Coins--The Currency of Style

Design Idea 8504 Bracelet
by Barbara van Look, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Show us the money--on fingers, around wrists, hanging from ears ...

Coins--The Currency of Style Jewelry made using coins is a classic style dating back as long as coins have existed. You can see examples throughout history, such as a drop with a gold aureus dating to the 3rd century AD (currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and the Forsbrook pendant (currently in the British Museum).

Even today, designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel and other fashion houses are using coins both ancient and modern to inspire jewelry, belts, shoes and other accessories.

Penny for Your Thoughts

While coin jewelry was originally worn to flaunt wealth and social status, these days it's commonly used for other reasons:

  • Add sound effects

    There's nothing like coins to add the old jingle-jangle-jingle. Why do you think bellydancers have been using them for so long? Different sizes, weights and metal makeups mean different sounds come from different types of coins. Jewelry designers can play around to make the music they like best.

    Jingly styles such as Design Ideas 7358, 780D and A33Y let jewelry makers--and jewelry wearers--enjoy the sound effects!
  • Note special occasions

    Every coin has a year of minting. Commemorative coins will often note special occasions, too. The United States Mint is authorized by the American Congress to create coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events and institutions (such as 2012's "Star-Spangled Banner" coin). The European Central Bank has a similar program, with each country authorized to create their own pieces.
Coins--The Currency of Style
Jewelry makers can also create "mother's jewelry," using coins with the year of birth of each of the children. Sets like this can be easily added to as the family grows.

Still have some foreign coins from that trip? Use a hole-punching tool, add a bail and you have a ready-to-string pendant or drop.

How about weddings? Coins make great jewelry for the bride or mother of the bride, with the year of the wedding on it. And the groom doesn't have be left out, either--how about a set of cuff links or a tie tac with a coin embellishment?

Commemorate a special occasion using a single dated coin--as shown in Design Ideas 7362 and B41H--using coins of the appropriate year.
Coins--The Currency of Style

To Coin a Look

The American quarter (25 cent piece) measures approximately 24mm, the American nickel (5 cent piece) measures approximately 20mm and the American dime (10 cent piece) measures approximately 18mm. The 2 Euro coin measures 25.75mm, the 1 Euro coin measures 23.25mm, with other dimensions correspondingly smaller. Use our handy slide gauge to determine the size of commemorative coin or foreign currency you're thinking of using.

Replica Coin Components Chinese Replica Coin Components

A number of JBB Findings, Almost Instant Jewelry┬« and other round settings will accept Euros, quarters, nickels, dimes and other coins to create pendants, bracelets and earrings. Apoxie® Sculpt keeps coins contained attractively to or within the setting, whether the coin is slightly smaller or slightly larger than the frame it's in. Bezel settings slightly larger than the coin can be bent and fitted to size, as well.

Item Number 3625FN Item Number 1297JU

Is That Legal?

It depends.

Jewelry makers must be careful to not imply any endorsement from--or association with--the United States Mint when selling jewelry made using US coinage. If you're punching a hole through an American coin (to add a jumpring or bail) to make jewelry you're going to sell, be sure to check the US Mint's website ( for details and specific laws and statutes.

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