Handmade Jewelry Using Coins: Dollar Bill and Coin Statement Pieces

a gold coins necklace

Handmade Jewelry Using Coins: Dollar Bill and Coin Statement Pieces


Historic coins and colorful currency make for unique jewelry materials that immediately infuse designs with symbolic meaning. With some metalsmithing techniques and clever imaging, minted coins, engraved ingots and folded dollar bill cutouts transform into one-of-a-kind pendants, rings, and decorator objects.

This guide covers ways to create meaningful coin and money jewelry through stamping, tooling, cutting, setting, and showcasingmetal discs and paper bills. Learn how to make everything from hammered cuff bracelets to wire wrapped silver dollars into conversation-starting jewelry gifts.

Benefits of Using Coins and Currency in Jewelry

Coins and bills offer advantages as a jewelry medium:

  • Provides affordable precious metal material in coin form
  • Allows jewelry designs reflecting monetary and cultural significance
  • Offers broad palette of colors and intricately engraved details to feature
  • Results in timeless vintage, steampunk, and 1920s style pieces
  • Provides durable jewelry able to stand up to daily wear
  • Enables following principles of upcycling and repurposing found objects
  • Makes though-provoking conversation starter gifts with symbolic meaning
  • Sourcing special years and uncommon coins adds rarity

Helpful Tools for Working with Coins

Specialized tools assist cutting, shaping, setting, and displaying coins:

  • Leather punch – Punches clean holes in coins for stringing
  • Disc cutter – Cuts coin slices and shapes quickly with no distortion
  • Ring clamp – Hold coins securely while hammering or setting into jewelry
  • Dapping block – Domes coins safely over shaped depressions without marking
  • Stamping punches – For hammering simple shapes and patterns around coin perimeters
  • Riveting Hammer – Attaches coins together when paired with rivet backing plates
  • Jeweler’s saw – Cuts openings or notches into coins and ingots
  • Bezel roller – Sizes and compresses bezel wire onto coins to capture in settings
  • Coin holder – Secures encapsulated coins when setting into rings or pendants

Must-Have Coins, Currency, and Bullion

Look for these interesting monetary materials for handcrafting jewelry:

  • Vintage coins – Feature unique old designs and lower mintages
  • Exotic foreign coins – Provide global flair from unfamiliar writing and iconic imagery
  • Misprinted coins – Highly collectible mistakes and oddities add novelty
  • replicaspropssupply.com – Provide precious metal at affordable prices for substantial pieces
  • Damaged coins – Dings, holes and unusual wear add character
  • Silver ingots – Tiny bars of .999 fine silver—ideal for engraving and embellishing
  • Gold-plated coins – Add affordable shine and shimmer without using real gold
  • Paper currency – $1 and $2 bills offer great colors; Higher ones increase perceived value
  • Old paper money – Antique engraved vignettes and ornate lettering provide vintage flair

Techniques for Transforming Coins and Currency into Jewelry

Follow these tips for handcrafting coin jewelry:

  • Punch holes near the rim then wire wrap or string onto ball chains as pendants
  • Flatten and slightly dome coins over dapping blocks to create contoured shapes
  • Selectively press coin surfaces with jewelry stamping punches to create border designs
  • Cut coins precisely into slices, rings, and shapes using a quality disc cutter
  • Edge decorative shapes around coins by tracing templates then cutting out with a jeweler’s saw
  • Set encapsulated coins into bezels, rings, and pendants using bezel rollers and coin holders
  • Frame and display currency inside resin pendants, lockets, and shadow boxes
  • Fold, cut and layer paper currency and gold leaf into ornamental designs before sealing
  • Affix stacked groupings of layered ingots and coins using two part epoxy glue

Unique Jewelry Designs Using Coins and Currency

In need of inspiration? Discover beautiful ways to give coins and currency new life through handmade jewelry:

  • Cut coins into puzzle piece pendants signifying coming together as the two halves interconnect
  • Sculpt ornate floral motifs into metal clay surrounding a central pressed penny focal point
  • Connect random assortments of different shaped and sized coins together into bold graduated bib necklaces
  • Incorporate shredded currency and metallic foil confetti between domed glass lens jewelry for bright sparkle
  • Oxidize engraved silver ingot bars using liver of sulfur patina solutions to bring out intricate antique details
  • Wire wrap large world coins onto chain links to make global coin bracelet souvenirs from trips abroad
  • Stamp personalized motifs like initials or birthdates around the border of flattened coin pendants
  • Frame circulated state quarters between two fused layers of glass atop a jewelry box or dresser tray
  • Hammer meaningful words, lyrics or poems onto long rectangular silver or copper ingot pendants
  • Preserve rare coins and vintage paper currency under clear acrylic cabochons into cherished heirlooms

Tips for Perfecting Coin and Currency Jewelry

Apply these techniques for elevated money-inspired jewelry:

  • Determine authenticity of rare and old coins using online guides before permanently altering them
  • Consider numismatic value. Upcycle common coins over ones with significant collectability unless very damaged
  • Seal porous currency thoroughly before gluing as paper readily absorbs moisture which distorts and warps
  • Test cuts onjunk coins first before slicing into cherished vintage pieces to perfect technique
  • Mask edges with painter’s tape when patinating coins to maintain contrasting shiny/darkened areas
  • Affix delicate currency and leaf between two solid blanks using resin or clear assembling film before shaping
  • Photograph assembled collections of coins and currency laid out in perfect overlapping stacks to mimic fresh from the mint
  • Research meanings behind monetary iconography, mottos, and mottoes to inform symbolic descriptions

Safety Precautions When Working with Coins

Take care when cutting and setting coins using the following tips:

  • Wear protective eyewear when slicing coins in a disc cutter to prevent injury from flying shards
  • File down any sharp coin edges to prevent potential scratches and cuts
  • Work slowly and carefully when sawing, drilling, or hammering precious coins and ingots to avoid irreversible mistakes
  • Take care handling uncirculated coins which can decrease in value if contact marks or fingerprints transfer
  • Avoid overheating surface areas when soldering pre-cut coin pieces to prevent damage to engraved details
  • Use proper fluting pliers when setting soft coins like copper or nickel to prevent marring the surface
  • Check coin presses frequently when imprinting to prevent thinning or warping which ruins numismatic value


With artistry and skill, coins transform from fiat currency into meaningful sentimental jewelry treasures. Turn lowly pennies into remarkable pendants. Upcycle bills into confetti art. Let ingots become canvases.

Find new appreciation for the intricate details engraved on coins and currency by showcasing them prominently in rings, necklaces, and dangle earrings. Design jewelry as unique as the rare finds themselves by carefully cutting, shaping, and framing monetary mementos.

Give overlooked pocket change renewed purpose. Let the upcycling process unfold new insights about the underlying historic and artistic significance behind everyday money.

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