Where is the best place to buy coins to make coin rings?

This is a question that comes up a lot. I always tell people who are first starting out making coin rings to do so with the “change in your pocket”….. literally.

Start with coins like clad (non-silver) quarters and half dollars, (your local bank will often have the JFK half dollars if you don’t have any). This gives you invaluable experience gained only through practice on the various techniques of coin-ring making and gets you familiar with the process, without worrying about making a mistake on a more expensive silver coin, for example.

As far as using 90% silver coins to make rings, a great place to start is to look up a local coin shop/dealer in your area to get some 90% silver coins. Talk to the owner of the shop; let them know what you’re looking for and why. It’s always good to have some type of report/connection with them, as they could help to answer questions you may have.

Tell them that you want “junk” silver quarters, half dollars, etc. Many shop owners will let you pick through what they have, and you’ll mostly only be paying what the metal content, or “melt value” of the silver coins are; as junk silver coins will not contain any numismatic value.

It’s best to stay away from coins that have “numismatic” value; (or value based on factors such as condition and amount minted) at least when first starting out.

You can also look on eBay for coins, but I recommend going to any of a number of online sites to first determine what the general values of the coins are before buying them.

 

redbook 2017

 

You can pick up a yearly copy of The “Official Red Book” of Coin Values, as it’s a great resource for knowing what the numismatic value of specific coins are. Go to: https://www.whitman.com/redbook

You can also go to: http://www.CoinFlation.com …. this website will give you an up-to-date pricing on the “melt values” of various coins based on their weight and metal content.

Knowing the basics about coin values and specific metal content will help you tremendously as you begin and continue to make coin rings!

 

  • Martin

http://www.CoinRingUSA.com

 

The BEST Coin Ring Folding AND Finishing Tools for coin ring makers!

By popular demand from many coin ring makers, now you can get the total package to begin folding, continue folding, and finishing off all of your coin rings with this complete Coin Ring Folding AND Finishing Kit; which includes the improved Set of hardened stainless steel Universal Stabilizer Folding Cones, AND the Rounding, Finishing, and Polishing Mandrel Set for ultra smooth and professional-looking coin rings.

This kit is a great compliment to my universal and stabilizing reduction dies to begin the coin ring-making process.

 ss-folding-cone-pic9-copy

*** An improvement over the Folding Cones made out of softer phenolic material, these new folding cones are made to last as they are made from hardened stainless steel (and when wrapped with pipe thread seal tape won’t damage your coins’ detail), the new material allows the coin to glide against the folding cone easier without getting “stuck” and eating into the cone as was often the case with the soft phenolic folding cones.
For a complete detailed description of the improved universal Stabilizer folding cones, click on this link here:

 

*** With the new rounding, finishing and polishing mandrel set, you can now obtain the best, most rounded and uniform high quality smooth, shiny, and even finish to the NON-REEDED edges of your coin rings by quickly getting rid of those unsightly, uneven, flat edges.

No more having to use nail buffing files, sanding by hand, using steel round files or de-burring tools to finish your rough coin ring edges… nothing else performs better in completing this critical aspect of coin ring-making!
For a complete detailed description of the Rounding,Finishing, and Polishing Mandrel Set for professional-looking coin rings, click on the link below:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/267370914/coin-ring-roundingfinishingpolishing?ref=shop_home_active_7

 

Visit my online Shop to grab a Coin Ring Folding AND Finishing Tool Set

 

*** Here are a few reviews from folks that have used these tools: ***

— ”Hey Martin, when you contacted me and said that you had Folding Cones made out of an improved type of material that you wanted me to test out, I was curious and excited to see what kind of results I would get with them. After having done numerous Half Dollar and Morgan Dollar coin rings, I can definitely say that I like this material better than the other cones that I had previously purchased mainly because the material of your newer cones seems tougher; but most importantly, your new material allows the coin to move down the sides of the folding cones easier without getting hung up and chewing into the cones as much as with the other material. I previously used the delrin balls that I had to make the first press into the coins but have since switched over to your stainless starter cone, which saves the folding cones from unnecessary wear and tear. Overall the new folding cones are holding up nicely after having now made over 30 coin rings with them. Thanks, and great job!” — Jerry R. of Memorable Coin Rings

 

— “Fast shipping and well made kit. The starting cone will likely last forever and using it makes the first fold more self-assured, it minimizes wear on the synthetic cones and removes the worry about having to replace them. It’s worth noting that it would be great if every company which offered products was like this one and they were constantly looking for ways to improve on and lengthen the life span of their products. As a business model, it would elevate creativity and quality above planned obsolescence. It would obviously be more profitable to make the tools inexpensively and let the ring makers use them until they wear out and then have to replace them. The tools bought here are not only designed to enable the making of professional level rings but to last as long as possible, saving the ring makers from repeat spending.”
— Gene (“if6ws929”) review left on May 11, 2016
5 out of 5 stars

 

— “Hello Martin. I received and used your starter cone and what a difference having the right tool for the job can make! I purchased your Stabilizer dies and can now use this starter cone because of the new lower profile-fit with my Durston ring stretcher. This will make my folding cones that I purchased from you last so much longer, thanks!” — Mark T.

 

(Coins and ring sizer machine pictured are not included and are used for reference only).
*** SAFETY FIRST ***

— CAUTION! This is a small part and can be considered a choking hazard. Please keep away from children and pets!
— Always wear safety glasses.
— Keep fingers, long hair, and loose clothing away from any pinch points or open flame.

 

======================================

 

•To view all of my videos on coin ring tips and tricks, subscribe to my YouTube channel by typing “CoinRingUSA” in the YouTube search box.

•To see all of the coin ring-making tools that I have to offer, please visit: www.CoinRingUSA.com

Thanks, and here’s to your coin ring-making success!

Meet the owner of CoinRingUSA

Martin

IMPROVED Universal Stainless Steel Starter Cone for Folding all Coin Rings!

Here’s the IMPROVED Universal Stainless Steel Starter Cone for Folding all Coin Rings!

Having the right tools and being able to prolong their work life is key, and this new stainless steel starter cone is designed to do just that!

Stainless Steel Starter Cone to begin the coin ring-folding process.

Stainless Steel Starter Cone to begin the coin ring-folding process.

This universal stainless steel starter cone has a revised lower profile, allowing for the clearance necessary to use on all ring sizing machines with low ram head clearances, especially when the “Stabilizing”/Reduction Dies are used to punch a center hole into a US Quarter, US Half Dollar, Morgan/Peace Dollar, or the American Silver Eagle coins, (see the photo below for reference.)

Getting ready to fold a silver US Quarter with the stainless steel starter cone.

Getting ready to fold a silver US Quarter with the stainless steel starter cone.

It’s designed to begin folding coins with 1/4” center-punched holes, all the way up to 5/8”+ center-punched holes.

The first initial fold produces the most wear and tear on your folding tools. By starting the fold with this tool, the folding cones and Delrin balls are not subjected to the sharp edge of the center-punched hole in the coin, therefore greatly reducing wear on your folding tools.

*USE THIS TOOL IF YOU’RE USING THE PLASTIC FOLDING CONES TO PROTECT THE SIDES FROM EVENTUAL WEAR-AND-TEAR*

* MY NEW FOLDING CONES ARE NOW MADE OUT OF WEAR-RESISTANT HARDENED STAINLESS STEEL… NO MORE GROOVED AND WORN-OUT CONES!

SEE THE NEW LISTING DESCRIPTION FOR THEM BELOW:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/475323877/new-universal-stainless-steel-stabilizer?ref=shop_home_active_2

This starter cone also works great in conjunction with my 2 “Stabilizing”/Reduction Dies, as you have more stability during the first crucial press due to the coin being completely level and stabilized when folding over any US Quarter, US Half Dollar, Morgan/Peace Dollar, or the American Silver Eagle!

Begin with the starter cone and press it nearly all the way down, until the inner detail of the coin is ALMOST making contact with the sides of the starter cone. Just be sure not to press too far, as you could end up damaging the inner detail of the coin that you are working on. (The stabilizer folding cones are highly recommended for the folding process, due to their shape and improved strength over the Delrin bearing balls.)

 

A 90% silver Iowa state Quarter after initially being folded-over using the stainless steel starter cone.

A 90% silver Iowa state Quarter after initially being folded-over using the stainless steel starter cone.

 

Visit my online Shop page to pick up a Stainless Steel Starter Cone

 

*** NOTE ***
Make sure that you bevel (ROUND OUT) the sharp 90° edges of the inside of the center-punched hole in your coin BEFORE using this tool, as doing so will also prolong the life of your folding tools. This is best accomplished with a deburring tool that can be purchased online.

Anneal (heat & then quench) the coin often to keep the metal in a softer state to prolong the wear life of your folding tools.

* It’s highly recommended when folding over coins made of Nickel and other tough alloyed coins that they be initially folded over with this starter cone and then completed with the folding cones.

(Coins, ring sizer machine, and reduction die pictured are not included and are used for reference only).

*** SAFETY FIRST ***

— CAUTION! This is a small part and can be considered a choking hazard. Please keep away from children and pets!
— Always wear safety glasses.
— Keep fingers, long hair, and loose clothing away from any pinch points or open flame.

======================================

•To view all of my videos on coin ring tips and tricks, subscribe to my YouTube channel by typing “CoinRingUSA” in the YouTube search box.

•To see all of the highest-quality coin ring-making tools that I have to offer, please visit: www.CoinRingUSA.com

Thanks, and here’s to your coin ring-making success!

The BEST Way to Protect your Folding Tools BEFORE Folding to Make a Coin Ring

So you’ve selected the coin that you’d like to make into a coin ring, you’ve annealed and center-punched a hole into it, and you’re ready to begin folding it down into a reduction die.

BEFORE doing so, you want to make sure that you protect the surfaces of your folding cones from premature wear and tear; and one of the BEST ways to do so is by beveling, or ROUNDING OUT the 90° edges on the top and bottom of the center-punched hole in your coin.

Center hole in coin

Notice the 90° sharp edges on the inside of the hole in the coin just prior to deburring.

 

You can accomplish this process best by using a tool called a “deburring tool” that can be purchased online at Amazon.com for example for less than $10.00. One example of a deburring tool can be found below:

Center hole in coin3

Deburring Tool purchased from Amazon.com for less than $10.00

 

You grip the deburring tool in one hand and the coin in the other, and with nice and even strokes; begin to work your way around BOTH sides of the coin, keeping an even amount of pressure all the way around the hole.

Center hole in coin4

Close-up of the deburring blade

 

A beveled and softened hole in a Walking Liberty Half Dollar, ready for folding:

Center hole in coinCLOSE UP

No more sharp edges and ready for folding!

Even after you’ve softened the inside edges of the hole in your coin by beveling, another trick to further lengthen the work-life of your folding cones is to START your first fold with something called a Stainless Steel “Starter Cone”, which helps to eliminate the perpendicular edge to the coin where it meets the surface of the folding cone, (which is at that point where the most amount of wear will occur to the surface of your folding cone(s). Another added benefit to deburring the hole is that you eliminate any micro-tears that may have been created by punching a hole.

If you own a set of my “Stabilizing” Reduction Dies, you’ll need to start the folding process with a Stainless Steel Starting Cone. The reason being is that there is not enough initial clearance for the folding cone to fit under the ram head and your coin prior to the folding process.

You can visit my Shop Page here to pick up a Stainless Steel Starter Cone

You’re now ready to further fold your coin over!

To see a quick video tutorial on this topic, click here

Grab a set here of the New and Improved Universal Stabilizing Folding Cones

Tips for protecting your coin ring’s detail while forging it

What’s the best way to protect the inner and outer detail of my coin while I’m making it into a coin ring?

This is a question that I recently received from a customer of mine. There are some simple ways to protect your coin ring’s inner and outer detail while you’re forging it. In my own practice, I have 3 different tools that I can use when initially folding over, expanding, and then reducing the coin into a reduction die for final shaping:

1. A Ring Sizing Machine
This is my personal favorite.
A Durston ring sizing machine

A Durston ring sizing machine

2. A 1-ton Arbor Press
A Harbor Freight 1-ton arbor press

A Harbor Freight 1-ton arbor press

3. A 12-ton Shop Press (this is definitely way more press than you will ever need to use to make a coin ring; as you can easily use the 6-ton “A-frame” tabletop shop press from Harbor Freight if you want to).
12-ton Harbor Freight shop press

12-ton Harbor Freight shop press

Goal: to keep the reeded edge intact!
The outer reeded edge of Morgan Silver Dollars

The outer reeded edge of Morgan Silver Dollars

The best way to protect the inner detail of the coin as you begin to fold it down into your reduction die is to use the New and Improved Folding Cones. This method of folding leaves no marks, scratches, or marring, thus preserving 100% of the detail on the inside of the coin. (See photos below for reference):
Folding Cone pic COPY

Using a New Folding Cone to fold an American Silver Eagle with a Ring Sizer Machine

Improved Universal Folding Cones and Spacer Set, available for purchase at: www.FoldingCones.com

Improved Universal Folding Cones and Spacer Set, available for purchase at: http://www.FoldingCones.com

To purchase a Set of the 4 Universal Folding Cones and Spacer Kit, go to: www.FoldingCones.com

The key to protecting the outer edges of the coin ring as you’re reducing it is to use some impact-resistant plastic tape, which works very well in that it provides a buffer between the edge of the coin and either the ram head on your ring sizing machine, the press arm on a shop press, or the square ram on a 1-ton arbor press.

Below is a picture of my “Durston” Ring Sizing machine. Notice the thin grey layer of impact-resistant protective tape covering the ram head, (directly on top of the plastic bearing ball). This is what acts as a “buffer” and protects the outer edge of the coin that is facing UP from the reduction die as you are reducing it for shaping or final sizing of the coin ring.

Stabilizing Reduction Die pic

The impact-resistant tape (shown by the red arrows below), is also great for covering the bare metal on the expanding splines of the ring-sizing machine. This acts as a barrier between the inner side of the coin that is making contact as you are expanding it down the splines; also leaving no marks, scratches, or marring; thus protecting the inner detail of the coin ring as a result. (See photo below:)

Impact-resistant tape on the splines of my ring sizing machine.

Impact-resistant tape on the splines of my ring sizing machine.

Below is an example of the crisp inner detail of a finished proof 1975 Half Dollar from the country of Belize that I recently made for a customer, using the impact-resistant tape and the plastic bearing balls.

If you use these simple tools, your coin rings will turn out with striking detail!


Visit my Shop Page for all of the highest quality coin ring-making tools that I have to offer.

 

Belize Coin inner detail

Belize Coin inner detail

What types of coins make the best coin rings?

There are several factors to consider when selecting a coin to make into a coin ring; here are some main points to keep in mind:


Condition:
The main point to keep in mind is that the overall condition of the coin that you start out with will be the condition of your coin ring once you’ve finished the forging process. You want to make sure that the coin you’re using has as much detail intact on both the obverse (front) side and reverse (back) side as possible.

Worn US Quarter

A well-worn US Quarter

In the photo above, you would end up with a coin ring that was excessively worn on both sides of your coin ring.

In contrast, the particular Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin (shown below), has really good detail and would make a great coin ring. These coins were minted between 1916-1947 and contain 90% silver.

A Walking Liberty Half Dollar in good condition.

A Walking Liberty Half Dollar in good condition.

 

Silver or Clad Coin Rings?
As far as US coin currency goes, Quarters and Half Dollars minted prior to 1965 contain 90% pure silver; (the remaining 10% of the metal is mostly copper). These coins are very desirable to make into coin rings, as silver is fairly easy to work with once heated; and they are relatively easy to obtain in great condition. Your local coin store or online sites such as eBay are good places to go to pick some up at a reasonable price.

To Note: starting with the 1965 JFK Half Dollars, the percentage of silver content in the coin was reduced to 40% (also known as silver clad), and in 1971, silver was eliminated entirely from the half dollar coins.

1965 JFK

A 1965 JFK Half Dollar contains 40% silver content

 

The “Clad” Factor:
Another option for people is to use the everyday change that’s in their pocket or at home in a jar. A great coin to begin practicing making coin rings are the Washington Quarters minted from 1965-present. This main benefit to using these types of coins is because there is no silver content in the coin. and if you ruin it in the process, you’re only out the 25 cents. Practice really does make perfect, and this is why I highly recommend that people who are just beginning to make coin rings use these clad-type of coins until they get comfortable with the process.

Using “Junk Silver” (and not rare) Coins:
You also want to make sure that the coin you are planning on using does not have any “numismatic” value; meaning that it is not a rare coin (with a low amount minted for example), that can be worth a lot of money.

Some great coins to use to make coin rings are called “junk silver” coins; a term for coins that are made of 90% silver that have no numismatic value. Rather, their value is mainly based on the coin’s silver content and not its condition or rarity.

If you are unsure as to the value of a particular coin, one resource you can go to is called: THE OFFICIAL RED BOOK: A Guide Book of United States Coins. There you can find the relative value of a particular coin based on factors such as condition and rarity. They have an online version that you can access by clicking here.

 

Avoiding the “Green” Finger: 

Example of a clad (non-silver) Washington Quarter coin ring.

Example of a clad (non-silver) Washington Quarter coin ring.

When using non-silver (clad) coins to make into coin rings, sometimes your finger can turn a greenish-color. This is primarily due to the nickel and copper metals reacting to the temperature changes of your skin.

green finger

Oxidation from wearing a clad coin ring

Gold!
Another option is to use gold plating on your clad coin. Below is a 1972 JFK Half Dollar that I plated in 24K gold to see how it would turn out. I was very impressed! Just realize that over time the gold plate will wear off, depending on how often the coin ring is worn, whether or not it gets dinged or scratched, etc.

1972 JFK 24K gold-plated Half Dollar

1972 JFK 24K gold-plated Half Dollar

 

Clear coat-it!
Although not permanent, the most inexpensive way to temporarily avoid the oxidation is by applying women’s clear nail polish to the finished clad coin ring and letting it dry for a few hours. This provides a barrier between the clad coin ring and your skin. How long the coat of nail polish lasts on your clad coin ring will depend on how often you wear the ring, if you sweat a lot, etc.

Clear nail polish

Clear nail polish

These are just some of the key factors in coin selection to consider before making a coin ring. Just remember to have fun, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and enjoy the process!

To see what coin ring making tools I currently offer, visit My Shop.