow speed until the bit grips in. Wear goggles too to prevent metal splinters! Yikes!

    Keep up the great work!


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