Thursday, July 5, 2012

Going Global

I love coins from around the world.
Some are so richly detailed which greatly enhances the exotic allure.
I have friends who travel the world, usually in pursuit of a total eclipse, and they often save their end-of-the-trip loose change for me.
A metal box in my studio is filled with coins from Mongolia, Australia, Singapore and other places that I fantasize about visiting some day.
Occasionally, I pull out that metal box of global coins to see what kind of inspiration might hit me.
Some of the coins from Mexico are high on my list of favorites.
The patterning is beautifully intricate, and I love how there are two metals.
 I realized that if I set one of these coins on my dapping block, a swift hit with my hammer can knock out the central disc.
These outer rings are perfect for toggles, and I was getting ready to drill them for making connections when I thought that I could maybe take advantage of the patterning before making toggles.
I cut out a disc of copper, annealed it, set it on top of the outer ring of the coin and hammered away.  I used the ball peen end of my hammer when hitting the central part of the disc.
When I examined my results, I was underwhelmed. 
I realized that the depth of the coin was not enough to give me a smooth curve on the central dome that the ball peen was creating.  The center of the resulting dome ended up hitting the surface of my steel bench block and became flattened and marred.
I knew I could do better, and pulled my dapping block out again and this time, centered a copper disc and a coin ring over one of the forms. 
After hammering the perimeter, I used a dapping punch to try again for a nice and smooth domed surface.
Much better.
I now have smooth domes with beautifully textured collars.
These could become earrings, or links in a bracelet, or featured dangles in a necklace, or.......


  1. Ohhh, I love these unique coins! What a clever idea to take out the center to make a toggle! And the dapped copper turned out beautiful!!!!

  2. These coins are great, and I regret that I have a very limited supply of them.