FAQ2019-12-17T23:16:03+00:00

COMMON QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK

I have some world war II French Francs made of aluminium (and some other coins) and i was trying to figure out if it is possible to make them into coin rings. Have you ever tried this? What would you suggest?2020-03-18T18:10:46+00:00

Aluminum, unfortunately, is not a good metal to use. The melt point is extremely low and it has very strange characteristics. Brass, bronze, copper, silver, gold, platinum, and some other non ferrous metals are o.k. Nickel can cause allergic reaction to about 20% of the population so that is not recommended but can be done. It is a hard metal as well requiring a lot of force. There are quite a few metals that can be considered toxic, like lead. Aluminum as well in fact.

Is there any reason I shouldn’t use the top of my JWs Auto Punch to fold a 2oz silver round? Using like a folding die? Will I wreck it somehow?2020-03-18T17:46:36+00:00

No problem with that. Just make sure the round is annealed. I have done a 2″ brass round before. You can also pre-bevel the edge of the coin where it makes contact to create a larger surface area. The zinc coating may wear off but that is o.k. The top housing is case hardened and will hold up.

I’m interested in folding a 1 oz. US Navy Silver Coin that’s 39mm/1.53″ dia. I don’t see a Jason Swedish die that size on your site. Am I missing a page2020-03-17T17:11:23+00:00
I would start the fold in the 1.6″ @ 17 degree die. You may need to finish the fold in the 1.5 side of the same die.  Once it is folded, you can flip the coin over and reduce it down more in the same die, or smaller die, which ever one it fits into, and then start the Swede process I do this for every ring I make. I don’t always use the swede dies but I always use the 17 degree dies for folding and initial reduction and in conjunction with the swede dies. Depending on your ring size, you may need some smaller 17 degree dies too. I like to finish the ring, after the swede die, on 17 and 25 degree dies to get the shape I want.
I am in the process of getting a larger swede die out on the market but I make Silver Eagle coin rings that are 1.6″ in diameter using the method described above using the 1.5 x 1.6 @ 17 degree die and the largest Dollar Swede die.
Here are the main dies I would use:

Fold with
Reduce with:
Depending on ring size, you may need smaller dies too.
Dollar swede die. Choose the die size on the right:
Would finish on smaller 17 and 25 degree dies. Ring size would determine which die I would use. Which ever one fit.
Can you tell how to properly anneal a 1962 franklin half for making a ring size15 please?2020-02-17T18:33:53+00:00

These can be tough. They like to wobble and split a lot because they are so thick and thin in places. SIze 15 is huge for this coin. I usually do not go past 14 for a half dollar and this particular coin would want to split.

Annealing is taking the coin to a dull red heat in a pitch black room, letting it cool to a dark heat then quenching in water. . If you have any light on it, you will not see the true color. This is done as needed throughout the ring making process. The coin will work harden as you make the =ring, stretching and reducing the metal. I would suspect about 4 annealings would be sufficient for that ring size.

You will need to overstretch the ring 2-3 times past you target size to get a symmetrical looking ring, that means stretched to a size 17 minimum. You will lose some details because of this and most likely split the ring. Be sure to remove any and all stress risers (micro tears) along the cut edge to help keep it from tearing. Stretch in small increments, twisting the ring to place it on a different part of the stretcher each time and check for stress risers often.

Is it possible to have both sides of ring the same size? It seems that the reed side is always smaller than the non-reed side?2020-02-01T18:20:45+00:00

The reed side will always be a smaller size because it is thicker. It is thicker for two reasons.

Number one reason is that this part of the coin is thicker. The reed is thicker or raised in order to protect the detail of the coin. As you slide your silver dollar across the bar to pay for that beer, the reed is making contact with the bar and not the “field” of the coin, the detail of the coin. This allows the coin to wear less in order to recognize the coin for a longer period of its life.

The second reason is the forming of the ring. When the hole is punched (in the thinner field of the coin) it is folded and stretched to form the ring. This stretching thins out the metal even more of the cut side. The reed side is compressed and is thickened even more.

This is why is is so important to overstretch your ring past your target size and then reduce the reed side first to hit your target size and then take the overstretched cut side and reduce it to only match the outer look of the reed side making a symmetric ring. If you do not overstretch your ring first, your rings will look conical. The more you overstretch, the more rounded or fat tire look you will get. The less you overstretch, the less rounded appearance you will have. I like 1-2 sizes over for quarters. 2-3 sizes over for half dollars and 3-4 sizes over for dollars. I like a little rounded, not too much.

When using Swedish wrap method is the max size of a morgan head dollars around size 10 or is it possible to get bigger sizes. I purchased your manual and it did not seem to address the size limitations etc. Also when coin is completely extruded out of die should walls be completely straight ? I thought I saw on a video that you would flip it over and then push through on non reeded side.2020-01-17T14:12:59+00:00

You don’t have to extrude the ring. You just have to press it in as far as you need to get the size and shape you want. This is the reason for the witness lines on the pushers. You can take notes on what line will give you a certain size for a type of coin. You should be able to get a max size of 20+.

You can flip the ring over and press reed side down for your last push to get a straight wall. For example, if your target size is 12, push down reed side up until you get a size 13 or so, flip over and press reed side down until you get size 12, take notes on your witness lines for repeat sizes in the future, I actually don’t use the lines myself. With enough time you just get  a feel for it.
I actually only us the swede die to about 2 sizes over my target size then finish in the 17 and 25 degree dies. I like that look, a soft round.

My ring gets a funny looking wrinkly surface. What causes this?2020-01-06T19:57:04+00:00

This can be one or two things. Reticulation or orange peel.

Reticulation occurs when the surface of the metal begins to melt. It looks like wrinkles and happens during the heating process when you anneal and you get it too hot. To avoid this, anneal in a dark room and remove the flame to see the color of the metal. As soon as you see a dull red color, let it cool to a dark heat and quench in cool water. This is a general annealing rule for any non ferrous metal . Silver is the best thermal conductor so you will notice it heats up much quicker than any other metal and easier to reticulate.

Orange peel occurs when the surface of the metal becomes weak and starts to buckle. I have noticed this is more prevalent in the pure metals such as silver, gold and platinum. When the ring is reduced more and more or when it is stretched more and more. The more it is manipulated, the more orange peel will occur. Alloyed metals seem to not have this issue. I have not been able to find a resolution to this as of yet. Just let your customers know this occurs more with the pure metals and is unavoidable.

I am trying to figure out the difference between a reducing die, and a Swedish die? I also am looking for something that will do US quarters and US half dollars, clads to start with, but I can’t seem to find a tool that can do both of these. Can you advise?2020-01-03T20:07:09+00:00

There are actually 3 different types of dies. Folding/reducing 17 degree dies, reducing/fat tire 25 degree dies and Swedish dies at 5 degree.
The most important die is the 17 degree folding reducing. This is the primary die for folding the coin to a cone then reducing the cone into a ring. You’ll need a steel starter cone and universal plastic folding cones to do this. The 25 degree die is optional to hel;p get a few sizes smaller and make a more rounded or”fat tire” look. the Swedish dies are also optional but give you more options in sizes as you can take rings down to a very small size, making straight walled rings and they also help to remove any wobbles.
The .9 x 1.0 @ 17 degree will fold and reduce U.S. quarters and similar sized coin. U.S. quarters are just under 1.0 inches, therefore they work in that die. U.S half dollars are 1.2 inches in diameter, so the 1.1 x 1.2 17 degree die is used to fold and reduce thoughts. As the ring gets smaller, you’ll need smaller dies. As you stretch it out, you’ll need bigger dies to finish it off.

Coins that are not made from silver or other precious metals will often discolor your finger, I was wondering if there was a way around this? Because some of the coins would look quite nice if not for the discoloring?2019-12-30T17:32:00+00:00

It is generally copper that discolors. Brass and bronze have a large amount of copper in their alloy also causing the discoloration. Unfortunately, rings are so prone to wear, there is nothing long term that will protect them from interacting with a person’s skin. I have tried clear nail polish, lacquer, protecta clear, etc. (You also need to be careful of harmful chemicals with any coating) Gold plating may be the best but it is still only temporary, until the gold wears off. The best thing to do, if you make rings containing copper, is to let the customer know about the discoloration and why. It is just a chemical reaction with the skin. Some people get it more than others. There is also some that believe the copper can help with arthritis. This can be a benefit. I have met one person who had a negative reaction to silver. That was a first. (Perhaps a vampire?….eek!)

I am interested in purchasing your auto punch set but I am in Canada. Do you ship to Canada? Will Canadian coins still work in the auto punch?2019-12-30T17:01:54+00:00

I do ship to Canada. Please be aware of the shipping cost, VAT taxes and customs fees however. This can add up. I ship USPS 6-10 day priority but it can take longer as customs can hold it for a longer time.

The punch will work with Canadian coins. Be aware though that many of your current coinage has a steel core with a nickel clad over it. This steel core, if exposed, can damage the reduction dies. The dies are designed for non-ferrous metals. Silver, brass, copper, gold, platinum, etc.

Are your higher priced coin rings due to the quality, or the value of the coin? I imagine both are factors, but am doubting quality (assuming all your rings are high quality} can make that big a difference.2019-12-24T19:18:17+00:00
There are several factors that go into my pricing of the coin rings I make.
I focus on the highest quality possible so I do spend time picking out the coin and creating the ring myself when an order is placed. Some makers hire employees to help them, which is fine, but I do not. Also, if I am not happy with the finished ring, I will start over again. I prefer quality over quantity but nothing against the makers that make high quantity, it is the makers choice. There is high demand for these rings as well.
  Another consideration is the wear on the ring. If a high priced coin is purchased and made into a ring, in a very short period of time, that extra money paid for the detail may be lost as rings are worn down, scratched, dinged, etc very quickly. If worn every day and you are active, all of the details can be lost and a smooth band is left on the outside. If/when I make my wedding band, I would put the critical side on the inside of my band and expect the outside to be worn smooth as that would be a daily worn ring. A very nice coin ring with extra money spent on detail to show on the outside, gold plate, etc should be worn as a special occasion ring or at least expect the ring to be worn down.
I have been raising my price slowly over the past 11 years or so as my quality improves but also to lower demand to something that I am comfortable with. I also fully guarantee the ring. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund. I also offer free resizing.
For most of my silver coin rings, I do not purchase the highest priced coin. The highest priced coins may not only be because of the crisp detail of the coin but may also be due to the rarity of the year it was minted. This is called numismatic value. A high priced coin may have poor detail but be minted in a rare year. I will hand select the coins at a coin shop with the best detail and upon a ring order, then select the best one I have for that particular year. If the year is not critical, I will select the best coin I have at the time of the order.
  However, if a coin is only available with numismatic value, for example the 1 ozt platinum High Relief Angel Isle of Man, there is a very large numismatic value that is unavoidable and is added to the overall price. With this comes great risk because once a hole is punched in the coin, that value is lost until the ring is finished. If the coin is not successfully turned into a ring, that is a considerable amount of money lost so this risk is incorporated into the price.  This is the reason for the higher priced gold rings and platinum rings. Also, if a ring fails, it is more difficult to sell platinum as scrap therefore increasing the risk to the maker again.
I can also make rings from customers coins but there is a risk of a flaw in the coin or mistake on my part that would destroy the coin and not be a successful ring. This is rare but possible. If this were to happen, I would either refund completely and return the metal or attempt another. The price is the same due to the higher risk associated with the coin.
So the main factors for pricing for me are quality, price of the coin, demand, guarantee and risk associated with the coin.
I’ve noticed that after my first patina wears off my silver coins (like when using Black Max or also liver of sulfur gel or Midas), it’s hard to reapply to get such a good patina again after the original. Do you have any tips for re-patinaing a coin when it eventually wears out the original patina put on?2019-12-23T20:12:21+00:00

When you want to re-apply a patina to a ring, be sure there is no oil on the ring. Even just touching it once with bare fingers will not allow the chemical reaction as the oil acts as a barrier. Clean the ring with acetone. I like to use the paper blue shop towels. These are actually very clean towels to use. Place the ring into your black max or other patina solution without touching it with bare fingers or anything with oil on it. I let it soak for a few minutes.

Here are my steps when applying a new patina, or even reapplying. I use the Sally’s Beauty Supply Miracle buffing block with the white and grey side. I use the grey side to remove any fire scale on the ring and then buff with the white side. I’ll then clean the ring with acetone, apply the patina with black max. Once the ring is black, I will then buff the patina with the white side to a high black shine. This seem to “set” the patina a little more. I’ll then remove the patina from the high points of the detail with the grey side and finish with one last buff on the white side all over the ring.

Here is the link to the buffing block:
www.sallybeauty.com/nails/nail-tools-and-accessories/nail-files-and-buff…

Do you ever get people asking you to re-patina a ring? Do you do it differently the second time around?2019-12-23T20:11:19+00:00

It is rare for me to get a request to re-patina a ring. I try to let them know up front it will wear away. I don’t charge people if they ask though.

I do it the same the second time,. I just don’t have to remove any fire scale.

Here are my steps when applying a new patina, or even reapplying. I use the Sally’s Beauty Supply Miracle buffing block with the white and grey side. I use the grey side to remove any fire scale on the ring and then buff with the white side. I’ll then clean the ring with acetone, apply the patina with black max. Once the ring is black, I will then buff the patina with the white side to a high black shine. This seem to “set” the patina a little more. I’ll then remove the patina from the high points of the detail with the grey side and finish with one last buff on the white side all over the ring.

Here is the link to the buffing block:
www.sallybeauty.com/nails/nail-tools-and-accessories/nail-files-and-buff…

The grease type lubricant is starting to wear thin on my Auto Punch. Can you tell me please what the lubricant is called and where I can find it? And is there an easy way to apply to the threads (without over applying or getting all over myself)?2019-12-23T20:08:10+00:00

Here is the white lithium grease that is applied to the threads of the punch housings when manufactured:

www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Lithium-Grease-White/dp/B005T8OBP8/ref=sr_1_5

Be sure to clean the male and female threads thoroughly to remove any dirty grease and particles. Acetone works very well on cleaning or mineral spirits that cut oil. Apply a small amount of the white lithium grease on the male thread at the end of the top housing. This will evenly distribute the grease onto the female thread. Lithium grease actually adds a little friction, which is what you want. If you use a thin oil, the thread can screw too fast and lock up at the end of the thread.

Do you accept mailed coins to convert or do you require to use your own inventory? I have a Peace Dollar.2019-12-20T17:28:17+00:00
I do make rings from customer’s coins. The price for silver dollars is $195 for a standard patina + $75 for two tone gold and + $75 for a flush set birthstone.
The Peace dollar makes for a pretty good ring. They do have a relatively light mint on the date that makes ia little difficult to see and they can be tricky in forming. They are big coins so are better for big rings. What size would you want?
One thing to consider is the chance of the coin/ring breaking during the process. There ialways a chance of this happening. Sometimes there are flaws in the coin that can not be seen until iis to late. I would refund you of course and return the metal or I can make another and return the metal of the first one.
Regarding making rings from patterned metal, I understand that the size of the center hole in relation to the OD determines the band width, but what does the OD itself determine since the ring can be stretched or reduced. Is the OD simply a function of the coin one would choose for its surface design?2019-12-20T17:21:17+00:00
That is a great question on the O.D. No one has really asked that before.
I’ve found that different O.D.’s have “sweet spots” for ring sizes.
1.2″ O.D. (half dollar 1.7 mm thick) is great for men’s sizes from 9 – 14. You can go bigger or smaller but the pattern can become distorted if you do. Also, the ring will become much thinner when stretched more and thicker when reduced more.  .96″ O.D. (quarters 1.36 mm thick) work well for woman rings size 4-8 or so. Same issue when stretched or reduced past these sizes. 1.5 ” O.D(silver dollars 2.62 mm thick) work well for size 11 plus. Up to 25 or even a woman’s small cuff bracelet.
I guess the O.D. is designating the general “mass” of the ring in conjunction with the I.D. and thickness. Thickness is also a consideration. I’m thinking 9 gauge for men’s because a man typically wants a good hefty ring. This may be on the thicker side but I am assuming a thinning of the metal when you roll the pattern. If you etch it on, I’m wondering how that may feel. The cut side or hole side of the ring will be about 1/3 thinner due to stretching, leaving 2 mm of metal. Before you order the silver, you may want to experiment on some copper to see what you like in regards to thickness? Can you roll the sheet yourself to a thinner gauge if need be? I would say your safe with a minimum of 1.4 mm for woman and minimum 1.6 mm for men.
So, small O.D.’s cant be big rings without massive distortion, thinning and narrowing of the band. Large O.D’s cant be smaller rings without distortion, thickening and widening of the bands. There is a sweet spot for O.D’s, band width, and thickness in regards to ring sizes and patterned metal.
I just bought your starter kit, which I should have just went ahead in the beginning and paid the extra money. Everyone I see on youtube says your stuff is the best. I bought just one half inch punch on eBay, I am returning it. My question is, and it looks like from the picture of what I purchased that one side of the dies or one die has the 25 degree cone to make that “fat tire” look which is what I want to do. Am I correct?2019-12-20T17:05:31+00:00
 Some of the Auto punch dies are cone shaped in order to raise the smaller coins up in the housing so the top housing will engage and center the coin. That is all. These should be used cone facing up, flat side down in the pedestal.
The flat auto punch dies can be used either way.
For a fat tire look, you want a relatively small hole (for a wide band), stretch out past your target size more than normal, start reducing with a 17 degree die but quickly switch over to a 25 degree die to finish sizing and shaping.
I’ve boiled down the process to four main steps:
  • punch a hole
  • fold it
  • stretch it
  • reduce it and finish
Lets see, Here is what I would do for a fat tire size 13, half and dollar:
Dollar:
  • punch a 9/16″ hole (wider band, used for larger rings and fat tire look. (I usually would punch a 5/8″ hole for this size ring and the look I like. ))
  • bevel hole using deburring tool to remove stress risers
  • begin to fold with steel starter cone
  • anneal
  • finish folding until coin hits plastic cone/mandrel
  • anneal
  • stretch out 4-5 sizes past target size (anneal as needed. I usually would stretcher 3-4 for a soft rounded look I like))
  • reduce in 17 degree reduction die 1-2 sizes
  • remove excess material on inside reed side with deburring tool
  • finish reducing in a 25 degree reduction die to target size “anneal as needed”
  • reduce cut side to look symmetric only, not size. Sizing is already finished.
  • If you need to reshape, simply stretch and reduce again.
  • “should not need need Swede for this coin and size unless wobbles form or you stretch too much and 17/25 degree dies start to remove detail on coin”
  • file, sand, buff, patina and finish
  • Crack open a cold one and enjoy 😉
Half dollar:
  • punch a 7/16″ hole (wider band, used for larger rings and fat tire look. (I usually would punch a 1/2″ hole for this size ring and the look I like))
  • bevel hole using deburring tool to remove stress risers
  • begin to fold with steel starter cone
  • anneal
  • finish folding until coin hits plastic cone/mandrel
  • anneal
  • stretch out 3-4 sizes past target size (anneal as needed. I usually would stretcher 2-3 for a soft rounded look I like))
  • reduce in 17 degree die 1 size
  • remove excess material on inside reed side with deburring tool
  • finish reducing in a 25 degree die to target size “anneal as needed”
  • reduce cut side to look symmetric only, not size. Sizing is already finished.
  • If you need to reshape, simply stretch and reduce again.
  • “should not need need Swede for this coin and size unless wobbles form or you stretch too much and 17/25 degree dies start to remove detail on coin”
  • file, sand, buff, patina and finish
  • Crack open a cold one and enjoy 😉
On a ring size 11 fat tire, I would go 1/16″ punch size larger on all that is stated above holes. Smaller holes for bigger rings, bigger holes for smaller rings. Make sure to practice on clad coins first. They work similar to silver coins but are much less expensive. I would do clad halves first then work your way up to clad dollars. Then start in on silver halves and then a silver dollar. Get comfortable with the process first before going up to silver, gold, platinum etc.

Here is a vid on the auto punch:

I want to buy a starter set. I’ll be starting with quarters then move up to halves and dollars. What is the punch size option to choose.2019-12-20T17:01:48+00:00
I like to use 7/16″ for quarters and 1/2″ to 9/16″ for halves. For dollars, i use 5/8″ to 3/4″. Pending ring size and overall look. Larger holes mean narrower band width. The hole size doesn’t effect the ring size as the size can be changed. You will need wider bands for larger rings as they narrow as their stretched. Smaller rings require larger holes because the bands widen as they are reduced.
Good idea to start there. Clad quarters, clad halves and clad dollars then into silver coins, gold and platinum.
If I were to make a coin ring from a proof coin, like a perfect proof minted new silver coin, would It still have the proof mirror finish when it was completed? Or any suggestions on how to finish without putting even micro scratches,( like even 0000 steel wool does) on the coin so it still has that pure mirror/mint finish and still use Black max? Can I buff with my dremel? Or which approach would you recommend so you cant see any scratches even under magnification? Like newly store quality in finish. Also, I’ve got to ask you, what coin makes the most beautiful ring in your opinion?2019-12-20T16:57:01+00:00
Coins do have a mint finish. They have a certain luster to them. The bullion or coin proofs are struck twice for that mirror finish. If you ask a coin collector, if a human finger touches the coin, the finish is ruined 🙂
Pure silver bullion or round (private mintage) or pure silver coin (government backed like the silver eagle) will get an orange peel finish on the surface if they are stretched too far or reduced too small. This is a finish that cannot be removed. If you do not take it to this point, the finish stays very close to the original but the annealing process changes the crystalline structure within the matrix of the metal. It will change the look of the mint luster or proof finish.
 
For finishing, I like to use sanding and buffing blocks.
 
Here is the one I use from Sally’s beauty supply:
 
It is strange but I like them. My mother was a manicurist so a lot of these types of things were laying around. I have tried traditional jewelers tools for this but I like these for finishing. My friend Joshua Janes found this particular buffing block.
 
On the detail sides of the coin, I use this very fine grey abrasive side to remove the fire scale so the black max can patina the silver most efficiently. I then patina and buff the patina with the white side of the block. This seems to “set” the patina a bit better. This does not remove anything, just buffs to an extreme high finish. I then come back and remove the patina carefully from the high points only on the detail and then buff every thing again with the white side. I do the same on the inside of the ring. I remove the sides of the block and stick them together so it will fit inside the ring. 
 
I come from a blacksmith/Damascus knife maker background. I learned for a mirror finish on metal, you want to double your abrasive fineness each time and alternate the direction 90 degrees each time you go to a finer abrasive and remove the marks from the last abrasive. This technique dates back to the Japanese sword polishers that would achieve a perfect polish.
 
With the cut edge of the coin, I like to use a deburring tool first then remove those marks with a #4 file. Remove those marks with a flap sander 150 – 200 grit. remove those marks with a 3M, soft abrasive wheel. Then remove those marks with a rouge buffing wheel to achieve a mirror finish on the cut edge and inside reed edge. I can also finish the edge with ought electricity by using the purple and yellow sanding blocks from Sally’s. 
For the detail finish, less is more but you need to remove that fire scale from the anneal. That’s why I like the buffing block. Final finish includes a light buff with a polishing cloth and Renaissance wax on the outside.
 
There are many ways to skin a cat so its good to find a process that works for you. I usually adapt my method over time as well.
Some of the prettiest coins I think are:
  • walking liberty half dollar
  • Morgan dollar
  • Columbian Exposition half dollar
  • Isle of man Angel
  • Japanese silver coins
  • Swiss silver coins
  • Indian silver rupees
  • Tunisian coins
  • Ukrainian coins
  • Platinum eagle
  • gold eagles
  • Swiss silver coins
What size punches should I order to make Men’s size 8 to 12 rings from silver quarters and half dollars.2019-12-20T16:51:51+00:00
The hole size changes the width of the band. It is not directly correlated to ring size. So the hole size will determine the width only and that is more personal preference. I have been moving toward a more narrow band recently.
Another question to consider is what coins would you use? For a mans ring, half dollars and dollars seem to work best. Also, if your making a huge ring, size 17 or so, you may want a wider band width to begin with so this would be a smaller punch.
The most common men’s ring size is about a 10.5. For a half dollar, I would use an 9/16″ punch. for a dollar for this ring size, I would use a 11/16″. For bigger sized rings, I might go down a size or two, for smaller ring sizes, I might go up a hole size or two.
Quarters are pretty small to make but can be done. Size 8 is about max or you will start to loose detail. 7/16″ or 1/2″ on these.
Does the master kit come with the “fat tire”dies?2019-12-20T16:48:00+00:00

Yes, the master kit has he 25 degree dies in it. Be sure to use the 17 degree dies for folding and initial reduction. Stretch your ring way past your target size, 3-4 sizes for a half dollar, 4-5 for a Morgan. Reduce with a 17 first a size or two down and then switch to the 25 degree dies to finish. Reduce the reed side first to your target size then match the cut side. Wider bands make better fat tires = smaller holes punched.

I see from your web-site that you offer classes. How can I get more information about times and cost?2019-12-20T16:43:10+00:00
 I do offer classes. One is at Rio Grande in Albuquerque every fall. Usually in September. Great class.  3 days with 10 students at $450. You’ll need to get on the waiting list to get in. Here is a link and contact info for that:
I also offer one-on-one classes at my shop, over the internet, or even at your place. Suggested fee is $100 per hour with meals included. The training is recorded for you as well. 
I want to start with coin ring making as a hobby. However, I am cautious to spend money on this at the start as I don’t want to waste money that could have been used for something else.2019-12-20T16:40:59+00:00
I certainly understood to start out slow. If I were starting out, my Auto Starer Kit would be my choice. This and a ring stretcher/reducer machine would be the main tools. Durston makes the best stretcher/reducer but is pricey and worth it at around $400
 
There are ways to start for less too though. There are less quality stretchers available on Amazon. My manual also talks about simpler methods without as much tooling. I suggest reading that a few times and see what you think. 
Where can I buy the coins to make rings (Morgan Dollars)?2019-12-20T16:37:15+00:00
I like local coin shops. Let them know what your doing and they should let you pick out your own.
An easy calculation to see how much over spot your paying for 90% silver U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollar coins is:
.715 x face value x silver price = value in silver
For example, if you are buying 6 silver quarters and 12 silver half dollars, that equals $7.50 in face value. Today’s silver price is $17.20. So that silver is worth:
.715 x 7.5 x 17.20 = $92.24. Anything over is the premium the shop is charging for their profit. They also buy below spot for their profit.
Morgan dollars are different though. They are about 24 grams of silver. These coins carry numismatic value (value through rarity) and usually sell per coin from $17 – 30$ depending on quality. Look for feathers on teh eagles chest on the reverse for wear. Here’s a good video showing ho to pick coins. :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGfEaPs2Dbw
Anything over is the premium the shop is charging for their profit. They also buy below spot for their profit.
I also go to APMEX.com They have a great selection. Sometimes a little high in price but they always have something:
How soon do you ship?2019-12-20T16:25:54+00:00

We process orders every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and try our best to ship on those days. Christmas is the busiest time of course. We ship United States Postal Service 2-3 day priority domestic and international we ship United States Postal Service 6-10 business day priority. Be aware of international orders will need to pay their countries VAT tax and custom’s fees to pick up there order.

What is the difference in ordering from your website or from your Etsy store?2019-12-20T16:21:16+00:00
Not too much difference on the two sites. I probably prefer my personal site but which ever you are comfortable doing. Etsy price includes shipping.
Will I need a 1 ton arbor press with my ring reducer and 6 ton press?2019-12-20T16:18:28+00:00
I do use a 1 tom arbor press quite a bit. I use it for folding with my steel starter cone and universal folding mandrel and also for the Swede dies and future bell tools.
I use the arbor press more than my hydraulic press but I do have a lot of upper body strength that I rely on for the larger coins. Durston is working on a handle extension for his ring stretcher reducer that will increase the power of the rings stretcher. I make Morgans solely with my Durston stretcher/reducer now.
What is the best ring stretcher I can buy under $200 and what is the one you own?2019-12-20T15:58:45+00:00
I own a Durston. These are the best. He his also working on getting a handle extension for it as well.
I first owned a Pepe. If you can find a used one, that would be good to start with. Otherwise, there are cheap ones on amazon less than $200. These wont last but would get you started.
How do I get started? What tools do I need to get?2018-06-25T10:58:25+00:00

This is the most common question and the most difficult to answer. Each person is a little different in what they want to make and the tools that fit their style. The four main steps though are:

  1. Punch a hole.
  2. Fold it
  3. Stretch it
  4. Reduce it.

The best way to find out what you need is to get as much information as possible before committing to tools. My manual is a great way to learn a lot of information quickly. Many years of trial and error can be found in the manual. If you can understand the concept, that will show you what you will need pending on your goals with the craft. Here is a link to the manual.

Also Youtube videos found here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRjgtgFUD2y2fZ7Q0wQxnlA

Coin Ring Crafters is also a great resource for people to learn old and new techniques from an amazing group of folks:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1374273612883680/

The starter kit I offer is a great way to get started in tools. It has the “meat and potatoes” of tools and will allow you to make the majority of popular coin rings and the most common sizes. The must haves are the 17 degree dies, punch, folding cones, and the steel starter cone. Here is a link to the starter kits.

The other main tool needed to get started is a ring stretcher/machine. Here is my favorite one: https://www.riogrande.com/Product/Durston-Ring- Stretcher-and- Reducer/112066

From there, you can build up your tools and expand your options for making coin rings and other jewelry.I grew my business small and let the sales of the rings pay for new tools and for research and development. Each coin smith has their own way of making coin rings so it is best to learn from many smiths and find your own technique. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Is it illegal to make coin rings (i.e deface coins)?2018-04-03T18:37:16+00:00

No. It is not illegal. Here is an excerpt from my manual discussing this:

Legality

There is always the question of “Isn’t that illegal, to deface coins?” The law states:

Federal statute 18 USC 331 “whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

The key word is fraudulent. Because we are not defacing to defraud, there is no concern of legality. We are merely making jewelry, not gold plating a nickel and trying to pass it off as a five dollar gold piece, that is illegal (if gold and silver were still considered money by the Government). Also, by using pre 1965 U.S. silver coins, or foreign coins, there is not a concern due to the ability of melting down these coins for their metal value. An immeasurable amount of U.S. silver coins have been melted down in the past few decades to get to their silver content.

What coins should I start making?2017-12-19T20:47:15+00:00

I recommend using clad quarters first and then clad half dollars. Clad coinage is the coins we use today. Their metal value is much less than their face value (except nickels). Most are made of nickel cladded copper or copper cladded zinc. (NOTE: Clad coinage will turn fingers green due to copper reacting with skin. Also, some people have a reaction to nickel). These are inexpensive and the best to learn on. When you can make a consistent clad quarter ring, move up to a clad half dollar. once you have that figured out, move up to a clad dollar like an Eisenhower dollar.

Once you have these coin rings under your belt, then move to the silver quarter, silver half dollar, and finally the silver dollar in that order. Once you have silver figured out, then move into gold and then finally platinum. The risks increase as you move up in the value and rarity of these metals but so do the rewards.

What are the easiest and hardest coin rings to make?2017-12-19T20:47:24+00:00

There are a few aspects of coins that make them difficult to work with. These are:

1. Thick and thin coins. This causes the coin to wobble and distort while being made. These coins include silver quarters, Ben Franklin Half dollars, mercury dimes, and any high relief coin. The Swedish Wrap tools and technique is a great way to get around this issue. The 17 degree dies are still need though to start the fold and final shaping.

2. Reticulation. This is when silver gets too hot when annealed and can cause a bubbly skin on the coin. I have noticed a few coins that this can happen too easier than others. These are JFK half dollars, Ben Franklin half dollars, and silver Mexican Pesos. The trick here is to anneal in a dark room and only take them to a dull red.

3. Difficulty in getting money back from scrap and mistake coins. Silver and gold coins are the easiest to sell to a refiner or gold and silver scrapper. Platinum can be difficult, as well as palladium. If you can find a local refiner or scraper that takes these metals for a fair price, that is a great way to go. You can also barter with me for tools as well. I like precious metals. Honestly though, I see it as money in the bank. Actually, better than money in the bank, especially silver. Hold on to it as an investment if you can but if you need to sell it, find a place before you invest in a roll of platinum coins.

So the easiest coins are the clad coins we use today, silver Barber coins, and any other coin of a common metal and without a high relief.

What prices should I sell my coin rings for?2018-05-05T13:34:59+00:00

This will depend on several factors. The first factor is do you want to sell quantity or quality?

If it is quantity, then you should be near the lower end of the market. Say $5 for a clad quarter. That is pretty low, but you’ll sell a lot. Do some research though and see what the market is showing. $19.95 for a silver half dollar is common. $30 an hour is a respectable earning for a skilled artisan. See if your work and price come close to that amount after material costs.

If you are going for quality, then you need to bump the price up but make sure you are worth the cost. The quality has to be high, Also, do not make clad coin rings if going for quality. The “green finger” will come back to bite you with unhappy customers. I started with silver coinage at relatively low prices and worked my way into gold and platinum. As my name got out and demand increased, I raised my prices to lower demand. The other option would be to hire employees. I didn’t want to do that, but you might?

The second factor is where are you going to be selling them? Internet, jewelry stores, coin shops? If selling in stores, is it a tourist location? The internet is great. It allows everybody with a computer to be a possible customer. Coin shops and jewelry shops are good as well. Offer them a wholesale price or barter for coins if they have them. Offer a deal for every five coins, you’ll make them one to sell.

Can’t find the answers you’re looking for? Feel free to CONTACT ME